Click on image to Download poster (PDF)

WORLDPRIEST ROSARY RELAY
NOVENA TO THE SACRED HEART

THIS NOVENA WAS SPECIALLY WRITTEN FOR THE WORLDPRIEST ANNUAL GLOBAL ROSARY RELAY FOR THE SANTIFICATION OF PRIESTS
BY BERNARD MCGUCKIAN S.J. WORLDPRIEST CHAPLAIN

DAY ONE

DAY ONE SACRED HEART NOVENA

Patrons of Day One: The Two Disciples on the Road to Emmaus: Luke 24: 1-35

“If you ever find yourself on a French train, ask the person beside you where it’s going!” This was the advice given me by the late Fr Fergal McGrath, our Jesuit Superior at Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin. It was 1963 and I was setting off to study philosophy in France. I must confess that I was hoping for some advice of a more spiritual nature.
About a year later, I arrived breathlessly at the railway station at Lyons, just in time to catch the 3 p.m. non-stop Express to Paris. I just made it. Phew! As I took my seat I was thanking my lucky stars. I could see the Stationmaster on the Platform doing his final check. The words of Fr Fergal came back to me. I had decided to put them out of my mind when the man opposite me looked over his copy of Le Monde. “Paris?” I said casually. “Mais non! Marseille!” he screamed. I never made my way to a door quicker in my life. It was closing as I got out. I shouted to the Stationmaster. “Paris?” “La” he pointed to the closing doors on the other side of the platform. I just made it.
In his Gospel, St Luke tells us about two men who were going the wrong way: walking away from Jerusalem, disappointed and sad, heading for a place called Emmaus. Making decisions when in desolation is a bad idea, as Ignatius of Loyola cautions. They are invariably ill-advised.
A Stranger joined them. At table He celebrated the Eucharist, the first recorded after his Glorious Resurrection. “He took the bread and said the blessing; then He broke it and handed it to them”. As He disappeared, they realised who had been walking with them. “Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road and explained the scriptures to us?” Luke 24:32. Even more importantly, they immediately changed direction and made their way back to Jerusalem and ultimately to the Heavenly Jerusalem.
On the first of our nine days of prayer, perhaps we might take a moment to silently consider a change of direction in some aspect of our own lives.

 

Novena Prayer:
Lord Jesus you once said, ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you. I come before today with faith in your words, hope in your promises and love for your Sacred Heart. Grant the favour I ask in this Novena (here mention your request). But if what I ask is not for Your Glory or the good of my soul obtain for me what is most conducive to both. Amen
Our Father…Hail Mary ….Glory be to the Father etc.

DAY TWO

DAY TWO SACRED HEART NOVENA

PATRON OF THE DAY: ST JOHN THE EVANGELIST: JOHN 19:25-27.

FEASTDAY: DECEMBER 29TH

At the Last Supper, St John the Evangelist, the Beloved Disciple rested his head on the breast of Jesus. According to tradition it was this proximity to the Heart of Jesus that enabled him to write with such authority about the inner life of the Saviour, so evident in his gospel. He was the only one of the 12 Apostles who followed Jesus faithfully right to the top of Mount Calvary. The others had run away.
In John 19 we learn that one of the last things Jesus did before expiring on the Cross involved his Mother and the Beloved Disciple. When I first preached on this passage, quoting from memory I had attributed to Jesus the following: “Mother, behold your Son” and then “Son, behold your Mother”. It seemed nicely balanced. However an older Jesuit colleague pointed out that I was quoting St John inaccurately. What John wrote was different: “Woman, behold your son” and to the Beloved Disciple, “Behold your mother”.
Jesus addressed Mary as “Woman” not Mother. This is a challenge to the faith of us all. To the people of Nazareth who knew the family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph in Nazareth, it did not require faith to know that Mary was his Mother. But to know that she is the “Woman”, the New Eve and now Mother of us all, requires faith. Again, Jesus did not address the Beloved Disciple as “Son”. The Beloved Disciple was not a “Son” of the One dying on the cross. On being made a Child of Mary and consequently a sibling of Jesus, he represents every man or woman who has ever lived or who will ever live. “Behold, your mother” This dying wish of Jesus is an invitation to us all to acknowledge the Woman who was His Mother as our Mother too. This event seems to anticipate the doctrine of divine adoption so beloved of St Paul.
“It is a terrible thing at death to fall into the hands of a living God if during life we have refused the embrace of a dying God”. St Margaret Mary Alacoque. Cf Hebrews 10:31

Novena Prayer

Lord Jesus you once said, ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you. I come before today with faith in your words, hope in your promises and love for your Sacred Heart. Grant the favour I ask in this Novena (here mention your request). But if what I ask is not for Your Glory or the good of my soul, obtain for me what is most conducive to both. Our Father…Hail Mary…..Glory be to the Father etc.

DAY THREE

DAY THREE: NOVENA IN HONOUR OF THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS.

PATRON: SAINT PAUL. FEASTDAY OF THE CONVERSION OF ST PAUL: JANUARY 25

Chapter 13 of St Paul’s First Letter to the people of Corinth has been described as the most beautiful 300 words ever written. You might check them out for yourself. You could read the whole thing in about two minutes flat!
He tells them about all the wonderful qualities that I might have but if I have not love they are not even worth talking about: capacity to speak every language there is, whether in heaven or on earth, ability to understand every conceivable mystery, faith to move the very mountains themselves, preparedness to strip myself of everything in favour of the poor and even to go so far as to offer my body to be burnt alive. To say that these are impressive qualities would be a gross understatement.
Paul, however, insists that without love these qualities are worthless. The qualities that he then goes on to describe as characteristic of love seem so insignificant compared with the extraordinary qualities he has just outlined yet they are all gifts of the Sacred Heart to each one of us.
“Love is always patient and kind; love is never jealous; love is not boastful or conceited, it is never rude and never seeks its own advantage, it does not take offence or store up grievances. Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but finds its joy in truth. It is always ready to make allowances, to trust, to hope and to endure whatever comes.” I Corinthians: 4-7.
Reading these lines helped St Therese of Lisieux discover her vocation to be “love at the heart of the Church” and become co-Patron along with St Francis Xavier of the whole mission of the Church.

NOVENA PRAYER
Lord Jesus, you once said ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you. I come before you today with faith in your words, hope in your promises and love for your Sacred Heart. Grant the favour I ask in this Novena (here mention your request). But if what I ask is not for Your Glory or the good of my soul, obtain for me what is most conducive to both. Amen.
Our Father…………………Hail Mary………………….Glory be to the Father etc.

DAY FOUR

DAY FOUR: SACRED HEART NOVENA

PATRON: ST MARY MAGDALEN: FEASTDAY JULY 22

It has taken about 2000 years for St Mary Magdalen to be given full recognition by the Church for her role in salvation history. According to the Gospels, she was the first person to see the Risen Christ. It is also recorded that the Lord sent her to tell of her experience to Peter and the others. For this reason she is now officially and most appropriately known as the “Apostle to the Apostles”. From now on priests are obliged to offer Mass in her honour on her Feast Day, July 22nd. It is no long simply optional.
The scriptures highlight two things which she did. The first of these is that she did something that only young people do. She ran. The Scriptures tell us that as soon as she discovered that the tomb was empty she ran to tell Peter and John about it. Then they in their turn ran to check for themselves. John the younger of the two tells us that he ran faster than Peter. After the Resurrection, we are all invited to run and even to fly, regardless of our age. “The Lord renews your youth like the eagle” Psalm 103(102)
The other thing the Gospels highlight is Mary’s weeping. As she stood disconsolate before the tomb her eyes were filled with tears. A mystic once said that there are somethings that can only be seen through eyes that have been filled with tears. Mary’s tears ended and the whole truth dawned on her when the One she presumed to be the Gardener simply said “Mary”. He knows everyone of us by name too. His love for us is as personal as that!

NOVENA PRAYER
Lord Jesus, you once said, ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you. I come before you today with faith in your words, hope in your promises and love for your Sacred Heart. Grant the favour I ask in this Novena (here mention your request). But if what I ask is not for Your Glory or the good of my soul, obtain for me what is most conducive to both.
Our Father…………………….Hail Mary…………………..Glory be to the Father etc.

DAY FIVE

DAY FIVE: SACRED HEART NOVENA

PATRON: ST GERTRUDE THE GREAT (1256-1302): FEASTDAY: NOVEMBER 16

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus began on Calvary when the Roman Centurion plunged his lance into the Sacred Side of Our Saviour, to make sure that he was truly dead. We learn this from St John who witnessed the event as it happened. This prompted him to recall the prophecy of Zechariah many centuries earlier: “They shall look on the One they have pierced” Zechariah 12: 10. However, strange as it may seem, the focus in the prayer life of Christians over subsequent centuries was the Wound in the side and not the Pierced Heart within. It was a whole millennium later that St Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109) stressed the piercing of the Heart of the Saviour. For this insight, he has been known to theologians over the years as Father of Devotion to the Sacred Heart.
Some of the greatest saints in the Church calendar were inspired by this intuition of St Anselm. Among them are Bernard of Clairvaux, Francis of Assisi, and Gertrude the Great. In the 13th century the Lord appeared to St Gertrude, a mystic and German Benedictine nun. He revealed some of the secrets of His Heart to her in a series of extraordinary visions. Something similar would happen several centuries later in the life of St Margaret Mary Alacoque, a Visitation nun in her Monastery at Paray le Monial in Eastern France.
In her writings, Gertrude tells us that she once complained to the Lord about her lack of progress in the spiritual life. “In spite of all my efforts” she said to Him, “I still find myself afflicted with the same imperfections and shortcomings”. The Lord replied to her request.
“Gertrude, what do you do when you get dirt on your finger?”
“I wash it”.
“You wash what?” Gertrude paused for a moment before answering.
“I wash my whole hand”. She knew that it is difficult, if not impossible, to wash a finger without washing one’s whole hand.
With this simple example the Lord showed Gertrude how He purifies and perfects us in the Sacrament of Penance.
“In presenting yourself frequently to Me in the Sacrament of Penance I purify you more and more in My Precious Blood”.

NOVENA PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, you once said, ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you. I come to you today with faith in your words, hope in your promises and love for your Sacred Heart. Grant the favour I ask in this Novena (here mention your request). But if what I ask is not for your glory or the good of my soul obtain for me what is most conducive to both. Amen.
Our Father…………….Hail Mary………………Glory be to the Father etc.

DAY SIX

DAY SIX: NOVENA TO THE SACRED HEART

PATRON: ST JULIANNA OF LIEGE. Feast-day: April 6th.

The Feast of Corpus Christi (The Body of Christ) was introduced to the Church’s calendar in 1264. It is celebrated each year either on the Thursday or the Sunday after Trinity Sunday. This came about as a result of mysterious visions received by Julianna in her Norbertine Monastery near Liege, Belgium some years earlier. From her experiences she concluded that the Lord was asking for a new Feast that would focus on His great gift of Himself to humanity in the Eucharist. On learning of her message, her local bishop established this feast in his own diocese. A young French priest, Jacques Pantaleon, who happened to be working in the Liege area at the time, paid close attention to her report and the discussions that followed. Like Julianna’s bishop he was convinced that the request made to her was truly of divine origin. When some years later he was elected to the See of Peter as Pope Urban IV, he extended the Feast to the Universal Church.
In a sense, every Mass is a celebration of the Body of Christ that was handed over for our sins and is now seated at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us. However, on the Feast of Corpus Christi, the Church invites us to focus on the love in the Heart of the Lord for each one of us and not on his sufferings, atrocious and terrible as they really were. St Anselm, Father of Devotion to the Sacred Heart had said that “Jesus did not save us through suffering. He saved us through love- in suffering”.
Heart of Jesus on fire with love for me, Inflame my heart with love for Thee.

NOVENA PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, you once said, ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you, I come before you today with faith in your words, hope in your promises and love for your Sacred Heart. Grant the favour I ask in this Novena (here mention your request). But if what I ask is not for your Glory or the good of my soul, obtain for me what is most conducive to both. Amen.
Our Father………………..Hail Mary……………………Glory be to the Father etc……

DAY SEVEN

7. DAY SEVEN: NOVENA TO THE SACRED HEART

PATRONS: ST MARGARET MARY ALACOQUE: FEASTDAY OCTOBER 16 AND ST CLAUDE LA COLOMBIERE: FEASTDAY FEBRUARY 15

During the Octave ( subsequent 8-day period ) of the Feast of Corpus Christi, 1675, Our Lord appeared to Margaret Mary Alacoque in her Visitation Monastery at Paray-le-Monial in Eastern France. Showing her His Sacred Heart which seemed to her like a burning furnace, Jesus said “Behold this Heart which has so loved all men and women that It has spared nothing even to exhausting and consuming Itself to prove to them Its love. In return, I receive from the greater number nothing but ingratitude, contempt, irreverence, sacrilege and coldness in this Sacrament of my love. But what I feel still more is that there are hearts consecrated to Me who use me thus. Therefore I ask of you that the Friday after the Octave of the Blessed Sacrament be kept as a special Festival in honour my Heart, to make reparation for the indignities offered to It and as a Communion Day, in order to atone for the unworthy treatment It has received when exposed upon the altars. I also promise that my Heart shall shed in abundance the influence of Its divine love on all those who shall honour It or cause It to be so honoured”
Margaret Mary was deeply disturbed by this extraordinary experience as she only wanted to lead a simple religious life like everyone else. She wondered if she was having hallucinations. She confided her concerns to Claude La Colombiere, the recently appointed Jesuit Chaplain to her community. He soon concluded that her experience was genuine and that the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity had indeed revealed Himself to this young woman. Her profound humility impressed him. False mystics are only too quick to conclude to the divine origin of their unusual experiences.
“By their fruits you shall know them” (Matthew 7:16-20). These revelations would lead to a phenomenal growth in Devotion to the Heart of Christ in subsequent centuries. The mills of God may grind slowly but they do so surely. It would be almost two hundred years before the Lord’s request that a feast in honour of His Sacred Heart be introduced into the Liturgy of the Church. It eventually came in 1856. Margaret Mary herself would be canonised on May 13th, 1920. (Pope St John Paul 11 was born five days later). Margaret Mary said of Claude that “he was all powerful in what relates to devotion to the Sacred Heart). Claude was canonised on May 31st, 1992.
We can entrust all our cares to the tender mercy of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

NOVENA PRAYER;
Lord Jesus, you once said, ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you. I come before you today with faith in your words, hope in your promises and love for your Sacred Heart. Grant the favour I ask in this Novena (here mention your request). But if what I ask is not for your Glory or the good of my soul, obtain for me what is most conducive to both. Amen
Our Father…Hail Mary….Glory be to the Father etc.

DAY EIGHT

DAY EIGHT: NOVENA TO THE SACRED HEART

PATRON: ST THERESE OF LISIEUX FEASTDAY OCTOBER 1ST.

In 1888 Therese Martin entered an enclosed Carmelite convent in Normandy, northern France as a 15 year old. She never left her convent again until she died in ecstasy less than a decade later, a victim of tuberculosis. During those years she understood her vocation as a call to pray for divine blessings on the work of priests for the salvation of souls in every corner of the globe. To do this did not require travelling all over the place. She knew that being an enclosed nun did not prevent her ranging in spirit over the whole world. Now, known as St Therese of Lisieux or more popularly as “The Little Flower” she continues this work from heaven. Pope Benedict XV said, when declaring her co-Patron of the Missions with St Francis Xavier that she would continue to play this role “until the end of time”.
Therese knew that God called her, as He does every one of us, to be a saint. With her canonisation her “Little Way” was canonised with her. This means that God simply asks us to do the little ordinary things of everyday life as perfectly as possible. She herself did the ordinary things “extraordinarily well”. She also knew that to do this is beyond our unaided powers. Didn’t Jesus remind his followers, “Without Me, you can do nothing”. John 15:5? But He also promised to be with us at all times until the end of the world. So He is there waiting to respond as soon as we ask Him for help.
In the Archives of the Apostleship of Prayer (AOP) at Toulouse, (now known as the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network PWPN), the application of the teenage Therese Martin for membership is considered among their most precious treasures. Like millions of others since the AOP was founded in 1845 Therese ”offered all her prayers, works, joy and suffering of each day” for all the intentions of the Sacred Heart and especially for the intentions of Our Holy Father, the Pope.

NOVENA PRAYER
Lord Jesus you once said, ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you. I come before you today with faith in your words, hope in your promises and love for your Sacred Heart. Grant the favour I ask in this Novena (here mention your request). But if what I ask is not for your Glory or the good of my soul obtain for me what is most conducive to both. Amen.
Our Father……………..Hail Mary……………….Glory be to the Father etc.

DAY NINE

DAY NINE: NOVENA IN HONOUR OF THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS

PATRONS: SAINT FAUSTINA KOWALSKA: FEASTDAY OCTOBER 5 AND
POPE SAINT JOHN PAUL 11: FEASTDAY OCTOBER 22

Faustina Kowalska died in 1938. The first saint of the New Millennium she was so honoured in 2000 by another native of Poland, Pope, later Saint John Paul II. As a consequence of divine revelations granted her during her short life-time (she died aged 33) the First Sunday after Easter is now celebrated in the Universal Church as the Feast-day of Divine Mercy.
The establishment of a new Feast in honour of Our Saviour, Jesus Christ is a rare event in the life of the Church. There have only been four in the last 1000 years: Corpus Christi in 1264; The Sacred Heart in 1856, Christ the King in 1925 and now the Divine Mercy in 2000. These Feasts can be traced back to private revelations to individuals, mainly to saintly women. However, they add nothing new to what is revealed in the Scriptures. What they do is call for a new emphasis on some aspect of revelation that is being neglected or undervalued at a given period in history. St Faustina’s extensive diaries contain endless words of encouragement such as: “Souls, do not be afraid of God but trust in Him for He is good and his mercy is everlasting”.
“Humanity will never find peace until it turns with trust to the Divine Mercy. Divine Mercy! This is the Easter gift that the Church receives from the Risen Christ and offers humanity”. These words of Pope St John Paul, as he instituted the Feast of Divine Mercy, will continue to resonate down the ages to come. Our Saviour knows how you, your family, your nation and every other nation yearn for peace. It will always escape us unless we search for and find it in the only place where it can be found: the Heart of the Creator and Saviour of the World. “In his will is our peace” (Dante Alighieri).

NOVENA PRAYER
.Lord Jesus you once said, ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you. I come before you today with faith in your words, hope in your promises and love for your Sacred Heart. Grant the favour I ask in this Novena (here mention your request). But if what I ask for is not for your glory or the good of my soul, obtain for me what is most conducive to both. Amen.
Our Father…………..Hail Mary………………… Glory be to the Father etc.