Pope Leo XIII approved this Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 1899 for public use. Before this date a variety of personal or more local litanies had been in use. Pope Leo, however, considered that it was about time a more universal form should be composed and used world-wide. The litany was therefore the product of a kind of evolutionary process. However, there are three main sources. The Jesuit priest Father Croiset composed a litany in 1691 from which 17 invocations were used by Venerable Anne Madeleine Remuzat in 1718 at Marseille. She joined an additional 10 invocations to those of Father Croiset, for a total of 27 invocations.
|Henri Pinta's depiction of Anne Madeleine and Mgr Belsunce.|
As Fr. John Hardon put it : ‘Each invocation reflects an aspect of God's love symbolized by the physical Heart of Christ, the Son of God who became man and died out of love for sinful mankind.' ( Here )
The litany provides us, therefore, with 33 facets of the mystery of God’s Love. Each one is a kind of icon of the love of God. Each one is a window into the mystery of the Trinity. Each one is a window into Holy Scripture. Each one is a window into our own hearts. Each one is an opportunity for dialogue.