IN the order of grace as in the order of nature, in the usual course of things no phenomena are seen, no events occur which have not been brought about by a gradual process. In everything there is an organic connection and continuity, and from the tender germ, the small and feeble beginning, the plant is developed until it reaches perfection in the brilliant blossom or fully matured fruit. In like manner the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus did not appear all of a sudden in the Church, as a meteor in the nightly firmament; during the centuries preceding its introduction and propagation, its rise was long foreseen and the hearts of the faithful ‘were prepared to’ welcome it. It may be asserted with perfect justice that the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus dates from the foundation of the Church. For its theological basis rests upon the principal and most well-known truths of our holy faith, and the sacred humanity of Our Lord was from the outset venerated and adored; hence it would be strange if Christian sentiment and love for Christ had never led the faithful in the first centuries to include the cultus of the Sacred Heart of the Redeemer in their practices of piety and devotion. And if in the earliest ages of Christianity little definite evidence is found to substantiate this fact, yet there are unmistakable elementary indications and traces of this devotion both in the writings of St. Paul, and also in those of St. Augustine and St. John Chrysostom.