The Sacred Heart of Jesus (Friday after the Second Sunday after Pentecost)
The church at Petworth is dedicated to The Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Devotion to The Sacred Heart of Jesus was strongly promoted by St. John Eudes (1601-1680) and St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690), although of course long before that people had made the love of God a central part of their faith and their life of prayer.
Catholic devotion to The Sacred Heart of Jesus is based on the simple fact that Our Lord loves us with a profound and powerful love. He loves us so much that he was prepared to die for us, and his loving heart remains for ever wounded. The knowledge that we are loved is something very powerful. It gives us new courage, and new strength to do beautiful things for God. Speaking of the former slave St Josephine Bakhita Pope Benedict says, describing her discovery of God's love for her:
"She was known and loved and she was awaited. What is more, this master had himself accepted the destiny of being flogged and now he was waiting for her “at the Father's right hand”. Now she had “hope” —no longer simply the modest hope of finding masters who would be less cruel, but the great hope: “I am definitively loved and whatever happens to me—I am awaited by this Love. And so my life is good.” Through the knowledge of this hope she was “redeemed”, no longer a slave, but a free child of God."
Pope Benedict XVI Encyclical Letter 'Spe Salvi'
The Church invites all people to discover what it is like to be truly loved - loved without condition, loved without anything being demanded in return. This is the message of The Sacred Heart.
Prayer of Saint Gertrude
O Sacred Heart of Jesus, fountain of eternal life, Your Heart is a glowing furnace of Love. You are my refuge and my sanctuary.
O my adorable and loving Savior, consume my heart with the burning fire with which Yours is aflamed. Pour down on my soul those graces which flow from Your love. Let my heart be united with Yours. Let my will be conformed to Yours in all things. May Your Will be the rule of all my desires and actions. Amen.
Prayer from the Roman Missal
we honour the heart of your Son
broken by man's cruelty,
yet symbol of love's triumph,
pledge of all that man is called to be.
Teach us to see Christ in the lives we touch,
to offer him living worship
by love-filled service to our brothers and sisters.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.