The devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is as old as Christianity itself, going right back to the Passion of the Lord, when His Side was riven, and blood and water poured out. Down the centuries, many saints have drawn attention to this devotion, among them St Gertrude the Great (1256 – c. 1302).

In her book, ‘The Herald of Divine Love’, she writes in the third person, but it is she herself: ‘Another time, when she was striving to pay the greatest attention to each single note and word and seeing that in this she was very often hindered by human frailty, sadly she said within herself: “And what profit can there be in a labour in which I am so inconsistent?” The Lord could not bear her sadness and gave her, with his own hands as it were, his divine heart in the form of a lighted lamp, saying: “Behold, here is my heart, the sweetest instrument of the ever adorable Trinity. I hold it in front of the eyes of your heart; it will supply all that you lack, faithfully making up for all that you entrust to it …’

May the Sacred Heart of Jesus burn within our own hearts as a lighted lamp, giving light to others, and may this glorious feast give you much joy. May God bless you.