Message for the Centenary of the Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Message of The Holy Father Pope John Paul II

His Heart is the Heart of the Church Message for the Centenary of the Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Pope John Paul II June 11, 1999 Dear Brothers and Sisters! 1. The 100th anniversary of the Consecration of the Human Race to the Divine Heart of Jesus, prescribed for the whole Church by my Predecessor Leo XIII in the Encyclical Letter Annum sacrum (25 May 1899: Leonis XIII P. M. Acta, XIX [1899], 71-80) and carried out on 11 June 1899, prompts us first of all to give thanks to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father (Rv 1:5-6). This happy occasion seems a particularly appropriate one for reflecting on the meaning and value of that important ecclesial act. With the Encyclical Annum sacrum, Pope Leo XIII confirmed all that had been done by his Predecessors carefully to preserve and highlight the devotion and spirituality of the Sacred Heart. With that consecration he wished to obtain extraordinary benefits first for Christianity, but also for the whole human race (Annum sacrum, p. 71). Asking that not only believers but all people should be consecrated, he gave a new direction and sense to the consecration which had already been practised for two centuries by individuals, groups, Dioceses and nations. The consecration of the human race to the Heart of Jesus was thus presented by Leo XIII as the summit and crowning of all the honours which have been customarily paid to the Most Sacred Heart (Annum sacrum, p. 72). Such a consecration, the Encyclical explains, is owed to Christ, Redeemer of the human race, for what he is in himself and for what he has done for human beings. Since in the Sacred Heart the believer encounters the symbol and the living image of the infinite love of Christ, which in itself spurs us to love one another, he cannot fail to recognize the need to participate personally in the work of salvation. For this reason every member of the Church is invited to see consecration as the giving and binding of oneself to Jesus Christ, the King of prodigal sons, the King of all who are waiting to be led into the fight of God and of his kingdom (Formula of Consecration). Consecration thus understood is to be joined to the missionary activity of the Church herself, because it an

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