In 1673, a nun named Margaret Mary Alacoque (who later became a saint) began to have visions of Jesus. He told her that His heart was full of love, and He asked her to tell others about her visions. Margaret Mary did what Jesus asked her and helped to establish many prayers to the Sacred Heart. It is because of her work that we celebrate today’s feast, the Feast of the Sacred Heart.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that the Sacred Heart is one of the most important symbols of Jesus’ love for us.
Jesus knew and loved us each and all during his life, his agony and his Passion, and gave himself up for each one of us: “The Son of God. . . loved me and gave himself for me.” He has loved us all with a human heart. For this reason, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, pierced by our sins and for our salvation, “is quite rightly considered the chief sign and symbol of that. . . love with which the divine Redeemer continually loves the eternal Father and all human beings” without exception. CCC 478
The heart is a symbol of love. In pictures of the Sacred Heart, we see a heart that is surrounded by a crown of thorns, which reminds us of the suffering that Jesus endured for us. He suffered because He loves us, so the Sacred Heart is also on fire with love for all people. Even when we reject God’s love through sin, He still loves us.