Rediscover Feast of Sacred Heart, John Paul II Tells Youth

Occasion to Penetrate Mystery of Divine Love, He Says

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 5, 2002 ( John Paul II called on youth to rediscover one of the Church´s most profound feasts, that of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which will be celebrated Friday.

The Holy Father said it is a special occasion to penetrate “the mystery of divine love for people of all times.”

At the end of today´s general audience, held in St. Peter´s Square in the presence of 12,000 faithful, the Pope addressed youth in particular, with an invitation: “Prepare yourselves in the school of the Heart of Christ to face with confidence the commitments that await you.”

The “Directory on Popular Piety and Liturgy,” published this year by the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, presents in No. 166 the expression “Heart of Christ” with reference to the “mystery of Christ himself, to the totality of his being, of his person considered in its profound and essential nucleus.”

The document suggests as forms of devotion “personal consecration” so that the Heart of Jesus will reign in one´s own heart; the “consecration of the family”; the Litanies of the Heart of Jesus (approved for the whole Church in 1891); the “act of reparation” (prayer to implore mercy for offenses to Jesus); and the practice of the “nine first Fridays of the month.”

This custom, promoted by St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, also counsels frequent reception of the sacraments.

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