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Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Each day of this novena includes a different Angelus message by Blessed John Paul II on the theme of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, followed by the Litany to the Sacred Heart of Jesus:

Lord, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the World, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, formed by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mother, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, wonderfully united to the eternal word, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, holy temple of God, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, burning furnace of charity, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, vessel of justice and love, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, never-ending source of all virtues, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, worthy of all praise, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in which are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in which dwell all the fullness of the Divinity, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in which the Father is well pleased, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, of whose fullness we have all received, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, deepest desire of the human heart, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, patient and abounding in mercy, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, generous to all who call upon you, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, fount of life and holiness, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, atonement for our sins, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, which suffered rejection for our sake, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, bruised for our sins, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, made obedient unto death, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, victim of our sins, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who hope in you, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in you, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, delight of all saints, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord,
Lamb of God you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make our hearts like unto yours.

Let us pray, Almighty and eternal God, look upon the Heart of your well-beloved Son and the praises and sacrifice He offers you in the name of sinners; being pleased with His holy obedience, pardon those who implore your mercy and give us a share in His resurrection, in the name of the same Jesus Christ your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.

Many thanks to Fr Stan Fortuna CFR for the gift of his music. You can pray this novena at any time but it was recorded in 2010 especially to begin on the Feast of Corpus Christi and lead up to the Feast of the Sacred Heart. It was offered up in particular for all our priests and seminarians, as the Year for Priests drew to a close. You can subscribe/download the mp3 files for this podcast here from the xml feed or here on itunes. You can download individual mp3s by right clicking on this symbol: 

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Day 1 - Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus   

Blessed John Paul II's Angelus - Sunday, 27th June 1982
- in Italian & Spanish

Heart of Jesus, formed by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary, have mercy on us.”  We pray this in the litany to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

This invocation refers directly to the mystery we meditate when reciting the Angelus of our Lord: through the work of the Holy Spirit there was formed in the womb of the Virgin of Nazareth the Humanity of Christ, Son of the Eternal Father.

Through the work of the Holy Spirit, the Heart was formed in this humanity! The Heart, which is the central organ in Christ’s human organism and, at the same time, the true symbol of his interior life: of his thoughts, his will, his feelings. Through this heart the humanity of Christ is, in a particular way, “the temple of God” and at the same time, through this Heart, it remains unceasingly open to man and to everything which is “human”: “the Heart of Jesus, of whose fullness we have all received.”

The month of June is, in a particular way, dedicated to the veneration of the divine Heart. Not just one day, the liturgical feast which usually occurs in June, but every day. Connected with it is the devout daily practice of reciting or singing the Litany to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

It is a marvellous prayer, fully concentrated on the interior mystery of Christ: God-Man.

The Litany to the Heart of Jesus draws abundantly from biblical sources and, at the same time, reflects the deepest experiences of human hearts. At the same time, they are prayers of veneration and of authentic dialogue.

We speak in it of the heart and, at the same time, we allow our hearts to speak with this unique Heart, which is “the source of life and holiness” and “the desire of the eternal hills”. With the Heart which is “patient and most merciful”, and “generous to everyone who invokes it”.

This prayer, recited and meditated upon, becomes a true school of the interior man: the school of the Christian.

The Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus reminds us above all of the moments when this Heart was “pierced with a lance” and, through this, was open in a “visible” way to man and to the world.

In reciting the Litany – and in venerating the divine Heart – we learn the mystery of Redemption in all its divine and also human depth.

At the same time, we become sensitive to the need for reparation.  Christ opens his Heart to us because in his reparation we can join with him for the salvation of the world. The language of his pierced Heart speaks the whole truth about his Gospel and about Easter.

Let us try always better to understand this language. Let us learn it."

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'Man for Others' by Father Filip, from Belgium
- Pope John Paul II     

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Day 2 - Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus    

John Paul II's Angelus - Sunday, 2nd June 1985
- in Italian & Spanish

"Heart of Jesus, Son of the eternal Father"

"The Church finds in the heart of Christ access to the God who is the most holy Trinity, to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This single God – one and triune together – is an ineffable mystery of faith. Truly he “dwells in unapproachable light” (1 Tm 6, 16).

And at the same time the infinite God has allowed himself to be embraced by the Heart of that Man whose name is Jesus of Nazareth: Jesus Christ. And through the heart of the Son, God the Father also approaches our hearts and comes to them.

Thus each of us is baptised “in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. Each one of us is, from the very beginning, immersed in the one and triune God: in the living God, in the life-giving God. This God we confess as the Holy Spirit who, proceeding from the Father and from the Son, “gives life”.

The heart of Jesus is “formed by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mother”.

God who “gives life”, who “gives himself to man”, began the work of his salvation economy, by becoming man.

Precisely in the virginal conception and in the birth by Mary was His human heart begun “formed by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mother”.

We want to venerate this heart during the month of June. Today we want to make this heart the sole trustee of our poor human hearts, hearts that are tested in different ways, oppressed in different ways. And at the same time: hearts that are confident in the power of God himself and in the saving power of the holy Trinity.

Mary, Virgin Mother, who knows better than us the divine heart of your Son, join us in today’s adoration of the most holy Trinity: and together in humble prayer for the Church and for the world!

May you alone be the guide of this our prayer."

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'Man for Others' by John, from Cameroon      

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Day 3 - Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus     

John Paul II's Angelus - Sunday, 9th July 1989
- in Italian & Spanish

"'Heart of Jesus, substantially united to the Word of God, have mercy on us.' The expression 'Heart of Jesus' immediately calls to mind the humanity of Christ, and emphasizes the richness of his feelings, his compassion towards the sick; his preference for the poor; his mercy towards sinners; his tenderness towards children; his strength in denouncing hypocrisy, pride, violence; his meekness in front of his opponents; his zeal for the glory of the Father and his jubilation in the mysterious and providential workings of grace.

With reference to the facts of the Passion, the expression “Heart of Jesus” then draws out the sadness of Christ at the betrayal by Judas, the discouragement of his loneliness, his agony before death, his filial and obedient abandonment into the hands of the Father. And it speaks above all of the love which flows unceasingly from within him: infinite love towards the Father and love without limits towards man.

Now, this Heart so humanly rich, “is united – the Litany reminds us – to the Person of the Word of God”. Jesus is the Word of God incarnate; in him there is only one person – the eternal person of the word - subsisting in two natures, the divine and the human. Jesus is one, in the indivisible reality of his being and is, at the same time, perfect in his divinity, perfect in our humanity; he is equal to the Father, in all that concerns his divine nature, equal to us, with regard to human nature; true Son of God and true Son of man. The Heart of Jesus then, from the moment of the Incarnation, has been and always will be united to the Person of the Word of God.

Through the union of the Heart of Jesus to the Person of the Word of God we can say: in Jesus, God loves humanly, suffers humanly, rejoices humanly. And vice versa: in Jesus, human love, human suffering, human glory acquire divine intensity and power.

Gathered, dear brothers and sisters, for the prayer of the Angelus, let us contemplate with Mary the Heart of Jesus. The Virgin lived in faith, day after day, next to her Son Jesus: she knew that the flesh of her Son had flourished in her virginal womb; but she knew that because he was “the Son of the Most High" (Lk 1, 32), he infinitely transcended her: the Heart of her Son was, in fact, “united to the Person of the Word”. Hence she loved him as her Son and, at the same time, adored him as her Lord and God. May she grant us also to love and adore Christ, God and man, above all things, “with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our mind”. In this way, following her example, we will be the object of the divine and human predilections of the heart of her Son."

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'Man for Others' by Father William SJ, from England
- Blessed Rupert Meyer       

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Day 4 - Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus     

John Paul II's Angelus - Sunday, 16th June 1985
- in Italian & Spanish

"Through the immaculate heart of Mary we want to turn to the divine heart of her son, to the heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty!"

Behold: the infinite majesty of God was hidden in the human heart of the Son of Mary.  
This heart is our alliance.
This heart is the greatest closeness of God in regard to human hearts and human history.
This heart is the wonderful “condescension” of God: the human heart which pulsates with divine life: the divine life which pulsates in the human heart.

In the most holy Eucharist, with the “sense of faith” we discover the same heart
- the heart of infinite majesty, which continues to pulsate with the human love of Christ, God-man.
- how profoundly Pope Pius X, former patriarch of Venice, felt this love;
- how greatly he desired all Christians, from early childhood, to approach the Eucharist, making their Holy Communion: to unite themselves to this heart which, at a time, is for every man “the house of God and the gate of heaven.”

“House”: here, through Eucharistic Communion the heart of Jesus extends his home to every human heart.
“Gate”: here, in each of these human hearts He offers the prospect of eternal union with the most Holy Trinity.

Mother of God! While we meditate on the mystery of your annunciation, draw us close to this divine heart:
- heart of infinite majesty
- house of God and gate of heaven
- this heart which, from the moment of the annunciation by the angel, began to beat close to your virginal and maternal heart."

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'Man for Others' by Father Peter CSJ, from America
- Père Marie-Dominique Philippe OP       

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Day 5 - Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus     

John Paul II's Angelus - Sunday, 9th June 1985
- in Italian & Spanish

"At the hour of our communal prayer of the Angelus we turn, together with Mary – through her immaculate heart – towards the divine heart of her Son: the heart of Jesus, holy temple of God; heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High.”

Heart of a man like many, many other human hearts and, at the same time, heart of God the Son. If therefore it is true that every man “dwells”, in some way, in his heart, then in the heart of the man of Nazareth, of Jesus Christ, dwells God. It is the “temple of God”, being the heart of this man.

God the Son is united with the Father, as the eternal Word, “God from God, light from light … begotten not created.”

The Son is united with the Father in the Holy Spirit, who is the “breath” of the Father and of the Son and is, in the divine Trinity, the Person-Love.

The heart of the man Jesus Christ is therefore, in the trinitatian sense, the “temple of God”; is the interior temple of the Son who is united with the Father in the Holy Spirit through the unity of the Godhead. How inscrutable is the mystery of this heart which is the “temple of God” and the “tabernacle of the Most High!"

At the same time, it is the true “house of God with men” (Rev 21,3) since the heart of Jesus, in its interior temple, embraces all men. Everyone dwells there, embraced by the eternal love. To everyone – in the heart of Jesus – can be addressed the words of the prophet: “I have loved you with an everlasting love, by this you still have mercy.” (Jeremiah 31:3)

May this power of eternal love, which is in the divine heart of Jesus, be communicated today in a particular way to the young people who have received Confirmation.

In them the Holy Spirit should dwell in a particular way. Hence may their hearts also become - in the likeness of Christ – a “holy temple of God” and a “tabernacle of the Most High.”

I have often heard young people sing: “Do you know that you are the temple?” Yes. We are the temple of God and the Spirit of God dwells in us, according to the words of Saint Paul.

Through the immaculate heart of Mary let us remain in the covenant with the heart of Jesus, which is the “temple of God”, the most splendid and the most perfect “tabernacle of the Most High.”

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'Man for Others' by Nicolas, from France
- Père Vincent CM       

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Day 6 - Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus     

John Paul II's Angelus - Sunday, 14th July 1985
- in Italian & Spanish

"Heart of Jesus, sanctuary of justice and love."

The prayer of the Angelus reminds us each time of that salvific moment in which, under the heart of the Virgin of Nazareth, the heart of the Word, the Son of God, began to beat. In her womb he became man, through the workings of the Holy Spirit. In Mary’s womb the man was conceived and the heart was conceived.

This heart is – just like every human heart – a centre, a sanctuary in which the spiritual life pulsates with a special rhythm. The heart, the irreplaceable resonance of everything that the human spirit experiences.

Each human heart is called to pulsate with the rhythm of justice and charity. From it is measured the true dignity of man.

The heart of Jesus beats with the rhythm of justice and love according to the same divine measure! This is precisely the heart of God-man. In him all God’s justice towards man must be done to the end, and also, in a certain sense, the justice of man towards God. In the human heart of the Son of God the justice of God Himself is offered to humanity.

This justice is at the same time the gift of love.

Through the heart of Jesus love enters into human history, as subsistent love: “God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son” (Jn 3,16).

We desire to gaze, with the eyes of the Immaculate Virgin, on the light of that admirable mystery: justice which is revealed as love! Love which fills every measure of justice to the brim! And surpasses it!

Let us pray: that through your heart, O Mother of God, the heart of Jesus as “sanctuary of justice and charity” may become for us all 'the way, the truth and the life.'”

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'Man for Others' by Father Juraj, from Slovakia
- Pater František Paňák SJ       

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Day 7 - Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus     

John Paul II's Angelus - Sunday, 21st July 1985
- in Italian & Spanish

"Heart of Jesus, overflowing with goodness and love."

"We wish, in our Sunday angelus prayer, to turn to the heart of Christ, following the words of the Litany. We wish to speak to the heart of the Son through the heart of the Mother. What can be more beautiful than the talk between these two hearts? We wish to participate in it.

The heart of Jesus is a burning furnace of love”, because charity has something of the nature of fire, which burns and blazes to illuminate and heat.

At the same time, in the sacrifice of Calvary the heart of the Redeemer was not destroyed by the fire of suffering. Even if humanly it died, as ascertained by the Roman centurion piercing Christ’s side with a spear, in the divine economy of salvation this heart is still alive, as was manifested at the resurrection.  

And here, the living heart itself of the risen and glorified Redeemer is “overflowing with goodness and love: infinitely and superabundantly overflowing. The overflowing of the human heart reaches its divine measure in Christ.

This heart was already like this during the days of earthly life. What is narrated in the Gospel bears witness to this. The fullness of charity is manifested through goodness: through goodness it shone and diffused itself on everyone, firstly on all those suffering and poor, on everyone according to their needs and their truest expectations.

Such is the human heart of the Son of God also after the experience of the cross and of the sacrifice. Indeed, even more so: overflowing with love and with goodness.

At the moment of the annunciation began the conversation of the Mother’s heart with the Son’s heart. We join in this conversation today, meditating on the mystery of the incarnation in the prayer of the Angelus."

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'Man for Others' by Father Emmanuel CFR, from England
- Fr Harry, Fr Glenn Sudano CFR & Fr Jean Fulton CFR       

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Day 8 - Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus     

John Paul II's Angelus - Sunday, 28th July 1985
- in Italian & Spanish

"Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues."

"Under the Mother’s heart the man was conceived. The Son of God was conceived as a man. To venerate the moment of this conception, that is the mystery of the Incarnation, we join in the prayer of the Sunday Angelus.

In the light of the moment of conception, in the light of the mystery of the Incarnation, we look at the whole life of Jesus, born of Mary. Following the invocation of the litany, we try to describe in some way this inner life: through his heart.

The heart determines the depth of man. And in every case, it indicates the extent of this depth, in the interior experience of each one of us, as well as in inter-personal communication. The depth of Jesus Christ, indicated by the measure of his heart, is incomparable. It surpasses the depth of any man, because it is not just human, but at the same time divine.

This divine-human depth of Jesus’ heart is the depth of the virtues, of all the virtues. As a true man Jesus expresses the interior language of his heart through the virtues. In fact, by analyzing his behaviour all these virtues can be discovered and identified, as, historically, they emerge from the knowledge of human morality, as the cardinal virtues (prudence, justice, fortitude, temperance), and the others derived from them (these virtues are possessed to a high degree by the saints and, while always with divine grace, by geniuses of human ethos).

The invocation of the litany speaks in a very beautiful part of an "abyss" of the virtues of Jesus. This abyss, this depth signifies a particular degree of perfection of each virtue and its particular power. This depth and power of each virtue proceeds from love. The more each of the virtues are rooted in love, the greater is their depth.

Furthermore, in addition to love, humility also determines the depth of the virtues. Jesus said: "Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart" (Mt 11, 29).

In reciting the Sunday Angelus, let us ask Mary that we may ever draw closer to the heart of her Son. That we may be able to learn from him, from his virtues.

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'Man for Others' by Father Justin CSJ, from Hong Kong
- Father Michael       

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Day 9 - Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus     

John Paul II's Angelus - Sunday, 25th August 1985
- in Italian & Spanish

"Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts": Jesus Christ is king of hearts. We know that during his messianic activity in Palestine the people, seeing the signs he performed, wanted to proclaim him king.

They saw in Christ a true descendant of David, during whose reign Israel had been at the height of its splendour.

We also know that Jesus of Nazareth, before the tribunal of Pilate, to the question "Are you a king..?" responded: "My kingdom is not of this world.. For this I was born and for this I came into the world: to bear witness to the truth. Anyone who is of the truth hears my voice " (Jn 18, 33. 36-37).

In this way Christ is king of hearts. He never wanted to be temporal sovereign on the throne of David.

He wished only for that kingdom which is not of this world and which, at the same time, is rooted in this world through the truth in human hearts: in the inner man.

For this kingdom he announced the Gospel and performed great signs. For this kingdom, the kingdom of the adopted sons and daughters of God, he gave his life on the cross.

And he reconfirmed this kingdom by his resurrection, giving the Holy Spirit to the apostles and to the men in the Church.
In this way Jesus Christ is the king and center of all hearts.

Meeting him through the truth we draw closer to the kingdom, where God “will wipe away every tear” (Rev 7: 17) because he will be “all in all” (1 Cor 15, 28).

Today, meeting for the usual Sunday prayers of the Angelus, we raise - together with the mother of God - the invocation to the heart of her Son: "Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts, have mercy on me."

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'Man for Others' by Father Keith, from England
- Father Michael Hollings         

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Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque

3 2us by Father John Edwards SJ       

"St Margaret Mary Alacoque, is massively important. What she sees and hears will alter nearly every Catholic church to be built and the devotional life of every good Catholic. It will restore the Church after the blight of Jansenism, it will give rise to religious orders and devotional practices. Until the devotion to the Divine Mercy in the late 20th century, it will do more than anything else to assure us that God loves us - loves us humanly as well as divinely, that God thinks we're worth dying for."   Feast Day - 16th October

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3 2us on the Sacred Heart of Jesus    

by Father Stan Fortuna CFR 

"As St Jean-Marie Vianney has said .. "Love of the heart of Jesus is the priesthood." And I don't think he is just referring to us loving the heart, but the love of the heart of Jesus, the burning love that is in the heart of Jesus, is itself the priesthood. And when he was speaking last year about this, Pope Benedict said the first thing we need to learn from St John Vianney is the complete identification of the man with his ministry, and this ministry is nothing less than love. So on this great Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus it's really all about love."

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3 2us on the Immaculate Heart of Mary     

by Father Emmanuel Mansford CFR

"The wonderful thing about the heart of Mary is that it was a human heart and so she loved Jesus with this human heart. She loved him as we love people, she felt sad when he went away, she didn't always understand some of the things he said or did, but because she didn't have sin she trusted in the word that was revealed to her. So when we struggle to understand the work of Jesus in our life, the plan of God for us, we can say "Mary, lend me your heart that trusts so fully."