“I hail Thee, kingly Heart most high.” This is the first line of the first hymn written in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Summi Regis Cor Aveto, ascribed to Bl. Herman Joseph a Norbertine of the 13th century. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to find a translation, so we can’t give you more than the first line in English.
We intended to talk about the origins of devotion to the Sacred Heart (which grew out of devotion to the Five Wounds, particularly the lance wound in the side of Our Lord), but when we found the above icon, it prompted us to think about all the men who are being ordained to the priesthood and transitional diaconate at this time of year. Let us pray for each one of them, that Our Lady may form them into true images of her Divine Son, the Good Shepherd. It is the Divine Love of His Sacred Heart, burning for souls, which prompts Our Lord to seek every lost sheep (that is, each one of us), and He has chosen to do this in a particular way through His priests. Without the priesthood we could not have the sacraments, most especially the Most Blessed Sacrament, our consolation and our food.
The link between the Eucharist and the Sacred Heart is affirmed in the many Eucharistic miracles which the Church has approved over the centuries. In cases where the miracles have been found authentic, scientists examining the host-turned-tissue find human heart muscle! Most recently in Poland Bishop Kiernikowski has approved a miracle which took place in 2013. Upon examination “the histopathological tissue fragments were found containing a fragmented part of the skeletal muscle. … The whole image … is most similar to the heart muscle … as it appears under the strains of agony. Genetic studies indicate the origin as human tissue.”
Jesus promised He would not leave us orphans, and so He does not leave us without shepherds, nor without occasional confirmations of His Word and His Presence in the Holy Eucharist.