Father Anthony Ho

Jesuit ‘youth-saint’ spread devotion to Sacred Heart

Voices Nov. 6, 2018

Bl. Bernardo Francisco de Hoyos, as a Jesuit novitiate, with the Sacred Heart of Jesus appearing before him. (Miguel Galván/Wikimedia Commons)

Blessed Bernardo Francisco de Hoyos was the first apostle of the Sacred Heart in Spain. He was born in Torrelobatón, Spain, on Aug. 21, 1711. Three hundred years later, on Aug. 21, 2011, the Mass of World Youth Day was celebrated in Madrid. The evening before, at the conclusion of the vigil service, Pope Benedict XVI consecrated the youth of the world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Bernardo studied in the Jesuit school in Medina del Campo and was drawn to the Jesuit way of life. At 14, he desired to enter the Society of Jesus and was accepted into the novitiate in 1726.

During his two years as a novice, the young Jesuit saints Aloysius Gonzaga and Stanislaus Kostka were being canonized. The canonization process of John Berchmans had also been initiated. Bernardo chose John Berchmans as his model and intercessor.

At his profession on July 12, 1728, Bernardo heard Our Lord say to him: “From today on I will unite Myself more intimately to you because of my love for you.”

On Aug. 10, 1729, Our Lord, covered with his Precious Blood, appeared to Bernardo, and showing him the wound in his side, said, “Rejected by humanity, I come to find my consolation with chosen souls.”

In 1732, Bernardo told his spiritual director, “I see that everything in my heart is moving towards God, drawn like an iron to a magnet. It desires only God, searches only for God, and longs only for God.”

On May 4, 1733, Bernardo received a decisive mission from Jesus: “I wish for you to spread the Devotion to My Sacred Heart throughout all of Spain.” Bernardo experienced total immersion into the Heart of Christ. He wrote, “From this moment, I have been submerged and absorbed by the Divine Heart. As for eating, sleeping, studying and the rest, my soul appears not to recognize anything but the Heart of its Beloved; and while I am before our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, then break loose the torrents of His choicest favours.”

On May 14, Bernardo obtained what is known as the “Great Promise” from the Sacred Heart: “This will always be my place of rest. I will make my home here – the place where I have desired and chosen to be. I will reign in Spain with more veneration than in other places.”

Bernardo consecrated himself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus on June 12, 1733, using the same formula written by the Jesuit St. Claude de la Colombière (the spiritual director of St. Margaret Mary) 50 years earlier.

From then on, Bernardo did all he could to spread devotion to the Sacred Heart. He formed a group of devoted collaborators to communicate to others the essence of the devotion to the Sacred Heart.

Bernardo distributed prayer cards and leaflets and founded many confraternities and associations in honour of the Sacred Heart.

On Jan. 2, 1735, Bernardo was ordained a priest, but less than a year later, on Nov. 29, he died after contracting typhus.

Bernardo was beatified in Spain on April 18, 2010. St. Aloysius Gonzaga, St. Stanislaus Kostka, St. John Berchmans, and Blessed Bernardo Francisco de Hoyos are the four “youth-saints” of the Society of Jesus and models of purity.

In fact, Bernardo’s intercession is especially helpful to those who struggle with the vice of impurity. Bernardo’s devotion to the Sacred Heart - the complete surrender of all his affections – is an antidote to all impurity.










5月14日,納德從耶穌聖心獲得「大許諾」。耶穌明言:「這常是我憩息的地方。我將在此作居所 ── 我所盼望和揀選的地方。我將在西班牙統治比在其他地方更得尊敬。」1733年6月12日,納德源用五十年前聖高隆汴(聖女瑪加利大的神師)寫下的禱詞,把自己奉獻給耶穌聖心。