The Solemnity of the Sacred Heart is celebrated on the Friday after Corpus Christi.
The feast day on June 16 brings some nice surprises:
- A solemnity on Friday means you can eat meat. There is no obligation to observe a Friday penance.
- There’s also a plenary indulgence attached to the feast day.
What is the Sacred Heart of Jesus?
The Sacred Heart of Jesus is depicted as a flaming heart, usually surrounded by a crown of thorns, with a cross on the top, and it is often bleeding from a wound in the side.
It is often displayed with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which is shown also on fire, surrounded by a crown of flowers, and is pierced by a sword. The feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is celebrated the day after the Sacred Heart of Jesus feast day.
The feast became known through the apparitions of a French nun. In 1673, Jesus began appearing to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. He told her that he wished to be honored in Eucharistic adoration during a holy hour on Thursdays, a feast day devoted to his Sacred Heart, and to encourage the faithful to receive communion on the first Friday of each month. These first Friday communions became known as First Friday Devotions.
Those with devotion to Christ’s Sacred Heart also obtain 12 promises from Christ.
How to get the Plenary Indulgence
“A plenary indulgence for this day is under the usual conditions but also the recitation of the Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It must be a ‘public recitation’– meaning it needs to be recited in a church, a religious community, or a family.
The three usual conditions for the plenary indulgence are:
- Going to confession,
- Receiving Holy Communion
- Praying for the intentions of the Holy Father
Happy Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus!