The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Friday 28th June
St Joseph's Church Elsterwick 7.00pm
“The heart has always been seen as the “center” or essence of a person....Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is devotion to Jesus Christ Himself, but in the particular ways of meditating on his interior life and on His threefold love -- His divine love, His burning love that fed His human will, and His sensible love that affects His interior life.” Pope Pius XII, 1956
Devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is powerful. One of the biggest problems in the world today is the lack of the personal experience of the love of Jesus Christ. Part of this is no doubt due to the belief that God is somehow detached from our human situation, our personal situation. The devotion to the Sacred Heart, if taken to Heart, is a powerful antidote to this misconception.
Through all that He said through St Margaret Mary, we rediscover how Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, wants to be very intimate to each and every person. That He rejoices as we come close to Him. He exults with all of heaven when a sinner returns to Him. That He is wounded by our sins and the sins of humanity and the rejection and the indifference that He receives from so many souls.
February 14, 2016
But there is one thing that is absolutely extraordinary about this devotion. Jesus tells us that we can console His Heart for all the wounds He suffers from the indifference of men. How can we do this?
I would like to draw a human comparison. Imagine a poor mother who was ignored by all her children except for one of them. This one beautiful child nestles close to the mother, strokes her hair and tells her how she is the most special person in the whole world, and that she loves her mother more than anything else in this world. In this exchange of love the mother’s pain is forgotten and the mother savours the sweet exchange.
True devotees of the Sacred Heart of Jesus are that small child in the arms of Jesus. Can they then not expect to obtain everything in return from the Heart of Jesus? They can, and much, much more. More than they can ever imagine.
Please do come on this special day that was requested by Jesus Christ Himself. In establishing this day He described it as a special day for His faithful friends and consolers.
“I request... that the first Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi, a specific feast be dedicated to honour My Heart, receiving Holy Communion to soothe and repair all the indignities that it receives..... And My promise to you is that My Heart will dilate to scatter with abundance the wealth of its Love on all those that will receive this honour and will endeavor others to do the same”.
Come on this day and do expect to receive greatly from all the treasures of His infinite grace and mercy. He asks that we celebrate the Feast on the Friday immediately after the solemnity of Corpus Christi, hence the Friday night celebration Please also take to heart a very special promise of Jesus: “Those who spread this devotion will have my name written on My Heart, never to be effaced.” Let us do all that we can to win others to His love, through the kindness we show and by letting others know of the great love of Jesus. You could also let others know about this beautiful celebration and invite them to join us.
Jesus promised:“Those who spread this devotion will have their name written in my Heart, never to be effaced.
The First Class Relics of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and St Claude la Colombière
For the First time in Australia available for your Veneration.
We are both delighted and blessed to have the first class relique of these great saints with us on the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Firstly a little about St Claude la Colombière
St Claude had a vital rote. He was only in Paray for a very short time, for eighteen months in fact, but in that time he is accredited with being the instrument by which God saved the devotion. The problem was that so called "learned" but perhaps prejediced men had dismissed the experiences of St Margaret Mary Alacoque, and the whole town of Paray also became dismissive of her visions.
It would need a very learned and respected man of trusted opinion and renowned holiness if there was to be any chance that her experiences were going to be taken seriously. St Claude had all these qualities and more. He was from a respected family of nobles and he had forsaken a comfortable life to became a learned Jesuit priest. So respected in fact that after Paray La Monial he was to became the spiritual director of the future Catholic queen of England.
He was totally convinced of the authenticity of the visions and put to rest any doubt about them. He himself was to be totally taken up by the love of the Sacred Heart. It may well have been that the Lord, in seeing the goodness and holiness of St Claude, wanted St Claude to have this great honour of being the instrument which allowed the message to flourish.
St Margaret Mary one day just before receiving Holy Communion from the hands of St Claude had a vision and it was this: There were three hearts that appeared. The large heart was the Sacred Heart of Jesus, then the other two hearts, smaller in size appeared just below the Sacred Heart, equal in size and both caught up in the flames of love emanating from the Sacred Heart.
Undoubtedly, this vision would have impressed upon her the understanding of just how essential would be the role of St Claude, and also the fact that he was an equally chosen soul, and similarly caught up in the love of Jesus; just like her.
We understand that this is the first relic of St Claude to come to Australia and we blessed to have this precious relic, a relatively large slither of bone, available for veneration.
St Margaret Mary
When her tomb was canonically opened in July, 1830, two instantaneous cures took place. Undoubtedly she is powerful in her intercession because she is so close to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, the source of every grace and blessing. Her body is preserved incorrupt to this day another special sign of God's special favour towards her. Her body rests under the altar in the chapel at Paray, and many striking favours have been obtained by pilgrims attracted from all parts of the world. We are indeed most blessed to have the First Class Relic available for veneration on this year’s Feast of the Sacred Heart. Do come and seek her special and powerful intercession.
From the earliest age she had intense love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. She would regularly be carried away by intense mystical experiences and at these times would be oblivious to everything around her. These experiences were not only intense but often times rather prolonged in duration.Here following is a brief description of her life from the Advent:Apostle of the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, born at Lhautecour, France, 22 July, 1647; and died at Paray-le-Monial, 17 October, 1690.
Her parents, Claude Alacoque and Philiberte Lamyn, were distinguished less for temporal possessions than for their virtue, which gave them an honourable position. From early childhood Margaret showed intense love for the Blessed Sacrament, and preferred silence and prayer to childish amusements. After her first communion at the age of nine, she practised in secret severe corporal mortifications, until paralysis confined her to bed for four years.
At the end of this period, having made a vow to the Blessed Virgin to consecrate herself to religious life, she was instantly restored to perfect health. The death of her father and the injustice of a relative plunged the family in poverty and humiliation, after which more than ever Margaret found consolation in the Blessed Sacrament, and Christ made her sensible of His presence and protection.
He usually appeared to her as the Crucified or the Ecce Homo, and this did not surprise her, as she thought others had the same Divine assistance. When Margaret was seventeen, the family property was recovered, and her mother besought her to establish herself in the world. Her filial tenderness made her believe that the vow of childhood was not binding, and that she could serve God at home by penance and charity to the poor. However, she began to take part in the pleasures of the world.
One night upon her return from a ball, she had a vision of Christ as He was during the scourging, reproaching her for infidelity after He had given her so many proofs of His love. During her entire life Margaret mourned over two faults committed at this time--the wearing of some superfluous ornaments and a mask at the carnival to please her brothers.
On 25 May, 1671, she entered the Visitation Convent at Paray, where she was subjected to many trials to prove her vocation, and in November, 1672, pronounced her final vows. She had a delicate constitution, but was gifted with intelligence and good judgement, and in the cloister she chose for herself what was most repugnant to her nature, making her life one of inconceivable sufferings, which were often relieved or instantly cured by our Lord, Who acted as her Director, appeared to her frequently and conversed with her, confiding to her the mission to establish the devotion to His Sacred Heart.
These extraordinary occurrences drew upon her the adverse criticism of the community, who treated her as a visionary, and her superior commanded her to live the common life. But her obedience, her humility, and invariable charity towards those who persecuted her, finally prevailed, and her mission, accomplished in the crucible of suffering, was recognized even by those who had shown her the most bitter opposition.Margaret Mary was inspired by Christ to establish the Holy Hour and to pray lying prostrate with her face to the ground from eleven till midnight on the eve of the first Friday of each month, to share in the mortal sadness He endured when abandoned by His Apostles in His Agony, and to receive holy Communion on the first Friday of every month.
In the first great revelation, He made known to her His ardent desire to be loved by men and His design of manifesting His Heart with all Its treasures of love and mercy, of sanctification and salvation. He appointed the Friday after the octave of the feast of Corpus Christi as the feast of the Sacred Heart; He called her “the Beloved Disciple of the Sacred Heart”, and the heiress of all Its treasures. The love of the Sacred Heart was the fire which consumed her, and devotion to the Sacred Heart is the refrain of all her writings.
In her last illness she refused all alleviation, repeating frequently: “What have I in heaven and what do I desire on earth, but Thee alone, O my God”, and died pronouncing the Holy Name of Jesus.All her actions, her revelations, her spiritual maxims, her teachings regarding the devotion to the Sacred Heart, and her life where examined most thoroughly by the Sacred Congregation which declared the heroic virtues of this servant of God, and which subsequently beatified and then canonised this wonderful saint.
Her feast is now 16 October.
Do come and pray with her sacred relic which will be available to you at the end of the Mass. When one thinks of the graces that have come to the world through this one great saint, one cannot help but be overwhelmed. We can hardly imagine saints closer to the Heart of Jesus than St Margaret Mary, and the Heart of Jesus is the source of every grace, blessing and miracle.
St Joseph’s Church is at 71 Orrong Road Elsternwick
St Joseph’s Church Elsternwick is conveniently located for public transport. A short stroll from stop 46 on the Tram 60 Route, or catch the 220 Bus that runs from Sunshine - City - Gardenvale, and go to stop 80, which is right in front of St Joseph’s.
You may catch a train to either Elsterwick station or to Glenhuntly station and then the tram route 60 will take you to the corner of Orrong Road.(Tram 60) From there it is a walk of not more than about 300 metres
St Joseph’s Church is close to both Nepean Highway and Dandenong Road. It is just a few minutes drive from either of these major highways.
Friday 7th June
Masses and Devotions
2 Times and 2 Venues!
Parish Holy Mass followed by Adoration and Prayers to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
St Augustines Church
632 Bourke Street
Novena to the Most
Sacred Heart of Jesus
Adoration and Prayers in honour of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus followed by Holy Mass.
St Joseph's Church
71 Orrong Road
Feast of The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
Friday 28th June
7.00 PM Adoration, Prayers, Holy Mass
St Joseph's Church
71 Orrong Road