Seminary/School of Divinity
Master of Arts in Theology (M.A.)
Type of Paper/Work
Christian D. Washburn
In 1956, Pope Pius XII wrote the encyclical Haurietis Aquas where he presented the dogmatic and scriptural basis for devotion to the Sacred Heart. Pope Pius XII called for “a more earnest consideration” of the principles that underlie devotion to the Sacred Heart. This thesis explains the theological significance of the Sacred Heart. First it analyzes the term “devotion” and “heart” to provide a clearer understanding of devotion to the Sacred Heart. Then it presents the biblical roots of the Sacred Heart by analyzing “heart” as it is found in the Bible as well as by analyzing three Gospel pericopes: Mt 11:25-30, Jn 13:21-32, and Jn 19:31-37. The third section of the thesis shows that the Sacred Heart is at the core of theology by presenting the history of magisterial statements on the Sacred Heart as well as explaining the three-fold love of the Sacred Heart as described by Pope Pius XII. The fourth and final section of the thesis presents how the theology of the Sacred Heart influences three other areas of theology: Mariology, Ecclesiology, and the theology of the Eucharist. The thesis ultimately demonstrates the truth of Pope Benedict XVI’s statement in his homily for the opening of the Year for Priests: “The very core of Christianity is expressed in the heart of Jesus; in Christ the revolutionary ‘newness’ of the Gospel is completely revealed and given to us: the Love that saves us and even now makes us live in the eternity of God.”
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Kapperman, Michael, "Theological Significance of the Sacred Heart" (2020). School of Divinity Master’s Theses and Projects. 25.
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