Fifth means of acquiring devotion to the Sacred Heart
Veneration for St Joseph
The saints exert themselves singularly in obtaining for their clients the virtue in which themselves excelled—the means which have most powerfully aid them in attaining perfections. We have remarked, that at all times the devotion of e servants of God has been ardent to the sacred heart of his son; but we shall here allude only to three of them, to whom you can have recourse in a special manner, to obtain for you this great favor. The ﬁrst is St Joseph. Who can doubt that this great saint, who enjoyed the privilege of so often carrying Jesus in his arms, of living with him for 30 years-who can doubt, I say, that in the silence of that life of continual prayer which Joseph led at Nazareth, that the Savior may not have discovered to him all the treasures of his heart, as to the ﬁrst and most favored after his divine mother?
“Go, then, to Joseph,” if you wish to know and love the heart of Jesus; for all the treasures of this heart have been deposited in his hands to enrich his faithful servants. After St Joseph, go next to the disciple whom Jesus loved, the glorious St John the Evangelist. To whom, in effect, can you address yourself with more conﬁdence, for a more tender devotion to the sacred heart of the Saviour, than to the cherished disciple who reposed thereon at the last pasch, and who deeply penetrated its secrets? To whom can you pray with more certainty of obtaining this favor, than to that favored saint who alone was chosen to receive the last sighs of this sacred heart on the cross, to share in the grief of Mary when she saw it pierced with a lance, and who was the ﬁrst, after her, who entered and abode in this wound of love, this true hole of the rock. As to St Aloysius’s devotion to the sacred heart, in the exercise of an interior li e and constant union with God, it has been his characteristic. Oh! how much Aloysius loved while on earth! exclaimed St Magdalen of Pazzi, to whom glorified, after death, had been revealed. While on earth, he continually sat arrows of love into the heart of the eternal Lord; and now that he is in heaven, these arrows rebound on his own heart, and remain there; these acts of love and charity giving him now extreme joy. Oh! how great is the glory of Aloysius, the son of Ignatius, continues the same saint: I would never have supposed it, if in Jesus had not manifested it to me. I wish I could go and publish his glory to the world, that God might be thereby gloriﬁed. He is not so elevated in heaven, but because of his interior life. Who then can appreciate the merit of this life? No; there is no comparison between interior and exterior acts. This amiable model of interior souls, as well especially of youth, will help you to be devout to the sacred heart, and the more so, as he has testiﬁed his desire to see it extended. In 1765, a novice of the Society of Jesus, named Nicholas Celestini, being reduced to extremity of sickness, saw St Aloysius, whom be invoked, approach his bed, an heard him say, that he had procured for him the prolongation of his life, on condition that he would promote and extend the devotion to the sacred heart of Jesus, and specially love and honor it.
Say thrice: Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.