Jesus’ Sacred Heart is on fire in passionate love of you. It’s wreathed in thorns commemorating His Passion and to show that His Passion wasn’t just a wounding of the body, but of his very heart. It’s pierced in remembrance of it being pierced on Calvary and blood and water pouring forth. It’s surmounted by a cross, again in commemoration of His Passion. And finally, it’s usually surrounded by rays of light because Jesus is the light of the world.
Devotion to the Sacred Heart grew from a devotions to the wounds of Christ, and is one of the most widely practiced devotions among Catholics. In the words of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, the saint to whom the devotion was revealed to, “Our Lord Jesus Christ desires that we should, for sanctifying ourselves, glorify His all-loving Heart; for it was His Heart that suffered the most in His Sacred Humanity”.
In one of the visions of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary, He asked that on the first Friday of every month, the faithful make a Communion for reparation of sins* – meaning to go to Mass and receive Communion – and to go to Confession first if you committed a mortal sin. That’s it. Just Mass and Communion.
In this apparition, Jesus said; “Behold this heart which, not withstanding the burning love for men with which it is consumed and exhausted, meets with no other return from most Christians than sacrilege, contempt, indifference and ingratitude, even in the sacrament of my love [the Eucharist]. But what pierces my heart most deeply is that I am subjected to these insults by persons especially consecrated to my service.”
For completing this devotion for nine consecutive months, Jesus said; “I promise you in the unfathomable mercy of my heart that my omnipotent love will procure the grace of final penitence for all those who receive communion on nine successive first Fridays of the month; they will not die in my disfavor [the grace of final repentance], or without having received the sacraments, since my divine heart will be their sure refuge in the last moments of their life.” (Emphasis added.) This is the last of 12 promises Jesus gives for all those devoted to His Sacred Heart. The other 11 are below.
This sticker serves as a reminder to console Jesus’s heart and to get to Mass on the first Friday of every month.
The Catholic Company has a really good article explaining the First Friday devotions here.
*This phrase “reparation of sins” means to offer a prayer or fast for the forgiveness of sins of yourself or others. Like a penance for another soul. Often, Jesus or Mary will ask for reparation to be made for sins against the Sacred Heart, human life, or the Eucharist. This consoles the heart of Jesus and teaches us be more sorry for our sins – as we meditate on how much Jesus is hurt by the sins of others, we see more clearly how much He suffers for our own sins.
The 12 promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
1. I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life.
2. I will establish peace in their homes.
3. I will comfort them in all their afflictions.
4. I will be their secure refuge during life, and above all, in death.
5. I will bestow abundant blessings upon all their undertakings.
6. Sinners will find in my Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
7. Lukewarm souls shall become fervent.
8. Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.
9. I will bless every place in which an image of my Heart is exposed and honored.
10. I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
11. Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in my Heart.
12. I promise you in the excessive mercy of my Heart that my all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Fridays in nine consecutive months the grace of final perseverance; they shall not die in my disgrace, nor without receiving their sacraments. My divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.