Monday, June 06, 2005

Pope On The Two Hearts and the Priesthood

The Holy Father commemorated the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the World Day for Priests, with the following message:

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

Last Friday we celebrated the solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, devotion profoundly rooted in the Christian people. In biblical language, "heart" indicates a person's center, seat of his feelings and intentions. In the heart of the Redeemer we adore God's love of humanity, his will of universal salvation, his infinite mercy. Worship of the Sacred Heart of Christ means, therefore, worship of that heart which, after having loved us to the end, was pierced by the spear, and from the cross on high, shed blood and water, inexhaustible source of new life.

The feast of the Sacred Heart has also been the World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests, propitious occasion to pray so that presbyters will prefer nothing to the love of Christ. Profoundly devoted to the Sacred Heart of Christ was Blessed Giovanni Battista Scalabrini, bishop and patron of immigrants, the centenary of whose death we observed on June 1. He founded the men and women Missionaries of St. Charles Borromeo, known as the "Scalabrini," to proclaim the Gospel among Italian immigrants.

Recalling this great bishop, my thoughts go to those who are far from their homeland and often also from their families; I hope that they will always meet receptive friends and hearts on their path who are capable of supporting them in the difficulties of every day.

Undoubtedly, the heart that is most like Christ's is the heart of Mary, his Immaculate Mother, and precisely for this reason, the liturgy introduces her for our veneration. Responding to the invitation addressed by the Virgin of Fatima, let us commend to her Immaculate Heart, which we contemplated in a particular way yesterday, the whole world so that it will experience the merciful love of God and true peace.

Recommended Readings:

The Sacred Heart and the Priesthood by Mother Louise Margaret Claret de la Touche. It tells of her lifetime conversations with Our Lord; written to strengthen priests in the love of their sublime vocation and unite them more closely to the "Eternal Priest."

John Paul II Prays the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus published by Our Sunday Visitor

The Virgin Mary and the Priesthood by Pierre Cardinal Philippe


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