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Catholic Activity: Celebrating the Feast of the Sacred Heart

Maria Trapp recounts the story of Saint Margaret Mary, and the twelve promises of Christ to those who cultivate a devotion to the Sacred Heart in their homes.


Eight days after Corpus Christi follows the feast of the Sacred Heart. After Jesus had died for us on the Cross, He wanted to do even more — to give His last drop of blood. And so the Roman soldier pierced His heart with a lance. One would think this would have convinced all later generations of their Redeemer's love. But the "Prince of this world" saw to it that Christians in the course of time became forgetful of this love. To remind us, Jesus in 1675 appeared to a humble little nun in France, St. Margaret Mary, all aglow and radiant, the Risen Christ of Easter Sunday. On His breast she saw His heart all afire. Our Lord pointed to it, saying, "Behold, this heart which has loved men so much," and He told her to spread the news: everyone who would venerate this symbol of the Divine Heart He would ward with divine generosity.

I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life. I will establish peace in their houses. I will comfort them in all their afflictions. I will be their secure refuge during life, and above all in death. I will bestow a large blessing upon all their undertakings. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and the infinite ocean of mercy. Tepid souls shall grow fervent. Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection. I will bless every place where a picture of My Heart shall be set up and honored. I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts. Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be blotted out. I promise them 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 shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving the Sacraments; My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.

As our home is called "Cor Unum" and our motto for daily life that we want to be one heart and one soul, we chose the feast of the Sacred Heart as our family feast. On that day, after a Solemn High Mass and the feast-day breakfast, we have our yearly family conference. We report on all the doings of the past year, we talk about the plans of the coming year. This is the day for every one of us to say whether he or she wants to stay in the family choir known as the Trapp Family Singers for another season; whoever wants to get married or whoever wants to do something on his own — this is the day to say so. This custom comes from the old country. Many families have their family day on the feast of the Holy Family in January, some on the feast of St. Joseph, who was a family man.

Activity Source: Around the Year with the Trapp Family by Maria Augusta Trapp, Pantheon Books Inc., New York, New York, 1955

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