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Litany to the Sacred Heart
Offers Rich Meditations

Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
In this month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, I would highly recommend that you read the Litany of the Heart of Jesus. It is indeed a true wonder! I would like to comment on some of the invocations today.

First, on this beautiful invocation: Heart of Jesus, formed by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mother.

sacred heart

Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty

Let us consider the Heart of Jesus, which is – in its material and carnal reality – the object of our worship as a symbol of the will of Our Lord and, therefore, of His love. The Heart of Jesus was formed in the Immaculate womb of Our Lady with the matter that the Mother gives for the formation of the body of the Child. Therefore, the most holy Flesh of Our Lord Jesus Christ, united with the Divinity in the Hypostatic Union, is the very flesh of Mary. The Blood of Jesus is Mary's own blood; the Heart of Jesus is in some way the Heart of Mary.

In this invocation of that admirable process of generation, in which the Mother releases and gives of herself everything necessary to constitute the body of the Child, let us recall that it was Jesus in His entirety was thus formed from the body of Mary in an ocean, a veritable fire of love and adoration for that Son whom she was forming in her womb. Then we can better understand how the Heart of Jesus is linked to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

And we realize how we can have an unreserved confidence in the effectiveness of Our Lady's intercession with Our Lord, knowing that Our Lord can refuse nothing to that most holy and perfect Mother, of whom He has no complaint. Further, in her He has the most superlative and total contentment a Creator can have in relation to His creature. Still more, He knows that His own Flesh is the flesh of Our Lady and that His own Heart is the Heart of Our Lady, so to speak.

I think that this invocation, for those who are devoted to Our Lady, has a great meaning that could not pass unnoticed in these comments.

Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty

Another beautiful invocation is Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty.

St. Augustine says: “ Where humility is, there is majesty ” (Ubi humilitas, ibi maiestas, Sermon 14), meaning that the two are inseparable.

Hence we conclude that the Heart of Jesus, which is an abyss of humility, is for that very reason a firmament of majesty. I would like to be an artist and know how to represent the figure of Our Lord by trying to express not only His majesty and humility, but as One in whom we see, at a glance, what majesty has in common with humility, or vice versa. I would like also to be able to express that superior sphere of virtue where these two virtues meet and merge.

le beau dieu amiens

The Beau Dieu d’Amiens shows Christ’s supreme majesty & supreme humility

Here I am reminded of the statue of the Beau Dieu d'Amiens (the Good God of Amiens), which is so expressive in this sense. It is a figure that does not have the Heart of Jesus, it is Our Lord Jesus Christ on the portal of the Cathedral of Amiens.

The Beau Dieu has always given me the impression of being a most dignified King and most noble Doctor, but at the same time One so serene, so meek, so completely master of Himself that one perceives that He would be capable of receiving the worst injury and remain entirely quiet, completely serene, without any reaction of self-love.

I have the impression that this image of the Good God of Amiens is one that best demonstrates this link between supreme majesty and supreme humility.

We, who prize being sons of the Counter-Revolution and know how the Revolution takes every opportunity to caricature humility and silence majesty, should ask the Heart of Jesus to give to the heart of each one of us that lofty and most noble form of majesty, which every counter-revolutionary must have, a majesty that bears in itself a sense of royalty, perfect order, honor and hierarchy, and what is majestic even in the humblest of men.

Here I recall that extraordinary figure of Blessed Anna Maria Taigi (1769-1837), who was a simple cook in Rome, who never wanted or tried to pass for a queen, but who had such an air of majesty that it was impossible to pass near her without feeling intimidated.

Or St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, who was so majestic in her unpretentiousness and affability that even her father always called her “my little queen.”

A burning furnace of charity; patient & merciful

Another invocation is Heart of Jesus, burning furnace of charity. We know that the Heart of Jesus is a burning furnace of God's love, because charity is properly the love of God. And the fact that He is a burning furnace – that is, not just a furnace which in itself already conveys the idea of ardor, but a fiery furnace – expresses well the idea that He is the focus of all of God’s love.

immaculate heart

The Immaculate Heart of Mary is the easy & best way to her Son’s Heart

Thus, devotion to the Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary is especially splendid for those who lament being lukewarm or are dragging themselves slowly in the spiritual life.

The devotion to the Sacred Heart is what communicates this fire from the furnace of charity, and in such a way that if we want true love of God, for ourselves or for others, this is one of the best and most excellent devotions.

I also think that the invocation, Heart of Jesus, patient and most merciful, is very important for our time. What exactly does patient mean? One who suffers is patient. He is One who suffered, He is capable of being merciful while suffering the injuries that we inflict upon him.

The Heart of Jesus that is disposed to suffer, loves that suffering, and understands that suffering is the great law of life and that an existence without suffering is worth absolutely nothing. This makes Him most merciful to us.

The valor of a man depends on his capacity to suffer

Ultimately, viewing things from a certain angle, a man's life has valor insofar as he suffers and loves the suffering he undergoes. And so here we have the patient Heart of Jesus.


Suffering demonstrates a man’s valor

One of the most typical expressions of the capacity to suffer is the spirit of initiative, by which a man overcomes inertia, conquers laziness, quells boredom, defeats self-love and throws himself into work and into the fight, entering even the heaviest and most ardent part of the fight, if necessary. At the same time, he is ready to leave that fight immediately if the interest of the Church leads him in a different direction.

Here is the superior form of patience, which is that spirit of initiative and combativeness by which a man renounces all his laziness and all his relaxations. This is what we must ask of the Heart of Jesus, patient and most merciful.

One who shows pity is merciful. Here arises another matter: the enormous difficulty of convincing the souls of my dear new generation of the mercy of God, who forgives once, twice, two thousand times and just does not want souls to become discouraged over asking pardon.

Heart of Jesus, patient and most merciful is a magnificent invocation to give us confidence in Our Lord's forgiveness, through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. "Heart of Jesus, be patient with my faults and sins; have mercy on my shortcomings, have pity on me through the Immaculate Heart of Mary." It is an excellent invocation even to recite during the day in order not to lose confidence in Our Lord Jesus Christ.

A way to give thanks


Sacred Heart of Jesus, burning furnace of charity

Another invocation: Heart of Jesus, propitiation for our sins. It happens that at times we feel fundamentally unworthy, something even the purest and highest souls can feel. We realize that before the infinite justice of God, we are absolutely nothing. But this invocation gives us tranquility: The Sacred Heart of Jesus is a propitiation for our sins.

What does propitiation mean? I am worth nothing. The sacrifices I make – which prove to me that I am worthless – are of no value before Thee. But there is a Victim who is worth everything, because He is a victim without stain, without flaw, He is a Victim joined to Divinity itself by the Hypostatic Union. This Victim is Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who offered Himself for me in such a way that everything I fear that I cannot achieve, this Victim achieves it.

This Victim bore my sins. This Victim suffered for my sins. I consider my sins with shame and contrition, at the least with attrition, but also with an immense trust because of the One Who died for me, Who shed every drop of His Blood for me.

Thus, I have confidence not in myself, but in this infinitely Precious Blood that was shed for me.

Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation

One last invocation I will consider is Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation.

The word consolation has two meanings: one that corresponds to giving strength, and another that speaks of the joy, suavity and unction of the Divine Holy Spirit in the soul. In both senses the Sacred Heart of Jesus is the source of all consolation.

sacred heart

Our strength comes from Him, who gives us everything

Our strength comes from Him. And when we feel weak, lukewarm, disoriented, above all when we are faced with some great act of generosity to which we are called but lack the courage to undertake, we must not take an Olympian attitude or imagine that by ourselves we can do this thing.

No! The Heart of Jesus is the source of all strength. We go to His Heart through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the necessary and only channel to reach the Heart of Jesus, and we ask her to address the Heart of Jesus and ask Him for strength. I shall not become discouraged in my request, and, at a certain moment, I will find that I have the strength needed to carry out even the most difficult things related to the spiritual life.

These are some considerations we can take advantage of in our Communions.

How excellent it would be, for example, if each day in June we were to choose one of the invocations in the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus – perhaps even at random – to consider when we receive Communion, realizing that we truly receive in our souls the real, physical, true and living presence of that Heart upon which we are meditating.

Considering the invocation that the Heart of Jesus is the source of all strength, one of us could prepare for his Communion like this:

"Lord, Thou art the source of all strength, and I desire to have a thousand times more strength than I have to serve Thee better. I know that Thou art the source of this strength, and Thou art present within me now. Give me strength against Thy external enemies and against the evil tendencies in me, which are Thy enemies also. Have mercy on me, I ask Thee, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary."

These meditations should be made by free movements of the soul. But here I make a suggestion that when one is suffering aridity in his Communions, he take one of the invocations of this Litany and pray it. That Communion can become a fountain of true graces.


We should ask Our Lady to bring us to the Heart of Jesus in our communions


Blason de Charlemagne
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Posted June 2, 2021