Rorate Caeli

Draw the living waters - 50 years of Haurietis Aquas - II
The Three Great Gifts of the Sacred Heart

Exactly 50 years ago today, Pope Pius XII signed Haurietis Aquas, the landmark document on the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

In the first part of this series, Haurietis Aquas and its prominent place among the writings of Pius XII were properly introduced, as well as the need for the encyclical: to present again to all the faithful why the Sacred Heart is such a noble and inherently Traditional object of adoration for all Catholics.

The Sacred Heart is also, Pope Pius reminds the faithful, the origin of the three most sublime gifts of the Lord to mankind: "Himself in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, His most holy Mother, and the office of the priesthood shared with us".

His ardent heart beat with intense Love as He was about to institute the eternal miracle of the Most Holy Sacrament:

Even before He ate the Last Supper with His disciples Christ Our Lord, since He knew He was about to institute the sacrament of His body and blood by the shedding of which the new covenant was to be consecrated, felt His heart roused by strong emotions, which He revealed to the Apostles in these words: "With desire have I desired to eat this Pasch with you before I suffer." And these emotions were doubtless even stronger when "taking bread, He gave thanks, and broke, and gave to them, saying, 'This is My body which is given for you, this do in commemoration of Me.' Likewise the chalice also, after He had supped, saying, 'This chalice is the new testament in My blood, which shall be shed for you.'"

Naturally, the Priesthood of the New Covenant, established to perpetuate this most august Sacrament, is also a fruit of this same ever-loving Heart:

It can therefore be declared that the divine Eucharist, both the sacrament which He gives to men and the sacrifice in which He unceasingly offers Himself "from the rising of the sun till the going down thereof," and likewise the priesthood, are indeed gifts of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

And what a wondrous gift the Most Sacred Heart gave the world in the Blessed Lady, source of immaculate and unlimited maternal love:

Another most precious gift of His Sacred Heart is... Mary the beloved Mother of God and the most loving Mother of us all. She who gave birth to our Savior according to the flesh and was associated with Him in recalling the children of Eve to the life of divine grace has deservedly been hailed as the spiritual Mother of the whole human race. And so St. Augustine writes of her: "Clearly She is Mother of the members of the Savior (which is what we are), because She labored with Him in love that the faithful who are members of the Head might be born in the Church."

Which is why the adoration of the Most Sacred Heart is linked, in an absolutely inseparable way, to the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of the Mother of God:

It is, then, entirely fitting that the Christian people - who received the divine life from Christ through Mary - after they have paid their debt of honor to the Sacred Heart of Jesus should also offer to the most loving Heart of their heavenly Mother the corresponding acts of piety affection, gratitude and expiation.