Sacred Heart Public Holiday - Dates and origin

10 Jun 2024

Date 2024

Monday, 10 of June

Date 2025

Monday, 30 of June

Official: Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Others: Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
Spanish: Sagrado Corazón de Jesús Sagrado Corazón
Representation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

The public holiday of the Sacred Heart is celebrated on the Monday following the the Feast of Corpus Christi.

The feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is the feast of God's love for men of all time. It is a devotion that has persisted since the beginning of Christianity, when devotees meditated on the wounds and open heart of Jesus.

Origin and meaning

The holiday originates from the special vision of Margarita María Alacoque, a nun born in France in 1647, who confessed to having mystical visions of Jesus. She saw him frequently and her heart was alive and beating.

Claude de la Colombière, Marguerite Maria's confessor, approved of the visions, even supposing that they were the product of his imagination. He considered devotion for its own sake worthy. For years, even until her beatification in 1864, Margarita María's visions were harshly criticized by the church.

The nun died when she was 47 years old. The sisters of the convent, the neighbors and priests mourned the death of what they already considered "saint".

On May 8, 1873, the devotion to the Sacred Heart was formally approved by Pope Pius IX. In 1920, Margarita Maria was declared a saint.

Celebration in Colombia

In many chapels and parishes, special prayers are held on the Friday before the public holiday (original day of the feast). The official liturgy is held the following Sunday in all the churches in Colombia.

In Montería, Córdoba, and in Bochalema, Norte de Santander, the patron saint festivities of the Corazón de Jesús are celebrated with special masses and processions for peace.

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, better known as the Church of the National Vow, celebrates the solemnity of the festival. This church, located in Bogotá near the Casa de Nariño, also receives many visits due to its classical style and its large stained glass windows and paintings.

A story to remember

En 1902, el presidente José Manuel Marroquín, en la recién construida iglesia del Voto Nacional en Santafé de Bogotá, consagró a Colombia al Sagrado Corazón de Jesús, como un gesto para lograr la paz. Cincuenta años después, la consagración fue renovada. En 1994, la Corte Constitucional declaró inconstitucional el artículo 2 de la ley Primera de 1952, que consagraba al país a esta devoción.

Something to consider

The date of this day changes every year because it is calculated according to the old lunar calendar. Traditionally it is celebrated 68 days after Easter Sunday, therefore it always falls on a Friday. However, in Colombia the date is always moved to the following Monday since Law 51 of 1983 (Emiliani Law) was created.

On some years, the calculated date is the same as the St Peter and St Paul's public holiday because both have independent calculation logics. Although the traditions of the two celebrations are maintained, both holidays are observed on the same day. It is for this reason, in addition to the fact that other holidays may fall on a Sunday, that the media often report that in a particular year there will be fewer holidays than usual.

Other public holidays