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Thursday, Catholics celebrated the solemnity of the birth of St. John the Baptist, but Friday is the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart.
Church Militant's Dr. William Mahoney gives us some background on this great outpouring of Christ's mercy.
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus existed since at least the 13th century.
But it was invigorated in 1673 when Our Lord appeared to a French nun, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque.
In June 1675, Our Lord lamented to her how He was being treated by lukewarm Catholics: "Behold this Heart, which has so loved men that It spared nothing, even going so far as to exhaust and consume Itself, to prove to them Its love."
It was at this point Our Lord requested the Feast of the Sacred Heart be celebrated as an occasion for people to make acts of reparation for sins against the Blessed Sacrament.
Through St. Margaret, Christ made promises to those devoting themselves to His Sacred Heart: He will grant them all graces necessary for their state of life and establish peace in their homes. He will comfort them in all their afflictions, be their secure refuge during life and at death and bestow abundant blessings upon all their undertakings.
Regarding His mercy on sinners, He promises the spiritually lukewarm shall become fervent while fervent souls shall quickly achieve high perfection.
In addition, He will give priests devoted to His Sacred Heart the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
Evil and darkness are now eclipsing the Church and the world. But God's grace and mercy are available to sinners all the more.
Our Lord also promised those who receive Holy Communion on the first Friday of nine consecutive months will not die without the grace of the sacraments.