(1933 Edition, Jesus, King of Love)
To our Beloved Son,
Priest of the Congregation of the
Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
BENEDICT XV. POPE.
Beloved Son, Health and
the Apostolic Blessing.
We have perused with interest your letter, and the documents that accompanied it. They show us the active zeal which you have devoted for many years to the work of consecrating families to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, so that our Divine Savior Jesus Christ may reign visibly at each Catholic hearth, while His image is installed and, as it were, enthroned in the principal place in the home. Our Predecessor, Leo XIII., of happy memory, had consecrated the entire human race to this Divine Heart, and His noteworthy Encyclical “Annum Sacrum” on the subject is well known. Notwithstanding that general and collective consecration, however, the devotion as applied to each family in particular is not without its purpose. On the contrary, it is perfectly in accord with the former, and can only contribute to the realization of the religious aim of that Pontiff, for that which concerns each one in particular affects us more deeply than the interests we share with many. Therefore We rejoice at the thought that your work has borne abundant fruit in this direction, and We exhort you to persevere with diligence in an apostolate so successfully begun.
Nothing, as a matter of fact, is more suitable to the needs of the present day than your enterprise. To pervert, both in private and in public life, the moral sense begot and fostered by the Church, to lead human society back to the miserable conception of paganism — after having almost effaced the last vestige of Christian wisdom and decency — such is the dream which too many, alas! seek to realize to-day. May God grant that their attempts may be fruitless. Accordingly, the efforts of the wicked are above all directed against the family. For they clearly see that the corruption they seek to bring upon it will surely be brought about once they succeed in overturning the foundations upon which the family is based, since the latter is the nucleus of civil society. Hence divorce laws are introduced to put an end to the stability of marriage. Hence children are forced to follow an official teaching so often estranged from religion and ruining the authority of parents in a matter of the highest importance. Hence countenance is given to the spread of a shameful habit of selfish indulgence which contravenes the laws of nature, strikes a blow at the human race at its very source, and strips the marriage tie of all its sanctity. You do well then, dear Son, while taking up the cause of human society, to arouse and propagate above all things a Christian spirit in the home by setting up in each family the reign of the love of Christ. And in doing this you are but obeying Our Divine Lord Himself, Who promised to shower His blessings upon the homes wherein His Sacred Heart should be exposed and honored.
It is assuredly, therefore, a holy and salutary work to secure for our beloved Redeemer such worship and honor. But this is not all that is required. It is of paramount importance that Christ, His teaching, life and glory should be known. For, to follow ChriSt does not consist in allowing ourselves to be swayed by a superficial religious sentiment’ that moves tender hearts to tears but leaves our vices intact. To follow Christ is to be permeated with a lively and constant faith which not only acts upon the mind and heart, but likewise governs and directs our conduct. And the real reason why Christ is neglected by many and but little loved by others is to be found in the fact that He is almost entirely unknown to the former and not known sufficiently by the latter. Continue, therefore, dear Son, in your efforts and apostolate to enkindle at each hearth flames of love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus. But above all — and this is Our wish — strive that in all the houses you visit this love may be preceded by such a full and high knowledge of Jesus Christ, of His truth, and of His law as He Himself has given us.
For Our part, in order to encourage the piety of the faithful in this matter, We extend to all families of the Catholic world that shall make this Consecration, all those spiritual favors which Our Predecessor, Pius · X., of happy memory, granted with Pontifical liberality in 1913 at the instance of the Bishops of Chili to the families of that State consecrated to the Sacred Heart.
As a pledge of divine favor and as a mark of Our paternal goodwill, with Our whole heart We impart to you, beloved Son, the Apostolic Blessing.
Given at St. Peter’s, Rome, on the 27th day of April, 1915, in the’ first year of Our Pontificate.
BENEDICT XV., POPE.
Autograph Blessing of
His Holiness Pope Benedict XV.,
Rev. Father Mateo Crawley-Boevey,
“On the Director and the members of the Work of the ‘Social Reign of the Sacred Heart in Christian Families,’ We gladly bestow the Apostolic Benediction, hoping that their Crusade of faith and love may make Jesus Christ better known, and may restore His Sovereignty over the family and over society at large.”
Given at the Vatican, 12th May, 1917.
BENEDICTUS PP., XV.
His Holiness Pope Pius XI.,
on the occasion of the
Silver Sacerdotal Jubilee
Rev. Father Mateo Crawley-Boevy,
To our Beloved Son, Fr. Mateo Crawley-Boevey, Chief Director of the Work of the Consecration of families to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
PIUS XI., PP.
Beloved Son, Health and the Apostolic Benediction.
It will soon be your happiness to renew the holy memory of that day on which, twenty-five years ago, you offered for the first time the Holy Sacrifice to God and promised to work for the salvation of souls and His own Divine Glory. And, in fact, how absorbed you have been by these resolves, during the years gone by, is easily seen by the manner in which you have spread filial love everywhere to the August Heart of Jesus not only by consecrating families to this worship, but seeing to it that Christ the Lord should have, as King, the place of honor in every home.
We therefore seize this favorable opportunity to manifest Our personal good-will to you. We join Our late Predecessors in showering praise upon you, and very willingly share with you the joy of this happy occasion.
We pray God may keep you in His graciousness for long days to come to carry out even more devotedly your original enterprise, and with an ever expanding love to the Most Holy Eucharist; for, if ever before, it is now, in the great upheaval of all things, a most pressing need, that the Lord Jesus, the King of Peace, Who is alone the Way, the Truth and the Life, should rule the social life of men.
As a forecast of Heavenly gifts and from the depths of Our heart, we grant you, beloved Son, and all belonging to you, the Apostolic Blessing.
Given at St. Peter’s, Rome, this 15th day of the month of December, 1923, in the second year of Our Pontificate.
Pius PP., XI.
Very affectionately m the Lord, under Our own hand.
Further Letters from
His Holiness Pius XI.
to Father Mateo.
From the Vatican,
April 4th, 1929.
Most Reverend Father,
The Sovereign Pontiff gladly received the letters in which so many Bishops give their approbation to the work of Nocturnal Adoration. These letters, coming from you as a homage, on behalf of all the Night Adorers and on the occasion of His jubilee, have given Him the greatest pleasure.
His Holiness cordially thanks you for this fresh testimony of the veneration felt for His Sacred Person. He sees in it, yet another mark of the zeal for souls which animates you, and of your devotedness to the social duty of making reparation for the many outrages offered to Our Lord, Who loves men so much, and yet, is not loved in return.
The Sovereign Pontiff, having noted with great satisfaction the good results of this apostleship, blesses it wholeheartedly. In the belief that it will help much towards enabling many souls to live in true accord with the teaching of the Holy Gospels, He sends, as a pledge of His Fatherly interest, to you and to all Nocturnal Adorers, a special Apostolic Blessing.
Accept, most Reverend Father, the assurance of my own devotedness in your regard.
(Signed} CARD. GASPARRI.
From the Vatican,
October 25th, 1930.
His Holiness has entrusted to me the pleasant duty of requesting you to thank on His behalf all Nocturnal Adorers in the Home for the rich treasure of so many nights of prayer offered Him as a mark of filial affection, on the occasion of His Sacerdotal Jubilee.
The Holy Father is happy to express His best wishes for the success of this Work of Reparation which will undoubtedly be productive of the most consoling results. He imparts most lovingly to all the members, as a token of His Fatherly benevolence, the Apostolic Benediction.
Believe me, Reverend Father,
Yours devotedly in Jesus Christ,