Jesus promised St. Margaret Mary Alacoque that He “will bless the home in which the image of my Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honored.” When we enthrone (display) the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in a prominent place and signify that Jesus is the King, friend and brother of the family, we are responding to the invitation of the Church to make our homes “Domestic Churches”, wherein Jesus is the center and source of love for all. As the sanctuary church lamp reminds us of Christ’s presence in the tabernacle, the enthroned image of the Sacred Heart reminds us that Jesus is among us and with us. By this covenant we make our homes and hearts His tabernacle.
We also consecrate ourselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary who always leads us to her Son. This is the reason why our Blessed Mother should be part of your home life. Through her Immaculate Heart, she leads you to the Sacred Heart of her Son, and He in turn will lead you to the Eucharist where He is truly present, and thus will make of your home not only a house of prayer but indeed, a Marian and Eucharistic shrine. If you do your best, Jesus and His mother will do the rest!
Teaching on Jesus’ Exposed Heart
In an Enthronement ceremony, a blessed picture or a statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is used.
Any image is usable, as long as it replicates what St. Margaret Mary described seeing when Our Lord appeared to her:
- Around His Heart is a crown of thorns.
- There is a wound, from the soldier’s spear, showing that our sins hurt Him in the Heart.
- The flames coming from His Heart show the intensity of His Love.
- Above the flames is a cross showing that His Love for us was so great that He died for us.
These are the symbols of His passion. We were redeemed by the cross and we will be saved by it.
Catechesis on the Enthronement
The Enthronement of the Sacred Heart is an Apostolate founded by Father Mateo Crawley-Boevey, SS.CC. to win souls to Christ. It is a crusade to conquer the whole world to the love of the Sacred Heart. The essence of it is Love. It is rooted in scripture. The heart and soul of it is the Eucharist. The Redeeming power of it is the Mass. The goal of it is to unite the tabernacle of the church and the tabernacle of the home in order to make domestic churches of the homes.
The Enthronement Apostolate is rooted in Sacred Scripture and private revelation. The latter in particular refers to our Lord’s encounter with St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in the 17th Century and the many promises he made to those who honor His most Sacred Heart. In the 19th Century, these promises were abridged by an Ohio businessman named Phillip Kemper who documented twelve distinct statements (promises) approved by Pope Leo XIII in 1899. Father Mateo had a desire to put into effect all of Christ’s promises and to draw families into intimate relations with Jesus through the Enthronement.
Before inviting Jesus into our homes and proclaiming Him as the King and Head of our household, we must be well prepared. The real gift of the Enthronement is the awareness of the Living Presence of God in our homes, therefore we prepare our hearts and home with that gift of His coming foremost on our minds. When introducing the King of Love into any home, a forerunner is sent to ensure that the family fully realizes the importance of what is going to take place, and that the ceremony is performed with all the piety and reverence that it deserves. The nine day preparation period begins with a promoter coming to your home to offer support and to explain all aspects of the preparation and the ceremony. The promoter will also bring you a pilgrim picture of our Lady of Perpetual Help and lead the family in praying the Rosary. Mary leads the way for the Kingship of her Son. When you draw close to Mary, she will draw you closer to her Son. This time together will open your hearts and your home to the fullness of grace that the King of Kings wants to give you from His Heart. The greater the preparation the greater the graces.
The Meaning of the Enthronement
The Enthronement of the Sacred Heart means the official and social recognition of the loving kingship of the Heart of Jesus in the Christian family. The family acknowledges this recognition by solemnly installing an image of the Sacred Heart in a place of honor in the home and dedicating itself to Him by an Act of Consecration. The Enthronement of the Sacred Heart is the recognition of the living presence of our Lord in the home, where His Divine Heart, as King of Love, is the center of the family, attracting all its members.
Jesus is invited to participate in all activities of the family. He then sactifies all the details of home life. By the Enthronement and under the influence of the Sacred Heart, each member learns intimacy with Jesus. Either as a family or individually, each will grow in confidence and love with the One who longs for our love. Thus, the gift of the Enthronement is an awareness of His Living Presence in the family and a source of grace and blessings for the family.
The Enthronement of the Sacred Heart is more than a mere veneration of an image or a transient consecration. It becomes a “way of life”, a sharing of hearts, a permanent state of devotion and love. The home becomes a “Domestic Church” – a place where Jesus is loved and where a family will render reparation to the King of Love.
A Powerful Aid to Pastors
As the Enthronement creates an intimate relationship between the Church and the home, and results in greater love for the Eucharist, so it also creates a close relationship between priests and families. The Enthronement is therefore a powerful aid to the pastor, for by its means the zeal of the flock entrusted to him will be rekindled and sustained. Families in which the Scared Heart reigns and which nourish the spirit of the Enthronement will be for the pastor a staunch support upon which he can confidently rely.
Because of its great importance, the presence of a priest at the Enthronement has always been urged by the founder of the work and by the Church itself. Whenever possible, it should be presided over by one of the parish priests, who thus has a splendid opportunity of meeting entire families. Many priests have experienced the beneficial results of these contacts.