Abrahamic / Middle Eastern Christianity A Prayer to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque For the Graces of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Share Flipboard Email Print Sacred Heart of Jesus statue next to right side altar in St. Mary's Oratory, Rockford, IL. Scott P. Richert Christianity Catholicism Prayers Beliefs and Teachings Tips Worship Saints Holy Days and Holidays Christianity Origins The Bible The New Testament The Old Testament Practical Tools for Christians Christian Life For Teens Christian Prayers Weddings Inspirational Bible Devotions Denominations of Christianity Funerals and Memorial Services Christian Holidays Christian Entertainment Key Terms in Christianity Latter Day Saints View More By Scott P. Richert Catholicism Expert M.A., Political Theory, Catholic University of America B.A., Political Theory, Michigan State University Scott P. Richert is senior content network manager of Our Sunday Visitor. He has written about Catholicism for outlets including Humanitas and Catholic Answers Magazine. our editorial process Scott P. Richert Updated June 06, 2017 Background For Roman Catholics, devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus has for centuries been one of the most widely practiced devotions. Symbolically, the literal heart of Jesus represents the compassion of the heart that Christ feels for mankind, and it is invoked in any number of Catholic prayers and novenas. Historically, the first documented indications of ritual devotion to the literal, physical heart of Jesus are traced to the 11th and 12th centuries in Benedictine monasteries. It was likely an evolution of medieval devotion to the Sacred Wound--the spear wound in the side of Jesus. But the form of devotion we now know is most commonly associated with St. Margaret Mary Alacoque of France, who had a series of visions of Christ in from 1673 to 1675 in which in is said that Jesus bestowed the devotional practice to the nun. There is record of the Sacred Heart of Jesus being a subject for prayer and discussion much earlier--for St. Gertrude, for example, who died in 1302, devotion to the Sacred Heart was a common theme. And in 1353 Pope Innocent VI instituted a Mass honoring the mystery of the Sacred Heart. But in its modern form, devotional prayer to the Sacred Heart was widely popularized in the years following Margret Mary's revelations in 1675. Upon her death in 1690, a short history of Margaret Mary was published, and her form of devotion to the Sacred Heart gradually spread through French religious communities. In 1720, an outbreak of plague in Marseilles caused the devotion to the Sacred Heart to spread into lay communities, and over the following decades, the papacy was petitioned several times for a declaration of an official feast day for the Sacred Heart devotion. In 1765, this was granted to the French bishops, and in 1856, the devotion was officially recognized for the worldwide Catholic Church. In 1899, Pope Leo XIII decreed that on June 11 the entire world would be consecrated in the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and with time, the Church set an official annual feast day for the Sacred Heart of Jesus to fall 19 days after Pentecost. The Prayer In this prayer, we ask St. Margaret Mary to intercede for us with Jesus, that we may obtain the grace of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Saint Margaret Mary, thou who wast made a partaker of the divine treasures of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, obtain for us, we beseech thee, from this adorable Heart, the graces we need so sorely. We ask these favors of thee with unbounded confidence. May the divine Heart of Jesus be pleased to bestow them upon us through thy intercession, so that once again He may be loved and glorified through thee. Amen.V. Pray for us, O blessed Margaret;R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.Let us pray.O Lord Jesus Christ, who didst wondrously open the unsearchable riches of Thy Heart to blessed Margaret Mary, the virgin: grant unto us, by her merits and our imitation of her, that we may love Thee in all things and above all things, and may be worthy to have our everlasting dwelling in the same Sacred Heart: who livest and reignest, world without end. Amen.