Fr. Michael says…………
At the end of last week, we celebrated two important and interesting feast days in the Church: the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
I’ve always thought that these feasts - and the devotions that they come from - would be kind of confusing for non-Catholics. Why have a feast day for a part of Jesus’ body? Why celebrate Mary’s heart? Those are good questions that Catholics may ask, even if they’ve heard of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts their whole lives.
The feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus always falls on the Friday after the second Sunday after Pentecost. It has its origin in the very human habit of calling the heart the sort of essence of a person. To something “from the heart” means to really believe it; it comes from your core and can be trusted.
Christians have always thought about the heart of Jesus since it is so vividly described in the Gospels. Blood and water flowed from Jesus’ pierced side on the cross. Christians have seen this as the birth of the Church since its earliest days.
Devotion to the Sacred Heart took a more specific form with the private revelations given to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, who received visions of Jesus where Jesus communicated his great love for all humanity.
The day after the feast of the Sacred Heart is when we celebrate the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Like all devotion to Mary, the Church venerates her Immaculate Heart because it points us to Jesus.
Devotion to Mary’s Immaculate Heart grew up throughout the history of the Church, but especially became popular because of St. John Eudes and, later, St. Catherine Laboure. St. Catherine experienced apparitions that lead to the creation of the Miraculous medal which features Mary on it.
When we unite ourselves to Mary’s heart, we always end up closer to Our Lord Jesus. Mary points the way towards being better disciples who trust in the Lord for absolutely everything. The feast is particularly important to us in the Diocese of Steubenville because our diocese is dedicated to her as our Patroness.
This would be a great week to look up the litanies to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts as a way of expanding our devotion and asking for our hearts to be conformed to theirs.
REST IN PEACE: Please remember in your prayers the kind repose of the soul of Daniel Rensi, son of Barbara & Jim Cerra (BLS).
May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen
WELCOME TO OUR SECOND NEW SEMINARIAN:
My name is Peter Stetson, and I am a sixth-year seminarian studying to be a priest for the Diocese of Steubenville. I am very excited to be with you at Blessed Sacrament and Our Lady of Lourdes for my ministerial internship this summer. I look forward to experiencing your active and faith-filled parish community and learning from the priests and staff of the parish.
I grew up in Hopedale but my family moved into Steubenville when I was sixteen. I was homeschooled for high school and attending the Pontifical College Josephinum, a seminary in Columbus Ohio, for a bacholors in philosophy. In my free time, I enjoy playing guitar, fishing, board games, and cooking. I look forward to my time here and getting to know everyone. If you see me around, please make sure to stop and chat!