In All Hearts Everywhere!
Before I begin this message, I would ask those who are reading this to bow your heads wherever you are and pause for a moment of silence as we pray for a special anointing from the Holy Spirit upon you so that your eyes will be enlightened to understand the mystery of God’s Love for all of us.
It began in the Heart of God--a love for His creatures infinite in its dimensions, unfathomable in its depth, astonishing in its lavishness - love which brought the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity into our world as the Word Incarnate, made flesh by the will of the Eternal Father, the overshadowing by the Holy Spirit and the ‘Yes’ of the Blessed Virgin Mary. From The crib in Bethlehem to the cross on Calvary this Divine Person, Jesus Christ, both God and Man, proclaimed by His every word and deed, by His life and by His ignominious death that God is Love and that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that ‘whosoever believed in Him would not perish, but would have everlasting life.’ (John 3:16)
Since that awesome moment when the Son of God poured out His Precious Blood for our redemption and with a loud cry surrendered His Spirit into the loving Hands of His Heavenly Father, God has sought to demonstrate to each succeeding generation His unfathomable love for His creatures and to draw them to Himself in the midst of the struggles, the anxieties, the fears, the temptations and the upheavals of life which they experience on earth. Furthermore, He attempts to elicit from them a return of love for their God befitting those so loved by Him.
And what more resplendent visible image of God’s love for His creatures is there than that of the Heart of His Only Begotten Son—a Heart encircled with thorns and pierced by a lance for their offenses. For we know the heart has always been seen as the seat and the symbol of Love.
The word heart has many meanings. We know that it is a fleshly organ beating in a living body. But the word ‘heart’ is also used to represent the innermost being of a person—his/her innermost attitudes, feelings, sentiments, dispositions and motivations. It symbolizes not only the inner life of a person, but the whole person. Thus when we honor the heart, we honor the whole person.
In the Old Testament the word ‘heart’ was frequently used to connote the source and center of a person’s religious and ethical life. The Psalms are replete with the word ‘heart’ and there are also references to the Heart of the Messiah in the Messianic prophesies and the Messianic songs. In the New Testament Jesus used the word ‘heart’ several times and referred to His Own Heart when he said, “Learn of Me for I am meek and humble of heart.” (Matt. 11:29)
The Church Council of Chalcedon in 451 A.D. stated that Jesus exists in two natures (human and divine) in One Divine Person. The human nature of Jesus which is hypostatically united to the Word belongs to the divine Person and therefore must receive the same type of worship as the Word, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. The Fifth General Council clearly stated that Jesus Christ must not be adored in His two natures (human and divine) which would be two adorations, but He must be adored as the Incarnate Word with His flesh in one and the same adoration.
Therefore, devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is devotion to the Heart of Jesus as a symbol of the immense love of God for us as manifested by Jesus Christ. This love induced Him to offer Himself to die on the cross for us at Calvary and to perpetuate this immolation of Himself for us on our altars at every Holy Mass and to give Himself entirely to us in Holy Communion until the end of time.
Love is the object of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Love is its motive and love is its purpose. Hence, by devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus we mean the ardent love of Jesus Christ especially manifested on Calvary and in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, the grief which we experience at the sins committed against Him and the ingratitude manifested toward Him by so many people, as well as our desire to love Him and to offer reparation to Him. One of Pope Pius XII’s most profound statements sums up the reasons for our devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He explained that the clearest image of the all-embracing fullness of God is the Heart of His Son Jesus Christ.
An Age Such As Ours
In the thirteenth century on the feast of St. John the Evangelist, the beloved disciple, St. Gertrude had a vision of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. St. John the Evangelist is very closely tied to the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus because he was the first person to repose on that Heart at the Last Supper. St. Gertrude also reposed on the Sacred Heart of Jesus in which are hidden all the treasures of the Godhead. And she asked St. John why in his writings he did not reveal the mysteries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, since he was the first one to experience them. He replied that his mission was to write for the Church still in its infancy. But the revelation of the mysteries of the Heart of Jesus was reserved for the last ages when the world grown old and become cold in its love of God would need to be warmed again by the revelation of God’s love flowing from the Heart of Jesus.
Who could deny that we are now living in those last ages? St. Paul warned Timothy, “Know also this, in the last days shall come dangerous times. Men shall become lovers of themselves, covetous, haughty, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, wicked, without affection, without peace, slanderers, incontinent, unmerciful without kindness, traitors, stubborn, puffed up and lovers of pleasure more than of God…” (2 Tim.3:1-5)
Is this not a perfect description of our age-- an age in which people are lovers of themselves, lovers of money, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; an age in which the dire prophesies of Our Lady of Fatima were fulfilled before our eyes in our own lifetime-- Godlessness has spread throughout the world devastating its inhabitants with an atmosphere of secular humanism, materialism and atheism. Our age is torn by violence and terrorism unprecedented in the history of the world as it totters on the brink of nuclear annihilation. Drug addiction, alcoholism and promiscuity have all but destroyed a generation of young people. The break-up of the family and the murder of the unborn have become so common that they are now socially acceptable throughout the world. Satanism has become blatant in its mockery of God and all that is holy. Indeed the evils of this age all but stagger the imagination to the point that we might well say, ‘This is Satan’s hour—when darkness reigns.’ (Luke 22:53)
Behold This Heart
But into our darkness and fear and desperation a light appears-- the Burning Light of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on fire with love for us. And amid the din of evil clamor we hear a gentle sound—the pulsations of His Heart beating with love for us. Indeed, the revelation of the mysteries of His love has been reserved for an age such as ours and for all those who now have ‘eyes to see’ and ‘ears to hear’, He speaks those magnificent words of love which He first spoke to Saint Margaret Mary in June of 1675, “Behold this Heart, which has so loved human beings that It has spared nothing even to exhausting and consuming Itself in order to prove Its love to them; and in return I receive from the greater number nothing but ingratitude..”
St. Margaret Mary said Jesus informed her that this devotion is a final effort of His love which wishes to favor human beings in these last centuries “with this loving redemption, in order to withdraw them from the empire of Satan which He intends to destroy and to replace it with the reign of His love, and thus, through His grace, to bring many souls to eternal salvation” She added, “The devil has a most intense fear of the devotion to the Loving Heart of Jesus because of the multitude of souls that would be saved.”
Father Mateo Crawley-Boevey, the great twentieth-century apostle of the Sacred Heart of Jesus echoed these words when he cried out, “A volcano of hate has erupted inundating the earth with the eternal fire of discord, revolt and anarchy. Let us fight fire with fire.”
Pope Paul VI in a letter dated February 25, 1965, to all the bishops of the world wrote, “This therefore seems to us to be the most suitable ideal: that the devotion to the Sacred Heart…now reflourish daily more and more.” And in speaking to the Jesuits he affirmed that the love “rendered to the Sacred Heart is the most efficacious means to contribute to that spiritual and moral renewal of the world called for by the Second Vatican Council.”
Pope John Paul II gave many Angelus discourses on the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In a letter given by him to the Superior General of the Jesuits at Paray-le-Monial, he urged the Jesuits to continue to promote the devotion to the Sacred Heart. At his request an international symposium was held at Fatima, Portugal, in September of 1986 to discuss the Alliance of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary and to clarify for the whole church the importance of this devotion.
Furthermore, in a letter on the occasion of the Third Centenary of the death of St. Margaret Mary, he wrote, “When I was on pilgrimage in 1986 to the tomb of St. Margaret Mary, I asked, in the spirit of what has been handed down in the Church, that the veneration of the Sacred Heart be faithfully restored. For it is in the heart of Christ that the human heart learns to know the true and unique meaning of its life and destiny; it is in the Heart of Christ that the human heart receives its capacity to love.”
But it was Pope Pius the XII who spoke most eloquently about this devotion and its necessity for the modern world in his encyclical letter, “Haurietis Aquas” in which he referred to Pope Leo XIII’s Sacred Heart Encyclical letter issued in 1899. Pope Leo XIII spoke of the cross which appeared in the sky as a pledge of victory to the Emperor Constantine: “When the Church in the days immediately succeeding her institution was oppressed beneath the yoke of the Caesars, a young emperor saw in the heavens a cross, at once the happy omen and cause of the glorious victory which soon followed. And now today, behold another blessed and heavenly token is offered to our sight--the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, with a cross rising from it and shining forth with dazzling splendor amidst flames of love. In that Sacred Heart all of our hopes should be placed and from it the salvation of men is to be confidently sought.” (emphasis added)
The History of the Devotion to The Sacred Heart of Jesus
Veneration for the Heart of Jesus goes all the way back to the early Church which honored His Heart pierced with a lance witnessed by His Blessed Mother and St. John as recorded in the Gospels. The walls of the catacombs of Rome portrayed the pierced side of the Savior and a stream of love flowing from His Heart. St. Cyprian beheld the Church springing forth in radiant beauty from the wounded side of the Crucified Christ as Eve came forth from the side of Adam.
St. Augustine proclaimed that His side was opened to allow the sacraments and all graces to pour out upon the world. He affirmed with St. Cyprian that the Church was born from the wounded side of Christ beaming forth light and love upon souls. He considered this sacred wound as our refuge in time of need and a fountain from which to drink the waters of salvation. St. John Chrysostom, St. Basil, St. Gregory of Nazianzen, St. Ephrem and St. Cyril along with many other Fathers of the early Church echoed these same beliefs during the first centuries of the Church.
During the Middle Ages, the doctors of the Church passed beyond the pierced side of Christ and contemplated His very Heart burning with love. St. Bernard implored the Savior to draw him into His Sacred Heart in order that he might dwell there purified from every sin in safety and in peace. St. Bonaventure cried out that had he been the lance which pierced the heart of Jesus he would never have been withdrawn from It, but would have remained there forever in that Sweet Abode. Likewise, St. Thomas Aquinas extolled assiduous contemplation of the Heart of Jesus as did many of the other eminent Dominican theologians of the time.
The mystic virgins of the Middle Ages adored the Heart of Jesus in a singular way. To St. Gertrude was given the awesome privilege of reposing upon it. Jesus showed her His Heart and gave It to her to supply for her needs. St. Mechtilde was invited by the Savior to enter His Heart and make It her abode. To St. Catherine of Siena He gave a still greater grace-- taking her heart, He gave her His own. And when one day she asked Him why His side was pierced after His death, He replied that it was to reveal His Heart and teach all creatures that although His sufferings were at an end, His love was not.
Similar revelations of His heart were made to St. Magdalene of Pazzi, to St. Catherine of Genoa, to St. Margaret of Cortona, to Blessed Angela of Foligno, to St. Frances of Rome, and to St. Rose of Lima, who constantly beheld the Heart of Jesus as a burning fiery Sun above her head whose rays of love fell one day upon her heart.
Yet to none of these Saints was given the mission of revealing the mysteries of the Heart of Jesus to the world. Had not St. John told St. Gertrude in the thirteenth century that the revelation of the mysteries of the Blessed Beats of the Heart of Jesus was reserved for the last ages when the world grown old and become cold in the love of God would need to be warmed again by the revelation of these mysteries?
Jesus Reveals His Heart
And so in the Providence of God it was not until the Seventeenth century that the moment had arrived for Jesus to reveal the great mystery of His Heart, because the world had grown cold in its love for God due in large part to the Jansenist heresy which was rife throughout Europe. This heresy denied the love and mercy of God toward His creatures; it argued against receiving Holy Communion; it emphasized that only a small number of elect would be saved and it instilled into the faithful a slavish fear and terror of their Creator and Redeemer. In so doing it dried up their souls and drove Divine Love from their hearts. No longer able to believe in a God Who loves His creatures to folly, souls were incapable of that divine inebriation whereby they love their God to folly in return.
God’s eyes, as it were, scanned the horizons of the world searching for the one to whom the Heart of His Divine Son would be revealed, the one to whom He would entrust the awesome mission of making the mysteries of His Divine Love known to the whole world-a world-grown cold in its love for Him, a world needing to be set afire by the flames of love, issuing forth from the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
His gaze fell upon France the ‘eldest daughter’ of the Church; France, which had raised up so many great saints; France, which received so many blessings from His hand; France, whose reigning monarch, King Louis XIV was a miracle child born in answer to the prayers of his childless parents. His father, King Louis XIII, had knelt in the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris and consecrated himself and his entire realm to the Blessed Virgin Mary and his mother, Queen Anne, had gone on pilgrimage to the Cathedral at Apt wherein lay the remains of St. Anne, the grandmother of Jesus, there to ask the intercession of that great saint on her behalf. Now France, was sunk in the Jansenist heresy--cold and arid and unresponsive to His Love.
As God gazed out upon France, He found the one He had prepared for so awesome a destiny in a little town called Paray-le-Monial, at the Visitation Monastery there. Her name was Sister Margaret Mary Alacoque. The Visitation Order was founded some sixty years earlier by St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane Frances de Chantal to be the ‘sanctuary of the Heart of Jesus.’ Its coat of arms was a heart pierced with two arrows, encircled by a crown of thorns and surmounted by a cross graven with the names of Jesus and Mary. St. Francis de Sales gave the nuns the beautiful title “The Daughters of The Sacred Heart of Jesus.” They were to be the adorers, the imitators and the servants of that Sacred Heart. St. Jane Frances de Chantal had even declared that Jesus had given the gift of His Heart to them.
And so in 1673 the long awaited moment had finally come. It was December 27, the Feast of St. John the Evangelist who had reposed on the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the Last Supper. It was the same day that St. Gertrude had her vision of the Heart of Jesus in the thirteenth Century. As St. Margaret Mary Alacoque prayed before the Blessed Sacrament Jesus appeared to her and drew her to repose on His Heart as He began to reveal to her the mysteries of His love.
He informed her that His Sacred Heart was so passionately in love with human beings that It could no longer contain the flames of Its burning charity and was compelled to pour them out upon humankind to save them from perdition. He had chosen her in her unworthiness and ignorance to accomplish this great design so that everything would be done by Him.
The world in a disastrous condition needed a special divine intervention--the Fire of Divine Love escaping from the Heart of Jesus to melt the cold hearts of His creatures and draw them back to Himself. And then to give her a sensible proof of what had transpired He took her heart and plunged it into His own and replacing it, He announced that the flames of His ardent love would consume her until her final moment. Before departing, He gave her the wonderful title of ‘Well Beloved Disciple of My Sacred Heart.’ She confided that the invisible wound in her side consumed her and burned her alive. Every first Friday after that Jesus appeared to her as a brilliant sun with sparkling light whose rays fell directly on her heart inflaming it with such a fire that it seemed to reduce her to ashes. And so we behold a God rejected and despised by His creatures who deserve his chastisement. But instead, He resolved to win them by revealing new marvels of His love.
The Second Great Revelation took place, it is believed, on the first Friday of June, 1674, following the octave of Corpus Christi. In this appearance the five wounds of Jesus shone like five suns with flames darting from and enveloping all parts of His Sacred Being, especially His chest opened to display His Most Sacred Heart. Lovingly and sorrowfully He complained about the ingratitude of His creatures who reject the lavishness of His love. This, He said, was more painful to Him than all He had suffered in His Passion.
He then requested that St. Margaret Mary make reparation to His Heart wounded by so many offenses. And from this Sacred Heart there darted a flame of divine love to supply her with all the grace and strength she needed to fulfill this divine request. He asked that she receive Holy Communion on the first Friday of nine consecutive months in a spirit of reparation. He also desired her to make a Holy Hour every Thursday from 11 o’clock until midnight prostrate with her face to the floor to make reparation for the sins of His creatures and to console His Heart for so much ingratitude.
In the Third Great Revelation which occurred on June 16, 1675, Jesus again reiterated the lavishness of His Love for His creatures not only manifested by the Crib and the Cross, but also by the Sacrament of His Holy Love—the Holy Eucharist. He lamented their irreverence and ingratitude for so great a gift. He then requested that a special feast be established in the Church on the first Friday after the Octave of the Blessed Sacrament in order to honor His Sacred Heart and to make solemn reparation to It. He promised to pour out His great love upon all those who would honor Him in this way.
St. Margaret Mary wrote: “Our divine Lord assured me that He takes singular pleasure in being honored under the figure of His Heart, the image of which He wishes to be exposed in public in order to touch the unfeeling hearts of His creatures. He promised that he would pour out in abundance into the hearts of all those who would honor His Heart all the gifts with which it is filled, and that everywhere this image is exposed and honored it would draw down all kinds of blessings.” (emphasis added) She said that Jesus had revealed to her that if she wore an image of His Heart next to her heart He would make her heart like His. (emphasis added) And so she drew a little image of His Heart and wore it over hers--and that became known as the first Sacred Heart badge.
Jesus also made many promises to those devoted to His Heart. And they have become known as the Twelve Promises of the Sacred Heart:
St. Margaret Mary said that the cross was planted in the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the first moment of the Incarnation and remained throughout His entire life and because He suffered most in His heart God wanted His heart to be loved and reparation made to It to repair for the sins of humankind. One day Jesus told her that He wanted her heart to be as a canvas upon which He would paint the features of His Own Most Sacred Heart--a Heart in which the cross was planted; a Heart pierced by a lance and encircled by a crown of thorns and on fire with suffering love. He also told her that He made her the heiress of His Heart’s treasures in time and in eternity and promised that she would forever be His Heart’s well- beloved disciple. He assured her that He would reign through His Heart in spite of His enemies and those who oppose him. He revealed to her that he is all powerful in restoring peace to the world and in averting the chastisements caused by sin and His heart is all powerful for obtaining pardon for His creatures. (emphasis added)
It has been said that after the “Incarnation and the Holy Eucharist, the revelation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is the most important revelation that has enlightened the Church.” It has even been referred to as “the most splendid ray of light since Pentecost.”
King Louis XIV Does Not Fulfill The Requests of The Sacred Heart
In 1689 St. Margaret Mary received another Great Revelation from the Sacred Heart of Jesus--one which did not come to light for over two hundred years. This revelation was not well suited for one like her since she was a total stranger to the affairs of the world and the politics of nations. Thus, she was unprepared to receive it. She wrote of it in several letters to her former Superior, Mother de Saumaise.
In a letter dated February 23, 1689, St. Margaret Mary thanked her former superior for helping to promote the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and then related something that sounded very strange coming from her. She declared that the Sacred Heart devotion would be a powerful protection for France and it would become an inexhaustible source of Divine Mercy for their country.
The second letter was written after St. Margaret Mary came out of ecstasy dated on the Feast of the Sacred Heart itself, June 16, 1689. In it she had beheld God’s merciful design on France—namely, that the Sacred Heart of Jesus desired to enter the palaces of kings and princes and there to be honored as much as He had been despised and humiliated during His Passion; to receive the homage of the great ones of this world in order to repair the bitterness which He received from their hands when He was annihilated before them. Specifically she related that Jesus had instructed her to make known to King Louis XIV, then the most powerful monarch in Europe, His desire that the King consecrate himself to His Most Sacred Heart who wished to triumph over his heart and then through him to triumph over the hearts of the great ones of the world.
Receiving no reply to this letter, St. Margaret Mary wrote again on August 12, 1689, asking if the previous letter had been received. After receiving no reply, she wrote again on August 28th. In this final letter she outlined exactly what the Sacred Heart of Jesus revealed to her regarding the King of France. She declared that the Eternal Father sought reparation for the agonies endured by the Sacred Heart of His Divine Son in the palaces of earthly princes during His Passion and that He wished to establish His Empire in the palaces of King Louis XIV. He asked the King to do the following: to erect a shrine adorned with an image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus there to receive the consecration of the King and all of his court and to have the Mass of the Sacred Heart authorized by the Church. In return, the Sacred Heart of Jesus promised to defend the king and to bless all of his undertakings. She wrote that it is by the Sacred Heart of Jesus that God wishes to dispense the treasures of His graces of salvation and sanctification and suggested the mediation of Pere de la Chaise, the king’s confessor, because she knew that Mother de Saumaise had access through him to the court of the king.
Inspite of her sense of urgency and her pleas for prayers for this great intention, she received no reply. Perhaps this was the greatest suffering of her entire life--a bitter sword thrust into her heart as the lance had pierced the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This final wound configured her heart to His. It was the finishing touch on the canvas of her soul for soon after that she died without beholding the fulfillment of the wishes of Jesus in regard to Louis XIV and France.
But we know that the message did get through to the royal court and to the ears of the king because the ladies of the court began to practice the devotion with great fervor. Many grand personages began to inscribe their names on the register of the Confraternity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. But Louis XIV, in his blindness did not fulfill the Divine requests and France began to slide down a deep precipice that would end in disaster.
Later during the reign of King Louis XV, the devotion to the Sacred Heart increased at the Royal Court. It was the Queen, herself who petitioned all of the Bishops of France for the public worship of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to be established in every diocese there. And at the Palace of Versailles a chapel was erected in His honor. Yet, the King did not fulfill the Divine requests. King Louis XVI had barely ascended the throne when disaster struck France and all of Europe. In 1789, exactly one hundred years after the divine revelation to St. Margaret Mary, the French Revolution and its horrible Reign of Terror erupted and like a torrent swept away the monarchy and cast the king into the dreaded Bastille prison to await his death by the guillotine. There he resolved to accomplish the consecration of France to the Sacred Heart of Jesus which God had asked of his predecessor, for God had determined that France should be saved by the Sacred Heart of His Divine Son. In his prison cell the king wrote his last will and testament which would fulfill the exact requests that were revealed one hundred years earlier to St. Margaret Mary.
Repenting bitterly of his misdeeds, he begged for divine clemency and promised that if God would bring him forth alive from prison he would revoke all anti-religious laws. He would take all necessary measures to have the Church declare a Solemn Feast for the Sacred Heart of Jesus to be celebrated in perpetuity throughout France on the first Friday after the octave of the Blessed Sacrament, with a public procession, to repair the outrages committed against It. He would go in person to the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris and there at the foot of the main altar he would pronounce a solemn act of Consecration of his person, his kingdom and his family to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and he would erect at his own expense a chapel dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In closing, he declared his willingness to sign this testament with his own blood. He then gave it to his confessor who made several copies and had them smuggled out of the prison and scattered among Christian families throughout France. And when his confessor was lead to the scaffold he hid one in the chink of the stone in his prison cell. Shortly after that images of the Sacred Heart of Jesus began to be passed from hand to hand and dungeon to dungeon throughout France. But God did not see fit to bring King Louis XVI alive from prison to fulfill his last will and testament. It was one hundred years too late. And the king no longer represented France, because France had no king.
How different the history of France would have been and the history of all of Europe and the whole modern world if the wishes of the Sacred Heart of Jesus had been fulfilled. For as a result of the French revolution, Paris became the birthplace of worldwide atheism formalized in the writings of Karl Marx, the ‘Father of atheistic Communism.’
France Finally Gives Homage to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
It was not until the 1870’s during the Franco-Prussian War when Paris had surrendered and was occupied by the Prussian Army, that a group of French layman appealed to the Archbishop of Paris for a National Shrine to be erected in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus imploring His Divine protection upon France. This was to become the beautiful and famous Basilica of le Sacre Coeur built atop Montmartre overlooking Paris.
The foundation was finally completed on June 16, 1875, the two hundredth anniversary of the First Friday Devotion given to Saint Margaret Mary by the Sacred Heart of Jesus on June 16, 1675. In July of 1914, it was announced that the dedication of the Basilica would take place on October 17, the Feast of then Blessed Margaret Mary. However, one week later World War I erupted and the ceremony had to be postponed. But Pope Pius X asked the Bishop of Autun to pronounce a solemn Act of Consecration of France to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Chapel of the Visitation Monastery at Paray-le-Monial where St. Margaret Mary lived and died. The Solemn Consecration of France to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, so long delayed, finally took place in 1919, one year after the end of the First World War and a few months before the canonization of St. Margaret Mary.
It is significant to note that since 1885 there has been perpetual Eucharistic Exposition and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at the Basilica of Sacre Coeur. It has been said that during World War II as the bombs were falling upon Paris, the adorers did not go to protect themselves in the underground shelters, but instead they ran up the steps of the Basilica and prostrated themselves before the exposed Sacred Eucharistic Heart of Jesus as the bombs were blowing out the windows. Can we doubt that the Sacred Heart of Jesus was protecting Paris in return when Adolph Hitler gave his German generals the command to burn Paris to the ground and they refused?
It is also significant to note that Jesus requested only a simple shrine to honor His Sacred Heart. Instead, France gave Him a beautiful Basilica. He asked only for homage to an image of His Sacred Heart and France gave Him perpetual Eucharistic Adoration of His Sacred Eucharistic Heart Itself. Was this due to the prayers of St. Margaret Mary in heaven imploring God that the people of her country would at last outdo themselves in expressing their love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus in order to atone for the fact that King Louis XIV and his successors had failed to fulfill the Divine requests and in so doing had brought disaster not only upon themselves but upon the entire modern world?
The Entire World is Consecrated to The Sacred Heart of Jesus
Meanwhile, many bishops moved undoubtedly by the Holy Spirit were petitioning the Holy Father to consecrate the world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. And in 1898 Jesus appeared to Mother Mary of the Divine Heart, a Good Shepherd Nun living in Oporto, Portugal, directing her to write to the Holy Father and request that he consecrate the whole world and all of humankind to His Most Sacred Heart.
Unlike King Louis XIV, Pope Leo XIII promptly obeyed the divine command. He wrote a beautiful Act of Consecration and an Encyclical letter entitled Annum Sacrum which he sent to all the bishops of the world directing them to join with him in making this Act of Consecration in every cathedral in the entire world on the Feast of the Sacred Heart, June 11, 1899. In the last sentence of the Act of Consecration, Pope Leo XIII prayed, “Make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry—‘Praise to the Divine Heart, which wrought our salvation. To It be honor and glory forever, Amen.”  (emphasis added)
This was a momentous act. Pope Leo XIII, who reigned longer than any other Pope in history, except four, and who is renowned for so many wonderful achievements, proclaimed that this was the greatest act of his pontificate and from it he expected the greatest graces for the whole world. (emphasis added) Pope St. Pius X ordered this Act of Consecration to be renewed every year on the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Pope Pius XI transferred the day to the Feast of Christ the King. It is significant to note that this momentous act took place on the very threshold of the 20th century. Only in eternity will we learn the untold graces which came down upon that tortured century and the even greater catastrophes which were averted because of it.
The church gave its official approbation to the Sacred Heart devotion many centuries ago beginning with Pope Clement X in 1674 followed by Popes Clement XIII, Innocent XII, Pius IX and Leo XIII. In his encyclical letter, Annum Sacrum, Pope Leo XIII spoke of the forces of evil which compel us to seek help from the Sacred Heart of Jesus by whose strength alone they can be overcome. Pope St. Pius X commanded Father Mateo Crawley-Boevey to become the twentieth century apostle of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Pope Benedict XV in a letter to him considered to be the Magna Carta of the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart, wrote, “Nothing is more suitable to the needs of the present day than your enterprise.” Pope Pius XI wrote in 1928, “Is not a summary of our religion and, moreover, a guide to a more perfect life contained in this one devotion?” (emphasis added)
Pope Pius XII, in Haurietis Aquas declared in 1956: “Who can worthily depict those beatings of the Divine Heart…(In the Heart of Jesus) we can consider the symbol, but in a sense the summary of the mystery of our redemption…. There is no question here of some ordinary form of piety which anyone at his own whim may treat as of little consequence or set aside as inferior to others, but of a religious practice which helps very much towards the attaining of Christian perfection…We therefore urge all our children in Christ… to eagerly embrace this devotion.” (emphasis added)
Pope John XXIII, in his autobiography, The Journal of a Soul, wrote so beautifully: “The devotion to the Sacred Heart has been with me all of my life…I wish to serve the Sacred Heart today and always. I want the devotion to the Sacred Heart to be the measure of my spiritual progress… I am determined to give myself no peace until I can truly say that I am absorbed in the Heart of Jesus.”
Pope Paul VI in his Apostolic Letter of February, 1965, wrote: “We especially desire however, that through a more intense participation in the August Sacrament of the Altar, a greater devotion be given to the Sacred Heart of Jesus whose outstanding gift is the Eucharist”. (emphasis added) Pope John Paul II in his Angelus message on June 24, 1979, in St. Peter’s Square said, “The Heart of the Redeemer vivifies the whole Church and draws men who have opened their hearts to the ‘unfathomable riches’ from this One Heart.”
Devotion to The Immaculate Heart of Mary
Perhaps one of the greatest graces to come down upon the world as a result of Pope Leo XIII’s Act of Consecration of the entire human race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 1899 is that God chose the twentieth century in which to establish in the world devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Pope Pius XII in his encyclical , Haurietis Aquas wrote, “In order that favors in greater abundance may flow on all Christians, nay, on the whole human race, (emphasis added) from the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, let the faithful see to it that with this devotion the Immaculate Heart of the Mother of God is closely joined.” He then went on to explain that our salvation sprang from the love and sufferings of Jesus Christ to which the love and sorrows of His Mother were intimately united, so that in carrying out the work of redemption by God’s will the Blessed Virgin Mary was inseparably linked with her Divine Son. Thus, after Christians have honored the Sacred Heart of Jesus they should also honor the Heart of their heavenly Mother.
We know that God chose the Blessed Virgin Mary at the time of Adam’s sin to crush the serpent’s head by bringing our Redeemer to us. Jesus chose to come into the world through Her; He chose to have Her share in His Redemptive sufferings; He chose to entrust the peace of the world to Her and He chose Her to share in the glory of His reign. Indeed, it has taken centuries for the Church to fully realize the extent of the role assigned to Mary by God in the plan of salvation.
In speaking of devotion to the Heart of Mary it is necessary to make a distinction between the kind of veneration paid to the Heart of Jesus and that given to the Heart of Mary. The highest type of worship or adoration referred to by theologians as latria is accorded to Jesus Christ. The honor paid to Mary and the saints is infinitely lower. When it is given to the saints, it is referred to as dulia and when it is given to Mary it is hyperdulia because it surpasses the veneration given to the angels and saints combined. For She is full of grace and as Mother of God is more intimately associated with the mysteries of Jesus Christ and has more power over His Sacred Heart than any other creature.
This veneration given to Mary is in no way idolatrous because it is rendered to a creature and is not a substitute or an alternative to the worship owed to the Divinity. Indeed, the more Mary is venerated the more she draws all humankind to Her Divine Son and to the Heavenly Father.
In origin and history the veneration of the Heart of Mary is closely related to the Heart of Jesus. It had its origin in the Sacred Scripture where the Seven Sorrows of Mary are all either directly or indirectly contained in the Gospel. In the first of these, Simeon prophesied the Heart of Mary would be pierced by sorrow. (Luke 2:34,35) Also, St. Luke related that Mary kept all the things Jesus said and did in Her Heart. (Luke 2:19, 51)
Many Church Fathers and saints expressed their love for the Heart of Mary-- St. Augustine, St. Leo the Great, St. John Chrystostum, St. Anselm, St. Bonaventure, St. Bernard and countless others. St. Augustine wrote, “The divine maternity would not have profited Mary if She had not first borne Jesus Christ in Her Heart more happily and advantageously than in Her womb.”
Yet, veneration of Mary’s Heart was a gradual process throughout the history of the Church. The first instance of anything resembling a genuine devotion to the Heart of Mary came in 1184 when Ekbert of Schonau addressed a prayer to Her Heart. In the first part of the fifteenth century, St. Bernardine of Siena stressed devotion to the Heart of Mary and St. Frances de Sales (1567-1622) made frequent references to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. It was St. John Eudes, however, who propagated the devotion to the Heart of Mary (and the Heart of Jesus) far and wide in the seventeenth century. In 1836 the Archconfraternity of the Immaculate Heart of Mary was launched by Abbe Desgenettes at Our Lady of Victories in Paris which may be looked upon as the birthplace of devotion to the Heart of Mary under the specific title “Immaculate” Heart of Mary. And in the nineteenth century St. Anthony Mary Claret was instrumental in widely spreading the devotion.
Ecclesiastical approbation for the devotion to the Heart of Mary goes back all the way to Pope Julius II in the early sixteenth century, and many other Popes throughout the ages have added their approval. But it was not until the 20th century that the fullness of the role assigned to the Immaculate Heart of Mary was revealed largely because of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal, from May until October in 1917. They were Lucia dos Santos, age ten; and Francesco and Jacinta Martos ages nine and seven respectively.
The Blessed Virgin Mary Reveals Her Heart at Fatima
In her Memoirs, Sister Lucia related that in 1916 during World War I an angel paid three visits to the three children--one in the spring, one in the summer and one in the fall. His first words to them were, “Do not be afraid of me, I am the angel of Peace. Pray with me.” He knelt and bowed his head to the ground praying: “My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You. I beg pardon for all who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love you.” He rose and said, “Pray thus, the Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications.” (emphasis added)
While the children were playing one day he suddenly appeared a second time and reproached them with the words, “What are you doing? Pray, a great deal. The Most Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary have merciful designs on you. (emphasis added) Offer prayers and sacrifices constantly to the Most High.” He then told the children that he was the Guardian Angel of Portugal and that they must pray and sacrifice in reparation for sin and for the conversion of sinners. In that way they would draw peace down upon their country.
In his third appearance the angel came with a chalice in his hand above which was suspended a Host from which drops of Blood fell into the chalice. Leaving the chalice suspended in the air, the angel knelt with the children and prayed, “Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I offer You the most precious Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ present in all of the tabernacles of the earth in reparation for all of the outrages and indifferences by which He Himself has been offended. By the infinite merits of His most Sacred Heart and those of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of You the conversion of sinners.” (emphasis added) Thus, the angel gave the Sacred Host to Lucia and divided the precious Blood between the two other children exhorting them to make reparation for the offenses against this Most Holy Sacrament. In all three appearances the angel referred to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
The first appearance of the Blessed Virgin took place on May 13, 1917. She told the children that She was from heaven and requested that they return to that spot for six consecutive months on the thirteenth day at that same hour. She also promised to take all three of them to heaven and asked them if they were willing to offer themselves to God and to endure the sufferings that He might send them in reparation for sin and the conversion of all sinners. When Lucia said ‘yes’ the Lady replied that they would suffer much, but God’s grace would comfort and sustain them. As the Lady opened Her Hands a light emanating from them penetrated the children and allowed them to see themselves in God Who was the Light. They fell upon their knees in adoration of the Most Holy Trinity. The Lady’s final exhortation to the children was to pray the Rosary everyday to bring peace to the world and the end of World War I. On June 13 She taught the children a simple prayer that is now prayed between each decade of the rosary: “Oh, My Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of Thy Mercy.” She declared that she would take Jacinta and Francesco to heaven soon, but that Lucia must remain longer on earth and learn to read, because Jesus wanted to use her to establish in the world devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She promised salvation to all who embraced this devotion and told Lucia, “My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.” (emphasis added) When she opened Her hands the light streaming from them pierced the hearts of the children giving them a special knowledge and love for the Immaculate Heart of Mary. And before the palm on her right hand was a heart encircled by thorns which seemed to have pierced it symbolizing the sins of humanity for which God desires reparation.
During the apparition of July 13, She again asked for the prayer of the rosary for peace in the world and said that she alone could obtain peace for the world, because God had entrusted it to Her. She exhorted the children to make sacrifices for the conversion of sinners. She then opened Her hands and the light emanating from them penetrated the earth and the three children saw a vision of hell which vanished in a moment. Otherwise Lucia said the children would have died of fright and horror. Then the Blessed Virgin told the children that God wished to establish in the world devotion to her Immaculate Heart in order to save sinners from going to hell. She said if people would obey her request many souls would be saved and there would be peace in the world. She told the children that World War I would end, but if people would not stop offending God, another worse war would begin during the reign of Pope Pius the XI. She informed the children that when they saw a night Illuminated by an unknown light this would be a sign from God that He was about to punish the world for its sins by means of war, famine, and persecution of the Church and of the Holy Father. In order to prevent this She promised to come and ask for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart and for the Holy Communions of Reparation on the Five First Saturdays. She promised that if Her requests were heeded, Russia would be converted and that there would be peace. If not, Russia would spread her errors throughout the world causing wars and persecution of the Church. The good would be martyred, the Holy Father would have much to suffer, and various nations would be annihilated. But in the end Her Immaculate Heart would triumph. The Holy Father would consecrate Russia to Her Immaculate Heart in union with the bishops of the world. Russia would be converted and a certain period of peace would be granted to the world. It is important to note that this was several months BEFORE Russia was overtaken by Communism. The children in their innocence did not even know what Russia was. They thought it was an evil woman.
Before dying in 1920, Jacinta told Lucia, “Tell everybody that God grants us graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, that people are to ask Her for them. Tell them also to pray to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for peace, since God has entrusted the peace of the world to Her.” She also spoke of that war which was coming and of the many people who were going to die and go to hell. She lamented that if they would stop offending God the war would not come nor would they go to hell.
In August, because the children had been jailed the Blessed Virgin did not come on the thirteenth of the month. Instead, she came on August 19th after their release. Again, She promised that in October there would be a great miracle so that all would believe. In September, She reiterated that people should pray the rosary everyday to obtain the end of World War I, and promised again the miracle in October. On October 13th, She revealed Her name as “The Lady of The Rosary” and asked that a chapel be built in Her honor there and promised the end of the war. As She arose, the miracle of the sun took place witnessed by seventy thousand people and seen as far as thirty miles away--spinning and convulsing and plunging toward the earth, overshadowed by many colors crossing before it. Many people thought that this was the end of the world. And then Jesus, Mary and St. Joseph appeared next to it.
On December 10, 1925, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Sister Lucia holding Her heart and said, “Look, my daughter, at my Heart, pierced by the sins of men.” She then asked for the Five First Saturday devotions to make reparation for so many sins. This devotion would consist of going to confession, and receiving Holy Communion in the spirit of reparation as well as in praying the rosary and spending fifteen additional minutes meditating on the mysteries of the rosary. And this should be done on five consecutive first Saturdays. Jesus explained later the significance of five. It was to repair the five offenses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary-those who deny her Immaculate Conception, those who deny her Divine Maternity, those who deny her perpetual virginity, those who show disrespect toward Her images, and those who do not teach the children to love Her.
On June 13, 1929, the last Great vision of Fatima was seen by Sr. Lucia. It was that of The Most Holy Trinity and the Immaculate Heart of Mary who said, “The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father in union with all of the bishops in the world to consecrate Russia to My Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means.” Later Jesus complained to Sr. Lucia saying, “They did not wish to heed My request. Like the King of France they will repent and do it, but it will be too late. Russia will have already spread her errors throughout the whole world provoking wars and persecution of the Church. The Holy Father will have much to suffer.” On the night of January 25, 1938, Sr. Lucia looked out of the window and saw an unknown light as did thousands of people throughout Europe. It looked as though the whole world was on fire. Scientists at the time dismissed it as an unusual Aurora Borealis. But Sister Lucia knew it was the light signifying the Second World War. Shortly afterward, Hitler invaded Austria and on September 1, 1939, he marched on Poland unleashing the most devastating and far-reaching war in history. Now it has been suggested by an eminent scientist that the unknown light was the same as that emanating from an atomic blast--a light never before seen in the history of the world. Sister Lucia has said that it was because of the world’s failure to respond to the Fatima message that the consecration of Russia had not been made. It is important to note that the bishops of Portugal consecrated Portugal to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and it remained neutral throughout the entire war.
The World Is Consecrated To The Immaculate Heart of Mary.
During World War II while Pope Pius XII was praying in the Vatican gardens he saw the sun spin as it had done in 1917. And he determined to consecrate the entire world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He did this in October of 1942. In doing so, he clearly manifested that with due subordination devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is not only in relation to, but parallel with that of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. On that occasion he pronounced these solemn words: “To Your Immaculate Heart we confide and entrust and consecrate not only the Holy Church, the Mystical body of Your Jesus, but the entire world as well… just as the Church and the whole human race were consecrated to the Heart of Your Jesus so also from today on let them also be consecrated to You and to Your Immaculate Heart, our Mother and Queen of the world.." He also made mention of Russia in veiled terms so that he had the intention of consecrating Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It must be clearly understood that while the Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is the highest act of worship to the Divinity, the Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a subordinate one of the highest veneration given to a mere creature.
At Fatima on May 13, 1967, Pope Paul VI renewed the Consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as Pope Pius XII had done in 1952. And he asked for the consecration of individuals, families and nations to Her. On May 13, 1981, the sixty-fourth anniversary of Her first appearance at Fatima, Pope John Paul II was shot in Rome. As he was recuperating in the hospital he reflected on the significance of the date and realized that it was through the intercession of Our Lady of Fatima that God had preserved his life. He was determined to go to Fatima on May 13, 1982, to re-consecrate the world to Her Immaculate Heart. On that occasion he took the bullet which had penetrated his body to Fatima where it is now in the crown of the large Pilgrim Virgin statue in the little chapel which was built on the spot where She appeared to the three children. At Fatima he explained that Jesus’s words from the Cross, “Woman behold Your Son” opened in a new way Mary’s Immaculate Heart. Then the Roman soldier opened the Sacred Heart of Jesus with a lance shortly after He expired. Thus, “Mary’s Heart was opened by the same love for man and for the world with which Christ loved man and the world.” He went on to say that “by joining in it (consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary ) we shall be as close as possible to the Heart of Jesus pierced on the cross…”
Then he prayed: “Before You, Mother of Christ, before Your Immaculate Heart, I today, together with the whole Church, unite myself with our Redeemer in this consecration for the world and for people, which only in His Divine Heart has the power to obtain pardon and to secure reparation. THE POWER OF THIS CONSECRATION LASTS FOR ALL TIMES AND EMBRACES ALL INDIVIDUALS, PEOPLES, AND NATIONS.”
However, in none of these papal consecrations had the bishops of the whole world united with the pope as had been the express wish of Jesus and Mary. And so, in December of 1983, Pope John Paul II wrote to every bishop throughout the world requesting each one to join with him in consecrating the world (including Russia) to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25, 1984, at the close of the Extraordinary Holy Year of Redemption.
The large Pilgrim Virgin statue was flown from Fatima to Rome for this occasion. There at St. Peter’s Basilica, humbly kneeling before it, Pope John Paul II, in union with the bishops of the world, solemnly entrusted and consecrated the whole world specifically mentioning ‘those people for which you have particular love and solicitude’ to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He reiterated what he had said in 1982, “THAT THE POWER OF THIS CONSECRATION LASTS FOR ALL TIMES AND EMBRACES ALL NATIONS AND THAT IT OVERCOMES EVERY EVIL THAT THE SPIRIT OF DARKNESS HAS AWAKENED IN OUR TIMES IN THE HEART OF MAN.”
This momentous event which took place in Rome passed almost unnoticed by the secular media, but the Hearts of Jesus and Mary were well aware of it in heaven. A little known, but significant incident is the fact that Bishop Paolo Hnilica, in answer to the prayers of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, was able to obtain a visa into Russia. There in Moscow within the Kremlin itself, he was able to join the Holy Father in making the Consecration on March 25, 1984. After secretly celebrating Mass in the adjoining Church of the Assumption, he related his belief that the Communist system would be overcome because now Russia was placed into the Heart of Mary.
This Consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25, 1984, was without doubt one of the most momentous events in the history of the Church and the history of the world. And its effects were astounding. One year later in March of 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in the Soviet Union. He instituted freedom of the press and freedom of religion which was the impetus for the downfall of the Soviet System.
Fifteen republics were then freed as the Warsaw Pact came to an end and the Soviet Union crumbled. On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall came down, and Mikhail Gorbachev met the Pope in Rome where he promised religious freedom in his country. The following year, on May 13th, the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, freedom of religion was legalized in Russia.
On the anniversary of the Miracle of the spinning sun at Fatima, October 13th, Gorbachev received the Nobel Peace Prize. Two months later, he met the Pope at the Vatican for a second time. In 1991 diplomatic relations were established between Russia and the Vatican and Latin rite churches were opened in Russia. May 1, 1991, was the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker May Day as a Communist holiday ended. On May 13, 1991, Pope John Paul II traveled to Fatima to thank the Blessed Virgin for her intercession in freeing so many countries from Communism, for saving his life and for the end of the Communist threat to the world.
On August 19, 1991, there was an attempt by the Communists to overthrow Mikhail Gorbachev. But they chose the wrong day because it was the seventy fourth anniversary of the August appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima. On August 22nd, the feast of the Queenship of Mary, the attempt failed and the Communists were defeated. Two months later on October 13th, the first Russian pilgrims went to Fatima. This was televised and broadcast throughout Russia.
On December 8, 1991, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, the Commonwealth of Republics began and the Union of Soviets Socialist Republics ended. Twelve days later, Yeltsin met with the Pope in Rome and thirteen days after that, Christmas Day, 1991, the Communist flag came down. On December 30, 1991, Sr. Lucia wrote that the defeat of Communism was due to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In 1992 another attempt was made to overthrow the new government but Yeltsin stood firm against the entire Communist army and no one died. On March 14, 1992, Pravda ended. Then on Christmas day 1992, Communism was declared illegal in Russia. Since then scores of other dictatorships have fallen.
It is worth noting that in October of 1992, something very momentous happened. Members of the World Peace Flight brought the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima to Moscow where it was crowned by a Russian youth in Red Square in front of the Kremlin opposite Lenin’s tomb. This fulfilled two prophecies made some fifty years earlier-one by St. Maximilian Kolbe and one by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. Soberly, Sister Lucia wrote in 1993 that if the Papal Consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in union with the bishops of the world had not taken place in 1984 there would have been a nuclear war in 1985. She also stated after the Consecration was made that God had accepted it, but because Russia had spread her errors throughout the whole world, the apostles of Our Lady of Fatima would have much work to do.
Parallel Requests of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary
Who can fail to recognize the parallel between the requests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus given to St. Margaret Mary in Paray-le-Monial in the seventeenth century and those of the Immaculate Heart of Mary given to the children of Fatima in the twentieth century-
Likewise, we see the parallel consequences because these requests were not heeded-disaster for France due to the horrific excesses of the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution and disaster for the whole modern world due to the birth of atheistic Communism in Paris. Likewise, there was disaster for the twentieth century in the form of two terrible world wars and the spread of atheistic Communism throughout the whole world. Also, there is a parallel between the eventual request of the Sacred Heart of Jesus for the consecration of the entire world to Him which was made by Pope Leo XIII in 1899 and the request of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the consecration of the entire world to Her Immaculate Heart which was made by Pope John Paul II in union with the bishops of the world in 1984.
Indeed the entire history of the modern world can only be rightly understood in the light of the requests made by the Sacred Heart of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary in the seventeenth century and the requests made by the Immaculate Heart of Mary to the children at Fatima in the twentieth century-and the response or lack of response to those requests.
An important consideration at this point is that the Catholic Church is very cautious and meticulous when investigating and discerning the validity of private revelations. And only after many years did the Church give its official approval to the revelations of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary and to the revelations of the Immaculate Heart of Mary to the three children of Fatima. We know that St. Claude de la Columbiere, the confessor and spiritual director of St. Margaret Mary for a brief time, had reassured her even then saying that she had nothing to fear regarding the revelations of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Hearts of Jesus and Mary