What does the Heart of Christ mean?

Jun 19, 2024 | Blog Articles

This is the question that Father Pedro Arrupe SJ asked himself and asked the Society of Jesus. I quote some of his phrases from a homily given in Valladolid in 1970. 

 “Devotion to the Heart of Christ is the summary of all Christian doctrine… this Christ is known when one penetrates into the treasures of his Heart, which on the one hand is the symbol of love, and on the other hand has been the organ in which the human love of Christ for mankind has beaten”. For this reason, whoever wants to know this heart has to “consume the Gospel”, there is in its fullest expression, in all its authenticity the Heart of Christ, in his gestures, his silences, his words, his pains, his attitudes. “And when we ask why this authenticity of Christ is so authentic, we see that there is a phenomenal aspect of this figure: that he is the Savior… Christ is Savior because he saved us men”.

In the Gospel we find the heartbeat of this Heart that saved us out of love. Christ the Savior, who gave himself out of love to the Father and to us, his brothers and sisters, whom the Father loves to the point of madness, palpitates there. Out of love he died and rose from the dead, and he wanted to remain with us, given as food in the Eucharist. And not only there but also dwelling in our hearts and dispersed throughout the world in the heart of each of our brothers and sisters. Heart of Christ in which we are one with them all. 

Today more than ever, looking at the way our world is going, “let us not be satisfied with these consoling ceremonies; let us think that outside the Church there are many of God’s people who do not attend, either because of ignorance, or because of impossibility or malice. We must feel that we are heralds of Jesus Christ, we must go outside, we must get in touch with these people who perhaps in many cases, with a very good will, are, as I say, separated from this fold of Jesus Christ”. How current and alive is this missionary invitation in a battered world that needs compassion in concrete gestures!

This is how it is! In the Pope’s World Network of Prayer we live this devotion with apostolic impulse and charism, as a mission of compassion for the world, open to the needs of our brothers and sisters in need. That is why the prayer intentions of the Holy Father are the place of incarnation of our mission, where compassion is made concrete for us through prayer and action. There, in the words of Father Arrupe, we feel ourselves to be “heralds of Christ”, apostles of a mission of compassion for the world.

Jubilee Year of the Heart of Jesus

Maria Bettina Raed
International Coordinator The Way of the Heart


The Pope’s Official Prayer Network

We pray that the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick confer to those who receive it and their loved ones the power of the Lord and become ever more a visible sign of compassion and hope for all