Cluny Sisters : Province of USA and Canada
Women bringing hope and compassion to our anquished world
Page Title

Cluny Devotion to the Sacred Heart

Act of Consecration
to the Sacred Heart
of Jesus

Heart of Jesus, patient and rich in mercy, full of goodness and love, we give to you all our power to love. May the world discover your merciful love through us. Heart of Jesus, treasure of those who call upon you, we give you all that we have and all that we are. May we place our talents and our strength at the service of all. Heart of Jesus, Son of God, obedient even unto death on the cross, we give you our wills and our freedom. May our entire life be a loving “Yes” to the Will of God. Heart of Jesus, source of life and holiness, we give you our homes and families, our parishes, and our workplaces, our hopes and our fears, everything that is part of our daily lives. Help us to respond to your wish to cast fire upon the earth and to set it ablaze with love! Heart of Jesus, may your kingdom come through the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

Amen.

History

Anne Marie’s devotion to the Heart of Jesus came from her mother. Claudine Parisot was a very devout Catholic wife and mother who instilled this devotion in her children at a very early age. When Claudine was pregnant with Anne-Marie, the baby used to move in her womb when she honored the Sacred Heart on Fridays. This happened so much, in fact, that she began to pray with greater fervor and confided this baby to the infinite love of Jesus. She often wondered what God had in mind for her unborn child. After Anne-Marie was born, Claudine had the secret conviction that her eldest daughter was made to do great things for God and his much persecuted Church. It was a blessing for all that Claudine impregnated the childhood of Anne-Marie and her brothers and sisters with an atmosphere of devotion and love for the Heart of Jesus.

During her early twenty’s, Anne-Marie wanted more than anything to give her life to God as a religious, but she kept encountering obstacles. In 1803 the way finally seemed clear and she set off for Val Sainte, a Trappistine monastery in Switzerland. There she would be under the direction of Dom de Lestrange, a wise man of God, who quickly saw the cloistered life was not for her. “The good God has His plans and we must carry them out,” he told her. She left Switzerland and returned to France to establish there a branch of the Trappistine Third Order. Though her plan was never realized, her experience with he Trappistines brought together for her both a powerful attraction to the Holy Will of God and an affiliation to the Association of the Sacred Heart, which was bestowed on the members of the Trappistine Order.

Anne Marie and those who banded together with her were women of their time. Devotion to the Sacred Heart was well known in Burgundy because of the revelations received in 1673 by St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in the convent at Paray-le-Monial. None of the attempts of the Revolution to stamp out the Catholic faith managed to destroy the popular devotion to the Sacred Heart. As soon as her own Congregation came into existence on May 12, 1807, Blessed Anne-Marie wanted to consecrate it to the Heart of Jesus to show her gratitude and to ensure the support of his divine Heart. She chose the feast of the Sacred Heart, which fell on June 6th that year. Barely a month after their religious profession, the Sisters placed themselves and the congregation under the protection of the Heart of Jesus. The celebration took place in the little chapel of the community in Chalon. The Blessed Sacrament was exposed for the whole day and in the evening Mother Javouhey and the other members consecrated themselves to the Sacred Heart. There were nine of them in all – the entire Congregation!

This consecration has been renewed annually ever since. The vitality of Cluny devotion to the Sacred Heart in the present day remains strong. At last count, in 2003, 17 Cluny communities spread around the world, including the Motherhouse, are named for the Sacred Heart. Over 300 hundred Sisters have chosen the Sacred Heart as part of their religious name in a variety of forms: Heart of Jesus, the Divine Heart, the Eucharistic Heart etc.

Devotion to the Sacred Heart Today

What meaning does devotion to the Sacred Heart hold for us today? In the past century or so, the Sacred Heart was honoured through the First Friday devotions, Adoration and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, the praying of the Litany of the Sacred Heart and other prayers addressed to the Heart of Jesus. For many today, these devotions do not hold much meaning. Perhaps the Holy Spirit is calling the Church to a different form of devotion, more directly rooted in the Gospels. In both the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures the heart is the essence of being, the seat of all loving. The Heart of Jesus is the Source of our learning to love. From that Heart, we discover how to live the two great commandments to love God and our neighbour by which Jesus sums up all his teaching. In order to live this teaching fully we must discover that Heart, we must enter into it. There is no better way to do this than to fix our gaze on Jesus as he is revealed to us in the Gospel. What do we learn about the Heart of Jesus from his words and actions in the Gospels?

As I reflect on the words and actions of Jesus in the Gospels, I ask Jesus to reveal to me:
how my heart – the essence of my being – reflects his;
how my heart needs to change in order to better resemble his?