The familiar Sacred Heart Badge owes its origin to St. Margaret Mary. During one of the many apparitions, Our Lord expressed a wish that those who loved Him should wear or carry a picture of His Sacred Heart. St. Margaret Mary responded by making some little pictures which she and her friends carried. They were really the first Sacred Heart badges.
Thirty years later, the city of Marseilles, devastated by the plague, consecrated their city to the Sacred Heart. Everyone present put on a Sacred Heart badge. Those who wore the badge were protected by the plague, and the devotion began to spread.
During the French Revolution, priests, nobles, and commoners adopted the badge, and it quickly became a symbol of resistance against the bloody revolution, especially in the Vendée region. Other counter revolutionaries took up the devotion – Andreas Hofer’s Tyroleans fighting against Napoleon, the Cristeros who fought against the Mexican revolution, and the Spanish "requetés" whose intervention was decisive for the Anti-Communist Catholics in the Spanish Civil War, are just a few of them.
Pope Pius IX was asked his opinion of the badge in the year 1870. His answer: “This is an inspiration from Heaven. Yes, from Heaven. I am going to bless this Heart and want all badges made after this model to receive the same blessing, so that in the future, it will not be necessary for the blessing to be renewed by a priest. And I want Satan to be unable to cause any harm to those who wear this Badge, symbol of the adorable Heart of Jesus.”
More history about the devotion to the Sacred Heart Itself can be read on our Doctrine and Devotions page .
The front of the badge pictures Our Lord with a quote from the Gospel: “Come to Me all you that labor and are burdened and I will refresh you.”
On the back of the badge is a close up image of the Sacred Heart. Above the image are the words of Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary when He first revealed to her His Heart: “Behold this heart, which has so loved men.” Beneath the image in the invocation “Cease the heart of Jesus is with me!”