From a news bulletin from the Vatican.
13th June 99
John Paul II emphasized the extraordinary current importance of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in two documents written for the day dedicated to the greatest symbol of God's love for humanity. The first document commemorates the centenary of the consecration of humanity to the Heart of Jesus by Leo XIII on June 11, 1899. Today, the Pope signed the text in Warsaw. The second document is directed to Bishop Louis-Marie Bill, president of the French Episcopal Conference, on the occasion of the solemn celebration of the Sacred Heart at the shrine of Paray-le-Monial, near Lyon, where thousands of pilgrims from all over France and other countries congregate this week. It was in this town that St.Mary Margaret Alacoque had the vision that led to the institution of this devotion. In the message on the centenary of the consecration, the Holy Father explained that 'from the Heart of the Son of God who died on the cross flows the perennial source of life, which gives hope to every man. From the Heart of the crucified Christ the new humanity is born, redeemed from sin. The man of 2000 needs the Heart of Christ to know God and to know himself, and to build the civilization of love. While we prepare to celebrate the Great Jubilee of 2000, this centenary helps us to contemplate our humanity with hope, and to enter the third millennium illuminated by the light of the mystery of Christ,' he added. The pontifical message sent to the pilgrims at the shrine of Saint Mary Margaret Alacoque recalls that a century ago, while consecrating humanity to the Heart of Jesus, Leo XIII 'asked the Lord to be King of all the faithful, including those who have abandoned him and those who do not know him.' The message to the pilgrims of Paray-le-Monial continues by recalling that 'every soul that rises to God, also raises the world and mysteriously contributes to the salvation freely offered by the Heavenly Father.' John Paul II concluded by inviting all the faithful to continue with their devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, 'adapting it to our time' so that they will 'not fail to receive its unfathomable riches.'