Feast of the Sacred Heart Today (St. John the Baptist Saturday)

Laudetur Iesus Christus and blessed feast of the Sacred Heart, which occurs the day after the ancient octave of Corpus Christi (yesterday). Tomorrow June 25 will be the feast of the St. John the Baptist (see below).

Feast of the Sacred Heart – Friday June 24

**Today is a solemnity and as such the normal Friday abstinence from meat is lifted – hence you can eat meat today.**

As Dom Gaspar Levebvre OSB writes in the St. Andrew Missal, St. Gertrude, a 13th century Benedictine nun near Eisleben, Germany, received an apparition from St. John the Evangelist who said “the meaning of the blessed beating of the heart of Jesus which he had heard while his rested on His breast was reserved for the latter times when the world grown old and cold in divine love, would require to have its fervor renewed by means of this mystery of burning love”. 

Dom Prosper Gueranger, in The Liturgical Year, notes the providential nature of the appearance to St. Gertrude near her monastery in Eisleben, as if to offer an antidote to the awful heretic that would be born in the same area just 200 years later and whose heresies continue to ravage the world in these “latter times”:

By thus revealing to Gertrude the admirable mysteries of divine love, included in the doctrine which attaches to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Holy Spirit was, so to say, forestalling the workings of hell, which, two centuries later on, were to find their prime mover in that same spot. Luther was born at Eisleben, in the year 1483. He was the apostle, after being the inventor, of theories the very opposite of what the Sacred Heart reveals. Instead of the merciful God, as known and loved in the previous ages, Luther would have the world believe him to be the direct author of sin and damnation, who creates the sinner for crime and eternal torments, and for the mere purpose of showing that he could do anything, even injustice! Calvin followed; he took up the blasphemous doctrines of the German apostate, and rivetted the protestant principles by his own gloomy and merciless logic. By these two men, the tail of the dragon dragged the third part of the stars of heaven [Apocalypse 12:4].

Back in the St. Andrew Missal, Levebvre further notes that 400 years later, Divine Providence chose St. Margaret Mary Alacoque as His instrument to request that the feast of the Sacred Heart be instituted on the Friday following the octave of Corpus Christi. It was finally instituted in 1765 by Pope Clement XIII, and then Blessed Pius IX extended it to the entire Church in 1856.  Another aspect of this apparition was Our Lord’s request to St. Margaret Mary that the King of France consecrate his nation to the Sacred Heart, something he and his successors failed to do, and 100 years to the date, the French Revolution began, a rebellion against God which still continues today in various forms.  

Cardinal Burke has just issued a reflection on this feast day which we share here: https://www.cardinalburke.com/presentations/pure-heart-sacred-heart

Nativity of St. John the Baptist – Saturday June 25*

Saturday is the feast of St. John the Baptist, and normally this feast  falls on June 24; however due to the feast of the Sacred Heart occurring on that day this year, the feast of St. John is transferred to June 25. This is confirmed via the FSSP liturgical calendar.

  • 8am – Respect Life Latin Mass, St Ann (followed by prayers at the Planned Parenthood abortion facility, or a Holy of Reparation inside the church)
  • 8:30am: St. John the Baptist, Tryon (2 hours west of Charlotte)

Summer Solstice and St. John the Baptist: This great feast also falls around the summer solstice as the daylight hours begins its decrease until Christmas, symbolizing the gospel of St. John (3:30), as Fisheaters.com notes:

This Feast, then, follows the Feast of the Annunciation by 3 months and precedes the birth of Christ by six months. It is providential that the Feast of “the Forerunner,” the greatest of all Prophets, should fall at Midsummer, around the Summer Solstice when the days become shorter, because of his words in John 3:30, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” It is the longest day of the year, and from here on out, the days grow shorter and shorter. Conversely, Our Lord, the “Radiant Dawn,” was born at the Winter Solstice, when the days were becoming longer!


We close this update with an excellent summary on Saturday’s feast day from the weekly update of our friends with the Latin Mass community in Greensboro:

Midsummer is the traditional mid-point of the agricultural season between planting and harvest. Some of us are a little behind that schedule but no matter. It also coincides with the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist (this year transferred to Thursday or Saturday, depending on your calendar, bumped by the Feast of the Sacred Heart on Friday), six months prior to the Nativity of Our Lord. Saint John’s nativity was considered of particular note because it was the firm belief in the ancient Church that John was freed from original sin at the Visitation; and as he was “filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb” (Luke 1:15) he was born without original sin. The Council of Agde in 506 A.D. listed the Nativity of Saint John among the highest feasts of the year, a day on which all the faithful had to attend Mass and abstain from servile work. In European tradition “Saint John’s fires” are lit on the eve of his feast from mountaintops and hilltops, and even from the top of the mainsail yard of fishing vessels; or smaller fires (fogatas in Spain) over which children leap. People gather around the fire, sing their ancient songs, pray to St John for his intercession and that the summer may be blessed in homes, fields, and country, followed by folk dances. These and other traddy tidbits may be found in the Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs by Fr Franz Weiser, reprinted in three volumes by St Augustine Academy Press.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s