An Orthodox Analysis of the “Sacred Heart” Worship

Originally appeared at: Patristic Faith


The Roman Catholic devotion of the Sacred Heart worship which was popularized in the 17th century has become one of the most popular devotions in the west, documents from the Vatican describing the theology behind the sacred heart worship such as Haurietis Aquas currently exist but have not received much of an analysis from the Orthodox perspective that is accessible today, aside from off-hand comments by Fr. Michael Pomazansky, there hasn’t been much said regarding sacred heart worship. This article looks at the sacred heart devotion from a Cyrillian-Chalcedonian paradigm which differentiates between the object of adoration, which is proper to hypostasis, and what pertains to adoration which is proper to nature. As such, the human heart of Christ becomes treated as a hypostasis, moreover, the implications of the sacred heart devotion is that one worships Christ dually according to His natures, which is the position of not only Nestorius but also Diodore of Tarsus. The Cyrillian condemnation of two worships in his 8th anathema is evaluated along with his response which is that we worship the hypostasis of Christ, not the natures of Christ.

When it comes to religious devotion and theology, most separate the two concepts from each other and assume that reason is concerned with metaphysical arguments and such whereas prayer and devotional worship are relegated to the more emotive and the non-rational. This in turn programs man not to question devotional practices and treat them in the category of blind faith, but Christian devotions have a logic and reason behind them, for example, baptism isn’t simply just being washed by water and having a few prayers said on you, it’s an entrance to the Church to the life in Christ by being renewed in the spirit, and casting off of the old man and throwing on the cloak of Christ on us. By being baptized and chrismated, we enter a Christ-like life by having the Spirit descend in our souls. We can see then that devotions are although revealed to us, are not contrary to reason but has a logic behind them, and it must be consistent with the faith, for instance, a Christian claiming that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is complete cannot do animal sacrifices, since the whole point of animal sacrifices was to point to Christ, and Christ bore on sin in His humanity and destroyed death on the cross.

This then allows us to enter into a certain mode of thinking and assessing certain Christian practices. Do we by good or bad intentions end up offering a strange fire to the Lord?[1] Christ tells us that we must worship God in spirit and truth, which means that devotions to Him must be in truth, and so devotions that end up creating a different kind of a Christ, or affirm a heresy that has been condemned by the can be considered to be offering strange fire to the Lord, and the penalty of this is death, and this penalty sometimes is bodily death, but often it is spiritual death that leads us away from Christ, which is the opposite of what a religious devotion intends to perform.

Few words have been said about the sacred heart devotion, particularly from Fr. Michael Pomazansky, this article will provide an abridged summarization of the sacred heart devotion, and then a much more in-depth, particularly Christological analysis of the sacred heart devotion. There’s much more to say about the sacred heart than just “we don’t have this devotion” since, like most devotions, it has certain theological presuppositions laden in it, this article aims to illustrate that the sacred heart devotion when its principles are taken to its logical conclusions result in certain Christological oddities at best, and Nestorianism at worst.

History of the Sacred Heart

According to Jean Bainvel, the sacred heart devotion cannot be found in the first 10 centuries of the Church.[2] This is also admitted by Pope Pius who after quoting passages from Saints such as Augustine, Basil, John Chrysostom, and Jerome says the following.

However, it must be noted that although these selected passages from Scripture and the Fathers and many similar ones that We have not cited give clear testimony that Jesus Christ was endowed with affections and sense perceptions, and hence that He assumed human nature in order to work for our eternal salvation, yet they never refer those affections to His physical heart in such a way as to point to it clearly as the symbol of His infinite love.[3]

This view is not controversial and due to Newmanite understanding of the development of doctrine, it is not a problem for most Roman Catholics to admit that this is mostly, if not totally, a devotion that originates after the schism between east and west. The earliest known hymn to the sacred heart is titled “Heart of Christ My King, I Greet Thee”[4]. An example of a sacred heart prayer for the sake of illustration goes as follows:

O most holy Heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, I adore You, I love You, and with a lively sorrow for my sins, I offer You this poor heart of mine. Make me humble, patient, pure, and wholly obedient to Your will. Grant, good Jesus, that I may live in You and for You. Protect me in the midst of danger; comfort me in my afflictions. Give me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs, Your blessing on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death. Amen.

Until the 17th century, the sacred heart worship was not as popular as it is today, and that is due to Margaret Mary Alacoque who claimed to have received certain visions and apparitions from Christ, which kickstarted the universal adoption of the sacred heart worship in the Roman Catholic Church. Two passages from her life particularly showcase the spirit of this devotion:

She herself wrote out the donation, and signed this humble formula: ‘Sister Peronne-Rosalie Greyfie, at present Superioress, and for whom Sister Margaret Mary daily asks conversion with the grace of final penitence.’ This done, Sister Margaret Mary implored Mother Greyfie to allow her, in turn, to sign, but with her blood. The Mother having assented, Sister Margaret Mary went to her cell, bared her breast, and, imitating her illustrious and saintly foundress, cut with a knife the name of Jesus above her heart. From the blood that flowed from the wound she signed the act in these words: ‘Sister Margaret Mary, Disciple of the Divine Heart of the Adorable Jesus'[5]

And later in the infirmary:

However, in the midst of the peace and joy that this great act had procured her, the generous and fervent Margaret Mary experienced one regret, namely, that the letters of the holy name of Jesus, which she had engraven on her heart and which she wished to be as lasting as her love, began, after some time, to grow faint, and to disappear. Resting on the permission that she had received, she tried once or twice to renew them by opening the lines with a knife; but not succeeding according to her liking, she determined to apply fire. This she did, but so incautiously that she soon had reason to fear having exceeded the limits of obedience. Trembling and humbled, she went to acknowledge her fault. Mother Greyfie, true to her custom, apparently paid little attention to what Margaret said, but ordered her in a few dry words to go to the infirmary and show her wound to Sister Augustine Marest, who would dress it.[6]

Papal Encyclicals on the Sacred Heart

            A very important question regarding the sacred heart must be addressed before we can move on, when Roman Catholics make prayers for Christ’s heart, do they worship the literal heart of Christ, or is the heart of Christ a symbol of His love towards us? Luckily the answer to this question can be found in various Papal Encyclicals, namely Auctorem Fidei and Haurietis Aquas. As such, we will not look at what online papal apologists say since they have no idea what their own devotions are, instead we will look at what the authoritative documents of the Roman Catholic Church has to say regarding this, since many online Roman Catholic apologists are ridiculing the idea that the sacred heart worship is the worship of Christ’s actual heart muscle, on the contrary, Auctorem Fidei condemns this idea:

Likewise, in this that it blames the worshipers of the Heart of Jesus also for this name, because they do not note that the most sacred flesh of Christ, or any part of Him, or even the whole humanity, cannot be adored with the worship of latria when there is a separation or cutting off from the divinity; as if the faithful when they adore the Heart of Jesus, separate it or cut it off from the divinity; when they worship the Heart of Jesus it is, namely, the heart of the person of the Word, to whom it has been inseparably united in that manner in which the bloodless body of Christ during the three days of death, without separation or cutting off from divinity, was worthy of adoration in the tomb,—deceitful, injurious to the faithful worshipers of the Heart of Jesus.[7]

But the most comprehensive encyclical on the sacred heart certainly is Pope Pius XII’s “Haurietis Aquas”, which is a specific description and defense of sacred heart worship. Pius XI states that the entirety of the Christian faith can be summarized in the sacred heart devotion,[8] Pius XII expands on this reasoning by explaining the symbolical aspects of this devotion, that the heart is a “natural sign and symbol of His boundless love for the human race.”[9] He also says ” For these reasons, the Heart of the Incarnate Word is deservedly and rightly considered the chief sign and symbol of that threefold love with which the divine Redeemer unceasingly loves His eternal Father and all mankind.”[10] So that we can understand that the human heart of Christ humanly manifests the Triune divine love of the Trinity.[11] Some might assume that since the devotion is based on symbolism, the worship of Christ’s sacred heart is a mere symbol, this is illustrated by a some online Roman Catholic Apologists claiming that it is ridiculous to suggest that the sacred heart devotion is truly worshipping the human heart of Christ:

On the contrary, Pius XII says:

That all may understand more exactly the teachings which the selected texts of the Old and New Testament furnish concerning this devotion, they must clearly understand the reasons why the Church gives the highest form of worship to the Heart of the divine Redeemer. As you well know, venerable brethren, the reasons are two in number. The first, which applies also to the other sacred members of the Body of Jesus Christ, rests on that principle whereby we recognize that His Heart, the noblest part of human nature, is hypostatically united to the Person of the divine Word. Consequently, there must be paid to it that worship of adoration with which the Church honors the Person of the Incarnate Son of God Himself. We are dealing here with an article of faith, for it has been solemnly defined in the general Council of Ephesus and the second Council of Constantinople.[12]

We thus understand several things from this paragraph according to Pius XII:

  1. The human heart of Christ, that is the heart muscles, is given adoration.[13] The same kind of adoration given to the person of Christ Himself
  2. The human heart of Christ is adored because it is hypostatically united to Christ.
  3. The third and fifth ecumenical councils are used as a justification.

While point 2 is correct and Orthodox, it contradicts point 1, and what is further interesting is Pius’ statement “Consequently, there must be paid to it that worship of adoration with which the Church honors the Person of the Incarnate Son of God Himself.”[14] Diodore of Tarsus says something very similar to what Pius XII says:

“But how do ye introduce one worship? is it as to the soul and body of kings? for the soul reigns not by itself and the body reigns not by itself, but God the Word was King before flesh; not therefore as to soul and body, so to God the Word and to flesh [is the worship paid].”[15]

We then see that when it comes to worship, Pius’ position on whether we can worship the human nature of Christ qua human nature is no different from Diodore’s.

What’s also interesting is the quasi-gnostic technique present in Pius’ position. He readily admits that the devotion is nowhere present in scripture or tradition[16]

but states that we can anticipate from the Old Testament that God will assume human nature and will love us in a divine-human manner.[17] The argument of imagery, symbolism, and typology is not gnostic itself, rather what is gnostic is redefining old biblical terms and language to fit into the new philosophical paradigm, this is why Pius believes “…these images were presented in the Sacred Writings foretelling the coming of the Son of God made man, they can be considered as a token of the noblest symbol and witness of that divine love, that is, of the most Sacred and Adorable Heart of the divine Redeemer.” Thus God’s love now prefigures the worship of His human heart, and the locus of worship has turned from God who loves to the love of God, thus God becomes appreciated not as a person, but as His attributes. Is it that surprising that other devotions such as the Holy Name of Jesus, Holy Face of Jesus, and the devotion of the Five Holy Wounds have sprung with this kind of reasoning? Of course, the wounds of Christ, His name, and His humanity are divine and should be revered, but the focus of these things is the person of Christ.

A summarization of Pius’ arguments and their logical consequences goes as follows:

  1. The heart of Christ is the symbol of God’s love manifested in a human form, due to the connection between symbolism and reality in Pius’ thought.[18]
  2. The physical heart of Christ is the object of worship alongside the person of Christ.
    • Since the heart of Christ is a part of Christ’s human nature, we can conclude that it is logically possible to worship Christ’s human nature entirely.
  3. The only scriptural and patristic basis for the sacred heart is an allusion to God’s love, and how we understand that love is manifested through the heart.
    • However, scripture speaks of many anthropomorphisms connected with functions of the human body, such as the “Eyes of the Lord”[19] in reference to God’s omniscience.
    • Thus, the main reference to the sacred heart devotion is not scripture nor tradition, but rather the mystic visions of post-schism Latin Saints such as Margaret Mary Alacoque.

One can try to argue that Hesychasm can be critiqued since it is based on the mystical theology and experience of St. Gregory Palamas, but that would not be a good comparison, for St. Gregory Palamas’ arguments heavily depend on the source of his hesychasm to be the fathers and St. Paul himself,[20] the theology of hesychasm too, such as the distinction between God’s essence and energies also finds Pauline roots[21].[22]

Aside from this significant difference in our understanding of devotions and their place in the faith and its history, I will now proceed to analyze the theological aspect of the Sacred Heart devotion and its Nestorian roots.

Theological Analysis of the Sacred Heart and the 3rd Ecumenical Council

“If anyone shall dare to say that the assumed man ought to be worshipped together with God the Word, and glorified together with him, and recognized together with him as God, and yet as two different things, the one with the other (for this “Together with” is added [i.e., by the Nestorians] to convey this meaning); and shall not rather with one adoration worship the Emmanuel and pay to him one glorification, as [it is written] “The Word was made flesh”: let him be anathema.”[23]– St. Cyril of Alexandria

            When St. Cyril of Alexandria condemned Nestorius in his 3rd Letter to him, he gave him a list of 12 propositions Nestorius must agree with to be Orthodox, this is referred to as the “12 anathemas” and was accepted by the 3rd Ecumenical Council. The focus of St. Cyril’s anathemas is to force Nestorius to admit that Christ is one person, and in order to establish that, he must likewise accept views such as Mary being the “Mother of God”[24] and that the Son is hypostatically united to His human nature as opposed to Nestorius’ Prosopic Union.[25] This proves that when St. Cyril is condemning Nestorius’ “two worships”, he is not merely repeating himself that Nestorius needs to accept that Christ is one, since that’s the entire point of the 12 anathemas, but rather the anathemas give a clear cut path for Nestorius to prove if he is Orthodox or not: Either Christ is worshipped as one due to Him being one hypostasis, or He is worshipped as two due to His two natures. To understand the 8th anathema in a greater context, one needs to look at St. Cyril’s Book 2 Against Nestorius, the latter half of the book mainly deals with the question of two worships.

for if you say that the human nature has been united Personally with the Word That sprang forth from God, why (tell me) do you insult the Divine Flesh? albeit you refuse not to worship it, while the duty of being worshipped belongs only to the Divine and Ineffable Nature: but if you do not think that a true union took place, but call rather by the name of connection, the rank which consists in identity of name and in mere and only equality of style, why do you prate in solemn language, saying that he that is born of the woman has “been accurately adjusted unto exact connection,” i. e., with the Word?[26]

This makes it clear that for St. Cyril, worship is proper only to the divine nature, and this idea is affirmed also in the 7th Ecumenical Council[27] and yet Nestorius is giving worship to the human nature of Christ, what makes it even more confusing is that St. Cyril then affirms that we do worship Christ’s humanity: “For we say that the Son being by Nature God, i. e., the Word out of God the Father, descended unto voluntary emptying, ascended again with the flesh too unto the God-befitting Dignity of His inherent Excellence: for He is worshipped with flesh too, as being an object of worship even before it”.[28] St. John of Damascus says something very similar to this as well,[29] so how is worship proper only to the Divine nature while the human nature of Christ is also worshipped? Part of St. John’s response states that the human nature is “added” to the hypostasis of Christ, which gives us a very strong hint that the distinction between hypostasis and nature is going to be very useful in answering this question. When St. Diodore rejects one worship and insists on worshipping Christ’s two natures by the usage of the body-soul analogy,[30] St. Cyril responds to him as thus:

Of diverse kind then is the worship, and hence it is not One worship from us (for this is what thy word bids us) : but where a difference in worship and honour is paid to the things named, and to each is accurately given what befits it, there full surely inequality of power follows : but inequality and difference in power, in regard to less and greater, comes to Two Hypostases and Persons. Union therefore flees away, the depth of the Mystery departs to nothing, for it is not right, he says, that as to the soul and body of kings should worship be paid, albeit how were it not better that this should be the type? for as out of soul and body is one man, albeit the properties of each have great diversity one to another, I mean as to their mode of being (for the soul is other than the body): so will you understand concerning Christ too the Saviour of us all. For the Word Which was made flesh, i. e., was seen in human likeness, is God: in order that He may be confessed to be and may be in truth, God alike and man, One and Onely All-Perfect Son. But he is saying I know not what, in trifling and childish imaginations daring to sport himself against the Truth.[31]

St. Cyril then strongly refutes Diodore’s analogy of using the body and soul as two natures to argue for two worships by saying that although the body and soul are two natures, they exist together and form man, and man exists as one, not two. The difference between St. Cyril and Diodore on this topic isn’t merely that Diodore’s Christology results in two persons, it is rather that by treating natures as an object of worship, the natures are treated as hypostases. St. Cyril’s statement “He is worshipped with flesh too, as being an object of worship even before it”[32] and St. John of Damascus’ “adoring even His immaculate flesh and not holding that the flesh is not meet for worship: for in fact it is worshipped in the one subsistence of the Word, which indeed became subsistence for it.”[33]

Becomes much clearer: Although only the divine nature is proper to be worshipped, the human nature is worshipped in the hypostasis of Christ. Thus, the question of what is proper to be worshipped is a question of nature, that is “what is that I am worshipping?”, object of worship however pertains to “who it is that I am worshipping?” so Christ is worshipped because He is divine, and the divine being that we worship is the person Christ. Thus we worship one God, because of one nature, but the object of our worship is a triad: Worshipping the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit.

St. Theodore’s debates against iconoclasts makes the patristic basis for this distinction very clear. For St. Theodore, God cannot be depicted due to His divine nature being uncircumscribed whereas since Christ incarnated and assumed a circumscribable human nature, He can be depicted. The iconoclast objection to this as summarized by Tollefsen is as thus:

The iconophiles claim that one may paint an icon of the incarnate God. If that is so, they must further claim that the invisible Godhead is seen in the incarnate Lord, but this implies that the uncircumscribed divinity is circumscribed in accordance with the flesh, since according to the principle of the hypostatic union there can be no separation of the natures. Consequently, the iconophile position implies the heretical view that the Godhead as such is bodily circumscribed if it is to be seen. But this amounts to a kind of confusion of the natures that in fact implies a change from one kind of being into another kind of being and turns the incarnate God into an Arian­like Christ. [The “Chalcedonian logic” seems here to be applied to accuse the iconophiles of being Arians.] If the iconophile wants to avoid this, the strategy is open to divide the natures and claim that one only paints the humanity of Christ, which would likewise be heretical.[34]

Thus the iconoclast falls into the same problem as Nestorius, which is ironic given that the iconoclasts were the ones accusing iconophiles of being Nestorian, due to their confusion of nature and person the iconoclast thinks that by admitting that Christ is depicted because He is man means that depicting Christ implies He is a human hypostasis, St. Theodore the Studite on the other hand replies to this by saying: “When anyone is portrayed, it is not the nature but the hypostasis which is portrayed. For how could a nature be portrayed unless it were contemplated in an hypostasis?”[35] So that the arguments against Nestorianism are repeated in St. Theodore’s arguments against Iconoclasts: Christ can be depicted because His humanity is circumscribed, but it is the hypostasis of Christ that is depicted. Similarly, when we depict St. Paul or any other human hypostasis, we write characteristics of St. Paul, for instance since he is the author of the 13 epistles in the Bible, he is usually depicted as holding multiple epistles to differentiate him from other people. Similarly, Christ is differentiated from others, for instance since He is God He is depicted with a cruciform halo, which showcases that although the halo which symbolizes divine grace is in Christ also, since He is God by nature, the grace He has is by nature, unlike human persons.

What does all of this mean for the sacred heart? To explain it in simple terms, the worship of the sacred heart turns the sacred heart into an object of worship, and thus it becomes something worshipped alongside Christ which is what St. Cyril warns us of: “For that which is co-worshipped with other is altogether other than that with which it is co-worshipped. But we are accustomed to worship Emmanuel with one worship, not severing from the Word the Body That was Personally united to Him.”[36]

 If the devotional prayers are directed to the sacred heart, then those prayers treat the heart, which is a part of Christ’s human nature, as a hypostasis, thus there is a confusion between object of worship which is proper to hypostasis and what is proper to be worshipped which is proper to nature. St. Cyril of Alexandria continuously nails Nestorius on this point, that by treating the natures of Christ as objects of worship he ends up arguing for there being two Christs: “and severing them into two you worship them, yea rather you co-worship, and think that you are freeing the Church from the charge of god-making, yourself engoddening a man, and not saying One Son even though He be not conceived of apart from His own flesh: for then would you worship Him unblamed, and will know where you were, as it is written, going astray from the doctrines of the truth.”[37]

Not to mention, since the sacred heart is distinct from the person of Christ, and is a part of human nature, it means that one can arguably worship other parts of Christ’s body, after all, why just stop at the heart? This means that the human nature as a whole can logically be worshipped in the Roman Catholic system, eucharistic adoration being an example of that, but that is precisely what St. Cyril of Alexandria and the 5th Ecumenical Council seek to avoid as Fr. Michael Pomazansky who according to Fr. Seraphim Rose is “perhaps the greatest living theologian of the Orthodox Church”[38] shows below:

To the Lord Jesus Christ as to one person, as the God-Man, it is fitting to give a single inseparable worship, both according to Divinity and according to humanity, precisely because both natures are inseparably united in Him. The decree of the Fathers of the Fifth Ecumenical Council (the Ninth Canon against Heretics) reads: “If anyone shall take the expression, Christ ought to be worshipped in His two natures, in the sense that he wishes to introduce thus two adorations, the one in special relation to God the Word and the other as pertaining to the Man … and does not venerate, by one adoration, God the Word made man, together with His flesh, as the Holy Church has taught from the beginning: let him be anathema[39][40]

The irony here is Pius XII claiming that the 5th Council can be used to defend the worship of the sacred heart when it in fact includes theological principles that foundationally oppose such an idea. Fr. Michael then directly talks about the sacred heart and briefly touches on the reasons why we as Orthodox cannot accept such a devotion:

In connection with this decree of the Council it may be seen how out of harmony with the spirit and practice of the Church is the cult of the “Sacred Heart of Jesus” which has been introduced into the Roman Catholic Church. Although the above-cited decree of the Fifth Ecumenical Council touches only on the separate worship of the Divinity and the humanity of the Saviour, it still indirectly tells us that in general the veneration and worship of Christ should be directed to Him as a whole and not to parts of His Being; it must be one. Even if by “heart” we should understand the Saviour’s love itself, still neither in the Old Testament nor in the New was there ever a custom to worship separately the love of God, or His wisdom, or His creative or providential power, or His sanctity. All the more must one say this concerning the parts of His bodily nature. There is something unnatural in the separation of the heart from the general bodily nature of the Lord for the purpose of prayer, contrition, and worship before Him. Even in the ordinary relationships of life, no matter how much a man might be attached to another — for example, a mother to a child — he would never refer his attachment to the heart of the beloved person, but will refer it to the given person as a whole.[41]

His analysis is a very good summary of why for Orthodox Christianity, sacred heart worship is theologically unacceptable and condemned by St. Cyril of Alexandria’s 8th Anathema against Nestorius. It is also interesting that the Roman Catholic Church has departed from St. Cyril and the 7th Ecumenical Council on the matter of worship being proper to the divine nature alone since the Roman Catholic position is that “absolute latria, it is given only to God, as the Trinity, or one of the Divine Persons, Christ as God and as man, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and the Holy Eucharist.”[42]

Having said all of this, a few curious questions start to rise about the Eucharist, what then do we make of the Eucharist in the Orthodox Church? Is the adoration of it the same as Roman Catholic eucharistic adoration? Do we even adore the eucharist in the first place? Such questions that are usually raised against the Orthodox who critique the sacred heart will too be answered

Eucharistic Adoration

To hammer home the Orthodox notion of worship being based on the distinction between nature and hypostasis, eucharistic adoration becomes properly understood in the Orthodox divine liturgy. The Roman Catholic Church is correct to say that we adore the Eucharist since the eucharist is the body, blood, soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ. However, an interesting prayer that is read quietly by the priest prior to the elevation from the divine liturgy of St. John Chrysostom verifies the very principles that are being defended in this article.

We give thanks to You, invisible King, Who by Your boundless power fashioned the universe, and in the multitude of Your mercy brought all things from nothing into being. Look down from heaven, O Master, upon those who have bowed their heads before You; for they have not bowed before flesh and blood, but before You, the awesome God. Therefore, O Master, make smooth and beneficial for us all, whatever lies ahead, according to the need of each: Sail with those who sail; travel with those who travel; heal the sick, Physician of our souls and bodies.

This decisively answers that according to the eastern liturgical tradition, the adoration given to the Eucharist is once again not mere “flesh and blood” but the flesh and blood of Christ, and thus when we adore the Eucharist we as usual are adoring the hypostasis of Christ, since His body and blood that is offered to us is hypostatically united to Him. Other questions regarding the specific Roman Catholic tradition of adoring the Eucharist after the liturgy is beyond the scope of this article, but it still showcases that the center of divine worship is the person of Christ not only in triune worship as the Son being the express image of the Father’s hypostasis,[43] but also when we worship God who assumed human nature for our sakes.


[ii] Bainvel, J. (1910). Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved May 31, 2022 from New Advent:

[iii] Pope Pius XII, Haurietis Aquas: On Devotion to the Sacred Heart, May 15, 1956, paragraph 53


[v] Monseigneur Bougaud (1890). Revelations of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to Blessed Margaret Mary and the History of Her Life. New York: Benziger Brothers. pp. 209, 210. From

[vi] Ibid.

[vii]Auctorem Fidei, Paragraph 63

[viii]Pope Pius XII, Haurietis Aquas: On Devotion to the Sacred Heart, May 15, 1956, paragraph 15

[ix] Ibid. paragraph 22

[x] Ibid. Paragraph 54

[xi] Ibid. Paragraph 55

[xii] Ibid. Paragraph 21

[xiii] What is referred to as “Latria” in the Greek

[xiv] Ibid.

[xv] Quote by St. Cyril of Alexandria, Against Diodore of Tarsus and Theodore of Mopsuestia (fragments of book 1), LFC 47 (1881) pp. 320-336.

[xvi] Pope Pius XII, Haurietis Aquas: On Devotion to the Sacred Heart, May 15, 1956, paragraphs 23, 53

[xvii] Ibid. paragraph 23

[xviii] This is one aspect of Pius’ document that I can positively appraise since symbolism and reality are not inherently opposed to one another but oftentimes necessitates one another.

[xix] For some examples see Proverbs 15:3; 2 Chronicles 16:9;1 Peter 3:12

[xx] See Fr. Maximos Constas “Paul the Hesychast: Gregory Palamas and the Pauline Foundations of Hesychast Theology and Spirituality”

[xxi] See Dr. David Bradshaw, “The Divine Energies in the New Testament”

[xxii] See my “Essence Energies Distinction in the Bible”

[xxiii] Letter 17, 8th Anathema”

[xxiv] Anathema 1: If anyone will not confess that the Emmanuel is very God, and that therefore the Holy Virgin is the Mother of God, inasmuch as in the flesh she bore the Word of God made flesh [as it is written, “The Word was made flesh”] let him be anathema.

[xxv] Anathema 2: If anyone shall not confess that the Word of God the Father is united hypostatically to flesh, and that with that flesh of his own, he is one only Christ both God and man at the same time: let him be anathema.

[xxvi] St. Cyril of Alexandria, Against Nestorius, Book 2

[xxvii] The Seven Ecumenical Councils of the Undivided Church, trans H. R. Percival, in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, second series, ed. P. Schaff and H. Wace (New York, 1890; reprint, Grand Rapids, MI, 1955), XIV, p. 550: “true worship of faith (latreia) which pertains alone to the divine nature”

[xxviii] Ibid.

[xxix] St. John of Damascus, Exposition of the Orthodox Faith Book 3, Chapter 8: Christ, therefore , is one, perfect God and perfect man: and Him we worship along with the Father and the Spirit, with one obeisance, adoring even His immaculate flesh and not holding that the flesh is not meet for worship: for in fact it is worshipped in the one subsistence of the Word, which indeed became subsistence for it. But in this we do not do homage to that which is created. For we worship Him, not as mere flesh, but as flesh united with divinity, and because His two natures are brought under the one person and one subsistence of God the Word. I fear to touch coal because of the fire bound up with the wood. I worship the twofold nature of Christ because of the divinity that is in Him bound up with flesh. For I do not introduce a fourth person into the Trinity. God forbid! But I confess one person of God the Word and of His flesh, and the Trinity remains Trinity, even after the incarnation of the Word.

[xxx] See footnote 17: “But how do ye introduce one worship? is it as to the soul and body of kings? for the soul reigns not by itself and the body reigns not by itself, but God the Word was King before flesh; not therefore as to soul and body, so to God the Word and to flesh [is the worship paid].”

[xxxi] St. Cyril of Alexandria, Against Diodore of Tarsus and Theodore of Mopsuestia (fragments of book 1), LFC 47 (1881) pp. 320-336.

[xxxii] St. Cyril of Alexandria, Against Nestorius, Book 2

[xxxiii] St. John of Damascus, Exposition of the Orthodox Faith Book 3, Chapter 8

[xxxiv] Torstein Theodor Tollefsen, St. Theodore the Studite’s Defence of the Icons, p. 70

[xxxv] Ibid. 96

[xxxvi] St. Cyril of Alexandria, Against Nestorius, Book 2

[xxxvii] Ibid.

[xxxviii] Fr. Seraphim Rose, The Soul After Death

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