Just as the Catholic Church dedicates the month of May to Mary, so does she devote the month of June to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Wife, mother of seven, author and speaker Emily Jaminet has a strong devotion to the Sacred Heart, which she describes as “a wounded and broken heart, and yet it is a perfect heart. Jesus wants to offer us healing, hope, comfort and strength from receiving his love, living in that love and sharing it with others.”
Emily is the author of “Secrets of the Sacred Heart: Twelve Ways to Claim Jesus’ Promises in Your Life” (Ave Maria Press, $14.95) and the executive director of the Sacred Heart Enthronement Network. In this interview, which has been edited and condensed for clarity, Emily shares how this powerful devotion can provide a blueprint for living life.
Radiant: What drew you, as a woman, to the Sacred Heart of Jesus?
Emily Jaminet: Perfect love. As a busy wife and mother, I realized that I couldn’t live off my own love. I needed to tap into the eternal source of love from the Heart of Jesus. I was blessed to be raised in a beautiful Catholic family that has honored and loved this devotion for generations, so it was easy to pick it up and incorporate it into my own life.
Radiant: What does it mean to “enthrone your home”?
Emily: Enthronement is the desire to fulfill the words Jesus gave to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in the 1670s. In a vision, he told her to “expose and honor his heart, and you shall be blessed.” It is a ceremony in which Jesus is invited into the home (school, parish or workplace) and given authority over those therein. An image or statue of the Sacred Heart is given a place of honor. The enthronement is a starting point for allowing Jesus to lead the household closer to Christ.
In the mid-20th century, Father Mateo Crawley Boevey, an apostle of the enthronement of the Sacred Heart, had a great desire to help strengthen families against the wave of modernism and relativism that was tearing families apart. In his time, this happened through difficult jobs in factories and poverty, but we can now see it in a rampant loss of faith.
Families have never been so stressed and strained. The people of faith are in a great spiritual battle, and the enthronement is a powerful way for a family to live out the words from Joshua 24:15: “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” No matter what trials and stresses you are under, Jesus wants to walk with you in your day-to-day life. He wants to be part of everyday Catholic living and strengthen the family or individual to grow in holiness in living out God’s will.
Radiant: What fruits have you seen since doing this in your own home?
Emily: When we enthroned the Sacred Heart in our home back in 2013, I never could have imagined a life focused on this apostolate. I like to say that the enthronement of the Sacred Heart has given me new lenses to see my life and the impact I can have on others. I desire to grow a bigger and more Christ-like heart that is sensitive and loving toward my family, my friends, my community and the entire world. This is a devotion of hope, of healing, and a way that everyone gets a new beginning.
My children have received a lot of comfort from the images in the home, where we pray, where we discuss life, and where I seek strength to continue on when I feel tired or worn down. Jesus helps my husband and me parent (our children). He gives us all the graces we need for our state in life, and we have come to appreciate the important titles of Jesus associated with this devotion: friend, brother, savior, protector, provider.
Radiant: How have you witnessed others’ experience of this devotion, in your work with the Sacred Heart Enthronement Network?
Emily: I have witnessed families overcome difficult trials such as sickness, unemployment, addictions, and tricky and challenging times with parenting. The Sacred Heart offers his love to each of us. When we embrace this love, we can begin working with Jesus to be healed and strengthened.
No family is the same after the enthronement. Why? Because you are inviting Jesus to come into your house and to expose what needs to be revealed and to heal what needs healing. Who doesn’t need that?
I have heard powerful testimonies from single people who know they no longer live alone; Jesus is with them always. (I write about this very topic in my book.)
Radiant: How might a woman discern if she is called to this devotion?
Emily: One reason I wrote “Secrets of the Sacred Heart” is that I wanted to help Catholics see that this devotion is for everyone, not just the “perfect and pious.” Rather, it is a devotion for all Catholics who have the intention to live out the Faith.
In my research, I learned that in the 1950s, almost every Catholic family in countries like Ireland and America had an image in the home. I once met a priest from India who told me the same thing.
Radiant: How does the enthronement work?
Emily: The enthronement entails three phases: preparation, enthronement and living it out. The preparation includes a triduum — three days — of prayer, and you can always choose to prepare longer. The most important thing is that you seek to live out your faith and welcome Jesus.
Enthronement is different from personal consecration. Consecration is a decision to make a covenant with the Lord; enthronement is a decision to welcome Jesus with a throne to live in your home and to live out the robust understanding that you represent or speak on behalf of your family, even if they are not practicing faith.
If you move, the enthronement follows you. Still, I recommend that you renew the enthronement as a way to recall the love of Jesus and refocus your family. We seek to renew our enthronement when we need special graces (like at the height of the pandemic, when we renewed ours).
I have witnessed firsthand lives transformed through the enthronement of the Sacred Heart when individuals seek to honor Jesus and welcome the Sacred Heart into their life.
Emily encourages Catholic women to download the enthronement ceremony or order materials from the Sacred Heart Enthronement Network, to begin living this devotion out in their homes.