Monasteries of Great Britain and Ireland – Missionaries of the Sacred Heart

Article

Active. Under Simple Vows. Founded 1854. Motto: May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be everywhere loved.

The Society of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was founded on the day of the promulgation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, 8 December 1854. The founders, who met with great difficulties at first, placed all their confidence in Our Lady, and promised that if she would help them their Institute should honour her in a special way: they would take the title of Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and bind themselves to propagate this devotion everywhere.

Their prayers were granted, and the Society was established at Issoudun, in the Diocese of Bourges (France), in 1854, and in the following year the Archbishop installed the members, who were poor and young, and gave them the official title of Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The special end of the Society, after the personal sanctification of the members, is to honour in a special way the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and to make reparation for the outrages against It caused by the sins of men. The members undertake missionary and educational work, and are also engaged in foreign missionary work in Australia, British New Guinea, New Pomerania, and other of the Pacific Islands.

In gratitude to Our Lady for hearing their prayers, the founders gave her the title of “Our Lady of the Sacred Heart,” and finding extraordinary conversions and cures were obtained by thus invoking her, they established an “Association of Prayers for the Success of Difficult and Desperate Causes,” under this title, which the Holy See approved and enriched with many indulgences, and at the present time it has a large number of Associates, and has been raised to a universal Arch-confraternity.

For twenty years Rome watched with interest and helped in the development of the Society, and then, in a decree of approbation, gave it the mission of spreading devotion to the Sacred Heart; and Pius IX, of pious memory, on the day he approved it, gave the founders an image of the “Heart of Jesus” to wear on their breasts as a distinctive mark of their vocation, and he then told them if good Catholics asked him he would consecrate all the faithful to the “Sacred Heart.”

A few months later the new Society presented him with thirty volumes containing the names of 160 Bishops and 3,000,000 faithful, asking for this consecration, which imposing ceremony took place in 1875, on June 18.

The Constitutions received the Papal sanction on 5 February 1877.

The dress consists of a black cassock, with a girdle and a badge of the Sacred Heart.

The novitiate lasts one year.

The Fathers have a house at Glastonbury, one at Braintree, and one at Saint Albans. In America they have houses at Watertown, New York, Natick, Rhode Island, and Quebec Canada.

MLA Citation

  • Francesca M Steele. “Missionaries of the Sacred Heart”. Monasteries of Great Britain and Ireland, 1903. CatholicSaints.Info. 30 November 2018. Web. 14 April 2021. <>