Anniversary of Leo XIII’s Act of Consecration of the Human Race

"In this Sacred Heart we should place all our hopes; from it, too, we ask and await salvation." – Leo XIII

Today, 11 June 2009, is the 110th Anniversary of Pope Leo XIII’s Consecration of human race to the Sacred Heart.

Act of Consecration of the Human Race

Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before Thy altar. We are Thine, and Thine we wish to be; but to be more surely united with Thee, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to Thy most Sacred Heart. Many indeed have never known Thee; many too, despising Thy precepts, have rejected Thee. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to Thy Sacred Heart. Be Thou King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken Thee, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned Thee; grant that they may quickly return to their Father’s house lest they die of wretchedness and hunger. Be Thou King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof, and call them back to the harbor of truth and unity of faith, so that soon there may be but one flock and one Shepherd. Be Thou King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry or of Islamism, and refuse not to to draw them all into the light and kingdom of God. Turn Thine eyes of mercy towards the children of that race, once Thy chosen people: of old they called down upon themselves the Blood of the Savior; may It now descend upon them, a laver of redemption and of life. Grant, O Lord, to Thy Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give peace and order to all nations, and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: "Praise be to the Divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to It be glory and honor for ever." Amen.


You might want to look at his encyclical Annum sacrum.


Listen to the PODCAzT on Annum sacrum.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. paul says:

    Interesting what this prayer says about Islam and post vatican 2 statements about this religion. I guess the hermeneutic of continuity is not just about worship but doctrine??

  2. Chris says:

    I noticed that as well. I’m so absolutely sick of the political correctness that has infected the Church which is so afraid of offending islam and it’s followers. Why the Church recognizes this pagan faith as being worshippers of the “one God” is a mystery to me.

    The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth,(5) who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God.

  3. In Defense of the Accused says:

    The latter part of Venerable Leo XIII’s magnificent prayer serves as a helpful reminder that most of us are in desperate need of drawing a clear line of distinction, namely that between:

    (i) the use of what, for the _present_ day, might be considered *infelicitous language*(viz., a failure of sufficient diplomacy given VII’s stated desire for greater striving unto peaceful concord among those of diverging views.)


    (ii) harboring views or attitudes regarding race, creed, culture, etc. which are PER SE (always and everywhere) abhorrent and condemnable.

    [N.B.: (i) amounts to changeable, fallible ecclesiastical policy judgment, notwithstanding however so very much the present-day authorities of the Church would *wish* said policies to remain indeterminately in-force.]

    Now, many, many times we find various Catholics unjustly and rather loudly accused of (ii) by their own brethren in Christ when, at *most*, they are guilty of (i).

    To use the decidedly non-irenic language of Leo XIII (or even, say, that of the likes of Father Denis Fahey), to use such language within the cultural and ecclesiastical climate of the 21st century MAY OR MAY NOT be *untoward* given the current prudential judgments of the Church, but it _CERTAINLY_ DOES *NOT* rise to the level of bigotry or antisemitism.

    Indeed, to suggest that it /could/ thus rise would likewise imply (at least for the sake of consistency) that VII itself entails a retroactive and *in principle* condemnation of the nearly-ubiquitous kind of language utilized by countless popes, councils, doctors and saints of generations gone-by — language of the sort with which most of us, children of our facile and quite inconsistently tolerant age, would be quite uncomfortable with should the very same be used by our contemporaneous brothers or sisters in Christ.

    “Avoid wrangling over words.”

  4. Chris says:

    “Avoid wrangling over words.”

    Thank God the apostles and church fathers and councils DID wrangle over words because words matter. Words and their meaning are crucial in communicating to other people. If we simply disregard the meaning of a word then the word no longer matters. My parish’s new pastor is a big fan of inclusive language in the Mass but we shouldn’t wrangle over words, should we?

  5. Chris says:

    Here is a man who understands how much words matter and in particular regard to islam.

  6. In Defense of the Accused says:

    My goodness: I was actually quoting from St. Paul (rather obviously, I thought), and, as such, please do rest assured I merely intended to posit whatever the Apostle to the Gentiles himself intended to posit.

    The so-called “Principle of Hermeneutical Charity” would prescribe a willingness on the part of the reader towards perfunctory exclusion of all silly, rather nonsensical, interpretations of a writer’s words and statements — of course, only when the sum of the evidence would allow for such magnanimity.

    Now, yes, indeed, words /do/ matter. Actually, by *definition* of the _word_ “word” words matter: for words _are_ words *by virtue* of “mattering”, viz., by virtue of possessing one or more non-vacuous significations.

    Furthermore, as any seriously-minded Catholic, and as one who happens to rejoice at, say, the wondrously elegant truths expressed by way of the *Quicumque* (to give but one example), I’d surely be the *last* person to minimize the needfulness of exact language. (Incidentally, as far as I can tell, the grave need for better, nimble and more accurate appreciation of language on the part of one’s neighbor is implicitly _entailed_ by that which I wrote within my rather controversial missive!)

    I find it more than a little ironic that just as I happened to be discussing one species of the present-day moral and hermeneutical debacle that just is “jumping to falsely accusatory conclusions”, it was _then_ that certain readers took it upon themselves to unwarrantedly interpret my own citation of St. Paul in such a rather obviously contrary fashion to what I intended as it actually *bore witness* to the prevalence of this very debacle, so very prevalent in our “twittering” culture.

    YET, for all those who still might find themselves befuddled or otherwise mystified:

    (a) my implicit citation is derived from 2nd Timothy 2:14 (with apologies to all who would take issue with the accuracy of the translation: it doesn’t happen to be my favorite rendering of the Greek, either)

    (b) please do feel entirely free to disregard the *quote* _en toto_: the substance of my point(with all its apparent timeliness given the responses thus far) can be found with neither loss nor remainder in that which *precedes* the worrisome citation.

  7. Jeff Pinyan says:

    “Be Thou King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry or of Islamism, and refuse not to to draw them all into the light and kingdom of God.”

    Regarding Vatican II’s statement on Islam, the Latin says: “qui unicum Deum adorant, viventem et subsistentem, misericordem et omnipotentem, Creatorem caeli et terrae.” Does this necessarily mean “THE one God”, or “one single/unique God”? (Whitaker’s Words says: “only, sole, single, singular, unique; uncommon, unparalleled; one of a kind”) Then the list of characteristics — living and subsistent (in Himself), merciful and almighty, Creator of heaven and of earth — is meant to show that the Muslims have SOME of the right idea about Who the one true God really is?

    There really is only one true God, but I’d be hard-pressed to confess that Muslims worship Him, just like it’d be hard to say that ANYONE who worships any god worships the one true God (but in an erring way). If they do, it’s only because of His grace that the Qu’ran has not totally driven them away from knowing Who He is.

    “Turn Thine eyes of mercy towards the children of that race, once Thy chosen people: of old they called down upon themselves the Blood of the Savior; may It now descend upon them, a laver of redemption and of life.”

    That is a beautiful juxtaposition of “call[ing] down .. the Blood of the Savior” in its two senses. It is poetry in prayer. It is evangelical.

  8. Aaron says:

    The Basilica of St. Josaphat in Milwaukee, WI is having a procession after the noon Mass on Sunday.

  9. Another says:

    I remember hearing the story that, on his deathbed Pope Leo XIII was asked what was the most important act of his papacy; without the slightest pause, he immediately responded: “Consecration of the world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.”

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