AND SPIRIT OF THE ENTHRONEMENT
Does "Enthronement" Mean?
the Sacred Heart means [in the words of Father Mateo]
the Official and Social recognition of the loving Kingship of the Heart
of Jesus in the Christian family. The family shows this recognition by
giving the image of the Sacred Heart a place of honor in the home and
itself to Him by an act of consecration. In this way the family is
under the benign influence of the Divine Heart, which asserts itself in
all the events of family life.
like a recognition of the living presence of Our
Lord in the home, where His Divine Heart, as King of Love, is the
attracting all the members of the family. It is more than a mere
of the image of the Sacred Heart or a transient consecration. It is a
of life," a permanent state of devotedness and love, full of grace and
likewise a complete realization of all the desires
of the Sacred Heart revealed to Saint Margaret Mary. Enthroned in a
which is wholly imbued with Divine charity, Jesus lives with its
as with His very own, directing and supernaturalizing their intimate
life. The home becomes His sanctuary .He is its King and Friend,
over it by love, receiving ardent love and tender reparation from His
subjects, bestowing in return untold graces, and filling each heart
peace and happiness.
By the act of
Enthronement of the Sacred Heart, the family fulfills
at the same time a duty of justice toward our Divine Savior. For He is
in very deed its King, its Lord and Master by virtue of His Divine
and His work of Redemption. It fulfills, moreover, the further duty,
devolves upon every truly Christian family, of rendering solemn
to the King of Love, by proclaiming the Divine rights of the Sacred
Heart ---- rights
which in our present age are so shamefully ignored by a godless,
The keynote of
Enthronement is Our Lord's desire to reign over mankind
as King of Love. Jesus desires to reign by love and to communicate this
love, as He did at Nazareth and Bethany. At Nazareth He was the King of
Love in His own home; at Bethany He reigned as King of Love in a
family, the prototype of all Christian families of later ages, over
He desires to rule supreme as King of Love and Mercy. By the
and a subsequent life of devotedness, the family recognizes and
in a special way this Kingship of Jesus Christ, so utterly ignored by
What more royal
of homage, in truth, could a Catholic family render
to the Sacred Heart than to enthrone Him as King of the home? In so
the members testify their complete submission to Him and their
devotedness, which they intend to prove by sacrifices and marks of
What a consoling thought is this for the members of a family: Our Lord
has deigned to enter our home! He is with us, full of love and
in Him we can take refuge in all our needs. He has made our home His
His powerful blessing rests upon our family and upon each one of us!
Enthronement Must Be "Lived"
intimated, there is question not merely of an exterior
sign, beautiful though it be, nor of a mere act of homage, however
The Enthronement must not be a mere external formality, a pious
impulse; nor must it be accepted and made in the spirit of a kind
with the solicitations of a friend. No, it is and must remain a serious
act, performed after mature reflection, by virtue of which Our Lord
Christ is willingly and lovingly acknowledged as the true Head and
of the family.
must betoken the interior spirit, the beginning
of a life of faith and love. In other words, the Enthronement must be
It must imply the family's intention to live in close union with the
of Jesus and in accordance with His desires, a truly Christian life,
of their chosen and honored King.
The Act of
Consecration itself may be looked upon as a transitory act.
But the Enthronement is a fixed condition, a state, by virtue of which
the spirit of the holy Gospel becomes the guide, the rule and the soul
of the home where the Sacred Heart of Jesus reigns supreme.
Jesus must be
to participate in all family affairs; He must
be asked to sanctify all the details of the home life by His blessed
He must really preside everywhere; everything must be done "beneath His
eye" and according to His desires. With Him the family shares its joys
and sorrows, good or evil fortune, and in sharing them, gives Him glory
and deepens the joy or lessens the pain that life inevitably brings.
Jesus so willed is the real proof of our love for
Him, To remain unchanged in our love for God, whether the light of His
smile surrounds us or the shadow of His hand lies heavy upon us, is
friendship. It is this friendship that is brought about by the
of the Sacred Heart in the home, when it is lived as it is intended to
be lived. By the Enthronement and under the influence of the Sacred
each member of the family learns intimacy with Jesus. In all the events
of life, the individual as well as the family as a group turns with
and love to Jesus and makes his own life one with His.
Enthronement Sanctifies the Family
The family is
foundation, the nucleus of human society. Just as
a plant is composed of cells, so human society is composed of the cells
of families, and the healthier the cells, the better the plant thrives.
In the bosom of the family, the human being receives its existence, its
life of body and soul. There the first training and education are
to the child; there the character is formed, the ideals shaped and
The condition of
family establishes the condition of the parish,
of the state, of the whole Church. If each family is truly Christian,
entire parish will be so; likewise, the diocese, the whole Catholic
What then can be of greater importance for the Church than the
of the family?
without love for Christ, without the protection of
the Sacred Heart of Jesus, is in danger of being corrupted by the
of worldliness, whose fetid breath stifles all devotion and fear of
The imperative condition, then, for extending the reign of Christ over
mankind is the restoration of families in Christ.
ordained by Divine Providence and highly recommended
by the Sovereign Pontiffs, is a powerful means to preserve and sanctify
the family. It is a most efficacious means for the Christian education
of children. It enkindles love for the Sacred Heart in the members of
family and encourages frequent and devout attendance at Mass and
of Holy Communion. It is a strong rampart against the seductive
and teachings of the modem corrupted world. It brings about, as a
sequence, a marked increase in vocations. For all these reasons, the
Enthronement of the Sacred Heart in families ranks as a work of the
Enthronement and the Christian Education of Children
One of the most
important factors in family life, and for society in
general, is the Christian training of children in the home. To give
a Christian training means to instruct them solidly in all the
truths of our holy Faith. To give them a Christian training means to
them a good example in prayer and the practice of virtue. To give them
a Christian training means to school them in self-renunciation and
in Buffering. The influence of Christian family life is absolutely
for a Christian education. The seeds of piety must be implanted in the
receptive hearts of children in the bosom of the family.
equally important. Teachers must be animated
by a Christian spirit, and the school must continue and complete the
education of children. But Holy Church can do little and the school
less with children who do not receive religious training and influence
are exposed to numberless dangers. They are surrounded
by the tainted spirit of the world, with its poisonous atmosphere, its
loose morals, its shameless fashions, sinful amusements and excessive
for comfort and pleasure. Piety and the love of God may easily grow
good morals and religious principles too often suffer shipwreck.
For this reason,
children must be carefully trained at home and brought
within the loving, grace-giving influence of the Sacred Heart. He alone
can enkindle a personal, loyal love for Himself in their hearts, and
enable them to remain true to His Commandments.
Enthronement Preserves the Sanctity of Matrimony
Enthronement of the Sacred Heart in families is
the preservation of the sanctity of matrimony. How frightfully the
world has sinned against this sacred institution, the very root and
of society! Marriage is entered into lightly, with little or no thought
of its sacramental character, or of its permanence and
Divorce is sanctioned everywhere, and that on the flimsiest pretexts.
influences tend to corrupt and desecrate the married state, and the
fruits of this unhappy condition are manifesting themselves to an
degree even among Catholics.
The only remedy
these evils is a return to true Christianity, to
Jesus Christ, the Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier of families. Not
the full sacredness of the state of matrimony is recognized will the
change for the better.
the duties of married life, the grace of God
is necessary. Our Lord has promised this grace to those who venerate
Sacred Heart: I will give them all the graces necessary for their
of life. Jesus Christ must again be proclaimed and venerated as the
King, the life, the bond of union in the family. The Enthronement,
lived, will nourish and preserve this spirit.
newly-married couples, the late Pope Pius XII
frequently urged them to enthrone the image of the Sacred Heart in
homes and to consecrate themselves to Him. "In the revelations, full of
love," he said on one occasion, "our Savior promised, among other
that 'wherever the image of His Heart shall be exposed to be singularly
honored, it will bring down all sorts of blessings'. Having confidence
in the Divine word, you can and will surely want to assure to
the benefits of so great a promise, keeping and properly honoring
in your homes the image of the Sacred Heart . . . It is fitting, then,
dear Christian husbands and wives, brethren of Jesus, that the image of
His Heart 'which has so loved men,' be exposed and honored in your
like that of the nearest and most loved relative who pours out the
of His blessings upon you, your children, and your undertakings.
That is to say, this image should not only
watch over your hours of rest in a private chamber, but it should
loyally honored by being hung above the entrance, or in the dining room
or parlor or in some other frequently used place. 'Everyone
that shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My
who is in Heaven' [Matt. 10:32] . . ."
that at least now and then an attentive hand will
place before the precious little statue or modest image of the Sacred
a few flowers, or a lighted candle, or even keep a lamp burning there;
and that the family will gather round it each evening for a united act
of homage, an humble expression of contrition, and a request for new
"In a word, the
Heart is duly honored in a home when He is
acknowledged as the King of Love by each and every one; which is to
say that the family is consecrated to Him, inasmuch as the total giving
of oneself to a holy cause or a holy person is called consecration. The
Sacred Heart of Jesus has pledged Himself to heap special blessings
those who give themselves to Him in this manner . . .
"But he who
consecrates himself should also fulfill the obligations
that such an act imposes. When the Sacred Heart reigns in a family, and
surely He has the right to reign everywhere, it is necessary that an
of faith and piety envelop everyone and everything in that blessed
. . . In the consecrated family, parents and children feel themselves
the eye of God and friendly with Him; they are therefore
of His Commandments and the precepts of His Church. Before the
of the King of Heaven, become their earthly Friend and constant Guest,
they fearlessly and meritoriously meet all the labors of their daily
. . .
"May it be so
you, my dear sons and daughters! Living united
with Jesus even in this life, receiving Him frequently in Holy
venerating His image daily, you shall only leave this earth to
eternally the bright and beatific reality of that Divine Heart in
entitled: "The Reign of the Sacred Heart in the
Christian Family," June 5, 1940, The Holy Father Speaks to Newlyweds,
Wash. D.C., p. 27-28.]
Enthronement and the Eucharistic Life
The intimate and
inseparable bond between the Enthronement and Eucharistic
life has been stressed from the beginning of this crusade of love and
This has always been the keystone of the work of the Enthronement, the
secret of its fruitfulness, the touchstone of its success.
In his first
on the Enthronement, Father Mateo declared that
it was his intention to unite the two tabernacles: that of the
and that of the Home. He desired, he said, to make the home, so to
speak, a continuation of the Eucharistic life ---- daily
Mass and Communion extending their influence over
the daily life of the family.
This desire ran
golden thread through all his preaching: and as
the years passed, he urged with ever-increasing intensity that the
of the Sacred Heart be imbued with a Eucharistic spirit; that they
as frequently as possible at Holy Mass and be the guests of the King at
His Eucharistic Banquet, and that they "live" the Mass throughout the
In the circular
he addressed to the Secretariates of the entire
world in 1917, Father Mateo said:
"You desire and you are bringing it about that the urgent demand of
the Sacred Heart concerning the Eucharist and all the practices
with this request be carried out by those who have given Him the place
of honor in their home, and who know that He longs to be loved in His
the church, in the Sacrament of His Love. The family which has received
Him in His Eucharistic Tabernacle takes Him to its family tabernacle,
to keep Him by faith, by prayer and love. Thus you are forming
of Eucharistic families."
And again, in
wrote: "Work to develop the flame of the Eucharistic
spirit in families which have enthroned the King. Tell them over and
that behind the picture we must at all costs have the reality; that
the King of Love Himself must preside over the family. More
and more this thought takes possession of me: we must impregnate
with the Eucharistic spirit! We shall never fully anticipate the
effects which flow from the intimate union between the Tabernacle of
King and that of His true friends, between the Eucharistic Tabernacle
the tabernacle of the home."
an article addressed to members of the Legion
of Mary in 1943 will show that Father Mateo never changed the doctrinal
basis of this crusade: "Jesus, the King whom we enthrone in the family,
must be someone real, someone living . . . The image of the
Heart which we put in the place of honor in the house is, in fact, not
more than a beautiful symbol representing a Divine reality.
the King of Love whom we should preach in season and out of season
making the Enthronement is the Sacred Heart of the Altar and of the
Tabernacle. We want to unite the home and the Tabernacle with a
as strong as death. Gently, but finally, with delicacy and energy, we
achieve the creation of a Eucharistic environment wherever the Heart of
Jesus has been enthroned. Yes, our goal is to achieve the
of Catholic homes into Tabernacles. It is a living Jesus whom
goes to receive at the Holy Table, and it is a living Jesus whom
one takes home and guards there. The image of the Sacred Heart which
honors in the home is meant merely to recall constantly to the friends
of Bethany this doctrine of Eucharistic love."
Powerful Aid to Pastors
creates an intimate relationship between the church
and the home, and results in greater love for the Eucharist, so also it
creates a close relationship between priests and families. The
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.
Sacred 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
importance, the presence of a priest at the Enthronement
has always been urged by the founder of the work and by the Church
Whenever possible, it should be presided over by one of the parish
+ who thus has a splendid opportunity of meeting entire families, some
of whom might never be contacted otherwise. Many priests have
the beneficial results of these contacts.
If the parish priests are unable to be present
for the ceremony; any priest may preside
a friend or relative of
the family. If no priest is available, the head of the family,
or mother, or some other member, may preside.