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Is the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Bible?


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Philip Kosloski - published on 06/24/22

Yes, there are many biblical passages that support devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

One of the most popular devotions among Catholics is the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. However, some might claim that the devotion has no basis in the Bible.

Sacred Heart in the Bible

In reality, devotion to Jesus’ Heart is supported by many biblical passages. The Directory on Popular Piety explains how this devotion is supported by the Bible.

Understood in the light of the Scriptures, the term “Sacred Heart of Jesus” denotes the entire mystery of Christ, the totality of his being, and his person considered in its most intimate essential: Son of God, uncreated wisdom; infinite charity, principal of the salvation and sanctification of mankind. The “Sacred Heart” is Christ, the Word Incarnate, Savior, intrinsically containing, in the Spirit, an infinite divine-human love for the Father and for his brothers.

The Directory then lists all the scripture passages that support the popular devotion.

  • Jesus, who is one with the Father (cf. John 10:30), invites his disciples to live in close communion with him, to model their lives on him and on his teaching.
  • He, in turn, reveals himself as “meek and humble of heart” (Mt 11:29).
  • It can be said that, in a certain sense, devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a cultic form of the prophetic and evangelic gaze of all Christians on him who was pierced (cf. John 19:37; Zac 12:10), the gaze of all Christians on the side of Christ, transfixed by a lance, and from which flowed blood and water (cf. John 19:34), symbols of the “wondrous sacrament of the Church.”
  • The Gospel of St. John recounts the showing of the Lord’s hands and his side to the disciples (cf. John 20:20), and of his invitation to Thomas to put his hand into his side (cf. John 20:27). This event has also had a notable influence on the origin and development of the Church’s devotion to the Sacred Heart.

In particular, the Gospel of John stands out as one of the primary sources of this devotion, based on the passages mentioned above.

While the exact term, “Sacred Heart of Jesus,” is not found anywhere in scripture, the concept of Jesus’ Heart, poured out for all humanity, is present in the New Testament, especially in the Gospel of John.

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