The 9th Promise of the Sacred Heart: "I will bless every place in which an image of My Heart is exposed and honored."
In the early 1900s, Fr. Mateo Crawley-Boevey began the practice of "enthronement of the home" and consecrated many households to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. He started with his own home, putting in a place of honor an image of the Sacred Heart. This act of consecration was inspired by that of Margaret Mary Alacoque and Fr. Colombiere, who were the first ones to practice self-consecration.
"Heart is where the home is."
Today, we at the National Shrine of the Sacred Heart, continue this tradition of enthronement. Following Promise No. 9, my brother priests and I, with the help of our Eucharistic Ministers enthrone homes, offices, schools, and every place possible.
Many times, we celebrate a street mass for everyone to freely participate in. Towards the end of the mass we explain enthronement. Before enthroning, we first bless the homes (or "re-bless" if already bless). We then proceed to enthronement or re-enthronement of each home. We go from one house to another in order to consecrate those who dwell in it and all their activities. An image of the Sacred Heart is placed in every home we enthrone, making Him the focal point of the household. Ideally, re-enthronement is celebrated yearly on the Feast of Christ the King.
For me, every visit is unique. We get to visit homes in the parish. We meet scores of different people and get to know them a little bit in the short but meaningful time we spend together. Sometimes they even shamefully say "Pasensya na po Father, magulo at maliit lang ang bahay namin." I disagree. I believe their homes are measured by their hearts, and welcoming us with such warmth has proven how big their hearts are. I am moved and grateful to our parishioners for allowing us to share this enthronement experience with them.
It is true. We don't really start the enthronement and consecration with the home. We start it with our hearts.
To "enthrone" means "to assign supreme virtue or value to". To enthrone one's heart and home to the Sacred Heart means to put Jesus in His supreme place in your heart and to make Him the No. 1 head of your household. The Tagalog term "Harinawa" used by many to mean "hopefully" or "sana nga" also means (literally) "Haring-awa" or "by the King's mercy" which ultimately pertains to "God-willing". Here we see how Christ is so embedded in our culture and heritage as the King of Kings whose throne rests in wherever we are and whatever we do.
And because this King's most important part is His Sacred Heart, it only follows that His heart be revered and imitated. The Sacred Heart of Jesus promises to bless every place - be it heart/self, home, office or any other establishment, unit or community - where His image is exposed and honored. To expose does not only mean "to make it visible or merely to show it off"; It also means to "reveal the true nature of His heart (exposition) and experience it fully (be exposed to)"; To know, understand and see for ourselves how valuable this Heart truly is in our day to day lives. The honor is ours to give and by virtue of His 9th promise, for us to receive as well.
Our primary goal and vision is to consecrate every Filipino home, community, city and the whole country to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus - perhaps even to consecrate Makati to become "The City of the Sacred Heart in the Philippines".
Let our hearts and our homes be a haven to His Sacred Heart. Let it touch us everyday and make us HeartStrong like Him, digging deep within our "kalooban" for the goodness in us, burning with passion in everything we put our hearts into.
May our hearts be like HIS.
Did you know?
In 1720, the Bubonic Plague struck the town of Marseilles and left 60,000 dead out of a 90,000 population. Because of this, a local nun advised their Bishop to consecrate the town to the Sacred Heart. The plague immediately stopped and Marseilles has since been known as "The City of the Sacred Heart".
REV. FR. VIC Y. APACIBLE
Parish Priest / Rector