"My Savior," said Saint Margaret Mary, "has assured me that He took the greatest pleasure in seeing the interior sentiments of His Heart and love honored under the representation of His human Heart, the same as He had manifested It to me, encircled with flames, crowned with thorns and surmounted by a cross; and He desired that this representation should be publicly exposed, in order to touch the cold hearts of men. At the same time He promised to pour forth abundantly on those who honored it, the treasures of grace with which His Sacred Heart is filled, and that wherever this representation should be exposed it would draw down all manner of blessings." St. Margaret Mary spared no efforts in having this holy image engraved and distributed every where. Her desire was to show it to all sinners in order to convert them, and to all the just so that they might be inflamed with love. She even painted one of these pictures with her own blood, and composed a prayer and an act of consecration, in which she gave herself to Jesus without reserve, and for ever.
Relying on this solemn promise of our Savior, those who are devoted to the Sacred Heart love to venerate Its holy representations, and to distribute these pictures so that the sight of them may console and encourage all. It is related in the Acts of the Apostles that the shadow of St. Peter healed the sick; should we then be surprised that not only the Sacred Heart of Jesus, but even Its image is powerful enough to heal the maladies of our souls? St. Teresa wished to see it in all the places where she cast her eyes. "Being," she says, "unable to represent objects to my imagination, I was jextremely fond of pious pictures. Unhappy those who lose by their own fault, the help which they might draw from them. It is evident that they do not love our Lord, for, if they loved Him, they would rejoice to see His picture, just as in the world, people are pleased to see the portraits of those whom they tenderly love."
Christians, in order to excite your devotion, have in your room some representation of this adorable Heart, painted, so to speak, by the hand of our Savior Himself. Place it where you can often see it, so that the sight of it may enkindle in your heart the fire of divine love. Kiss it even with the same respect as you would the Sacred Heart of Jesus Itself. Shrink from no sacrifice in order to propagate these holy pictures. Distribute them in the remotest villages, in the humble cottage of the poor laborer, so that at night, at the time of prayer, all may understand the treasures of love with which this Sacred Heart is filled for us. The more these pictures are distributed, the more the Heart of Jesus will be known and loved.
A few years ago, a loving mother, on bidding farewell to her son, leaving for the African war, gave him a medal of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, making him promise to wear it always on his breast. Faithful to his word, the young officer never laid aside this pledge of his mother’s tender affection and confidence, and to it he owed his life. In that glorious campaign, in which the French soldiers behaved so nobly, he was chosen, as being one of the bravest and most valiant, by the commander-in-chief, for a perilous enterprise. Entering a dangerous ravine, the troops suffered greatly from the enemy s fire. The general ordered them to charge, and, the young officer leading the way, they rushed on the Arabs who occupied the pass. His regiment was almost entirely annihilated, and he was himself hit several times; but the bullet, which struck him full in the chest, and would have caused his death, was flattened against the medal of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and he escaped uninjured. Full of fervor and gratitude for so miraculous a protection, the young officer never ceased to proclaim the praises of the Sacred Heart, and to publish everywhere the wonders worked in his favor. Often he has been seen to kneel at the altar with his pious mother, to receive and thank the God of victory for having preserved him from certain death, and restored him safely to his paternal home.
Divine Jesus, I will cherish and venerate the representation of Thy Sacred Heart, which recalls to my mind the love with which It burns for me. I will give it to my friends and relations, to the sick and afflicted as a pious remembrance. Grant that it may be for all a pledge of benedictions during life and at the hour of death. Amen.
You will have already seen to it that the image of the Sacred Heart has a place of honor in your own home. Now give copies of this image to others that it might occupy a place of honor in their homes.