Venue: Mother Of God Catholic
Date: 24 June 2017
The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (MSHJ) Guild in England & Wales will be holding their feast day in conjunction with their 10th Anniversary Celebrations on 24/6/17.
The purpose of this celebration is to bring together all Catholics in England & Wales for an unforgettable weekend of reflection on the words of our Mother Mary “ Do whatever he tells you” John 2:5 and enhance awareness of the Devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
WHY 10TH ANNIVESARY:
This is to come together as the Sacred Heart of Jesus guild to celebrate a great milestone of the guild. The guild started to practice in England & Wales in 2007 in one centre London and with nine (9) active members. To date the guild is now fully functional in 8centres namely, Bedfordshire, Birmingham, Bolton, Leeds, Leicester, London, Sheffield & Slough. The guild now has a total of 118 members and 10 youths.
ORIGINS OF THE MSHJ DEVOTION:
The Devotion to the MSHJ was specifically requested and established by our Lord Jesus Christ himself, through His explicit instructions in revelations to the French nun, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque.
Our Lord’s immense Love for mankind induced Him to deliver Himself up to death and give Himself entirely in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. Unfortunately in return , mankind has treated Him with neglect, indifference , ingratitude and even outrage.
His ardent desire to be known , loved, and honoured by all prompted Him to establish His reign in the Hearts of all through consecration to the Devotion and love of His Most Sacred Heart. He chose St. Margaret Mary Alacoque to undertake this Mission, and gave her full instructions in various apparitions, which she meticulously wrote down in her diaries. The diaries were then used to establish and propagate Devotion to all long after her death. During her time she was helped by Fr Lacombere a Jesuit priest to propagate this devotion.
In Zimbabwe, the Devotion was initially practiced by the Religious, mainly the Jesuits priests in mission schools, and thereafter introduced to the Laity in the 1950’s. The first Top Board was formed in 1967, made up of members from All Souls parish Kambuzuma and Sacred Heart Cathedral parish. Thereafter it spread to all parts of Harare and the rest of the Archdiocese, until 2006, when it was declared a National body.
The spread of the Devotion did not only stop in Zimbabwe but came as far as England and Wales. The guild started at London centre by Tete Siwale (Mai Mandizha) with the help of Fr Dzadagu, who helped with the letter of approval from Bishops in Harare to allow the guild to operate in diaspora. A committee was formed which comprised with Mrs Manjoro as chairperson, Tete Siwale as chief promoter. In 2007 the guild successfully held its 1st feast day celebrations at Luton.
WHO SHOULD PRACTICE IT AND WHY?
The authenticity of our Lord’s revelations to St Margaret Mary Alacoque was officially acknowledged by the Church, which strongly supports and encourages the practice of this Devotion by Catholics.
The MSHJ Guild is made up of confirmed Catholics who strive to actively practice the Devotion as handed down to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, and to promote and encourage other Catholics to practice the Devotion. This is achieved through co-ordinating activities of practising the Devotion, and through fostering awareness among parishioners.
It is important to emphasise that Devotion to the MSHJ does not necessarily mean that one has to be a member of the MSHJ Guild to practice it; all Catholics are encouraged to practice the Devotion.
It is justified that the Heart of Jesus be specially honoured and venerated by everyone , because it is Holy, with Holiness of God himself. It is the seat of all virtues , the source of all blessings, a place of refuge for all souls, and a means to obtain true salvation and to achieve the most sublime perfection.
Our Lord made 12Special Promises to St. Margaret Mary in favour of those who practice and promote the Sacred Heart of Jesus Devotion. It is most unfortunate that mankind is unaware of these Promises and therefore missing out on the benefits of any of these 12Promises.
IDENTITY OF THE MSHJ DEVOTION:
The Devotion to the MSHJ symbol is an image comprising the wounded heart of our Lord dripping with blood , surrounded by a crown of thorns and surmounted by a throne of flames and a cross.
The Flames coming from His Heart show the intensity of His Love and burning desire to be loved in return; the crown of thorns signify His immense pain caused by neglect, ingratitude and indifference to his immense love; the bleeding wound in His Heart was made by the lance of Longinus and signifies His Hurt by our sin, especially mortal sin; and the cross above the flames signify His love for us, so great that He died for us on the cross.
The 9th of our Lord’s 12 promises states that “l will bless the homes in which the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honoured”. This image is widely available in the form of pictures, medals, badges, key-rings etc. at Catholics shops.
The uniform worn by members of the MSHJ follows the 4liturgical colours of White (the colour of holiness, joy, celebration and triumph), Red (the colour of loyalty, blood and denotes Holy Spirit, fire of tongues at Pentecost, when the church came into existence), Violet/Purple (represents expectation, purification or penance, and is said to denote the purple gown that Jesus Christ wore when he was crucified).
Green (the colour of vitality, life, fresh leaves and grass-signifying a new life of hope for salvation),
Ladies: wear a white dress and a head scarf . Full members also wear a red cape and scapula which may be reversed to purple on other side depending on the liturgical period worn, while trainees wear green scapula in Stage 1 and purple scapula in stage 2.
Gentlemen: wear a white shirt and black trousers. Full members also wear a red stole which may be reversed to purple on the other side depending on the liturgical period worn, while trainees wear green stole in stage1 and purple stole in stage 2.
HOW IS THIS DEVOTION PRACTICED?
Devotion to the MSHJ may be practised through:
➢ .Veneration for the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus by praying to Him always, displaying the image of His Heart as a true symbol of His love for us, observing special feasts such as the Sacred Heart feast and generally promoting the Devotion among Catholics.
➢ Expressing an ardent love for the Lord who loved us First, by always placing His will first before theirs; and love for mankind through helping others, especially the needy and the enemy.
➢ Having an extreme horror of every kind of sin by frequently receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation; reparation for the souls in purgatory, for our sins and those of others by praying for them; attending the 1st Friday Mass and have frequent holy hour periods of reflection in remembrance of the Lord’s Passion.
➢ Frequent attendance of Holy Mass and receiving Holy Communion-even daily; assisting others to achieve the pre-requisites for the Sacrament of Holy Communion; frequent visits to and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
➢ Maintaining a lively faith of continuous prayer, especially daily offering to the MSHJ, to our Lady and praying the Rosary; performing all kinds of good works and generally living a life of a good unifying Christian.
For more information about the 10th Anniversary Celebrations and about the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Devotion, please feel free to enquire from the Guild members and their] leadership at your centre.