Yesterday I visited the mother of my friend Peter Davies in her home in Chesham, Buckinghamshire. We went in, sat down in the sitting room and in pride of place on the mantelpiece was the picture illustrated here.
Mrs Davies told me to take it down and look at it if I wanted, so I did. I then asked if I might photograph it. The only camera with which I have been equipped for a while has been the one on my iPhone 4. Nevertheless, the camera has done me proud, I believe.
For those that don’t know, there are 12 Promises of the Sacred Heart as made to St Margaret Mary to encourage all Catholics to know and understand the benefit of practising the Devotion and to encourage all to take up its immediate practice.
12 Promises of the Sacred Heart
- I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life.
- I will give peace in their families and will unite families that are divided.
- I will console them in all their troubles.
- I will be their refuge during life and above all in death.
- I will bestow the blessings of Heaven on all their enterprises.
- Sinners shall find in my Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
- Tepid souls shall become fervent.
- Fervent souls shall rise quickly to great perfection.
- I will bless those places wherein the image of My Heart shall be exposed and honoured, and will imprint My love on the hearts of those who would wear this image on their person. I will also destroy in them all disordered movements.
- I will give to priests who are animated by a tender devotion to my Divine Heart the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
- Those who promote this devotion shall have their names written in my Heart, never to be effaced.
- I promise you in the excessive mercy of my Heart that my all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the First Friday in nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence: they will not die in my disgrace, nor without receiving their Sacraments. My Divine heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.
- The Nine Fridays must be made in honour of His Sacred Heart, meaning, practicing the devotion and having a great love of His Sacred Heart. They must be on the first Friday of the month for nine consecutive months, and Communion must be received.
The Prayer on the picture says:
Visit we beseech Thee O Lord, this house and family, and drive far from it the enemy; let Thy Holy Angels dwell herein to preserve us in Peace and let Thy Blessing be always upon us Through Our Lord Jesus Christ Amen.
May our Lord bless us and preserve us from all evil and bring us to life everlasting, And may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.
The Imprimatur is from + Georgius Patricius Episcopus Loïdensis (who was translated to Birmingham from Leeds in 1965 and retired in 1981, and died in 1987. Archbishop Dwyer is buried at Oscott College.)
Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart
Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before Thy altar. We are Thine, and Thine we wish to be; but to be more surely united with Thee, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to Thy most Sacred Heart. Many indeed have never known Thee; many too, despising Thy precepts, have rejected Thee. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to Thy Sacred Heart. Be Thou King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken Thee, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned Thee; grant that they may quickly return to their Father’s house lest they die of wretchedness and hunger. Be Thou King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof, and call them back to the harbor of truth and unity of faith, so that soon there may be but one flock and one Shepherd. Be Thou King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry or of Islamism, and refuse not to to draw them all into the light and kingdom of God. Turn Thine eyes of mercy towards the children of that race, once Thy chosen people: of old they called down upon themselves the Blood of the Savior; may It now descend upon them, a laver of redemption and of life. Grant, O Lord, to Thy Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give peace and order to all nations, and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: “Praise be to the divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to It be glory and honor for ever.” Amen.