The Irish Sacred Heart Messenger is 125 years old, come this January. And to mark the occasion, the Messenger Office have brought out a special edition which features the cover of the very first magazine, published in January, 1888 (see photo).
The January 2013 Messesnger also features photographs from the past, the story of the central role played by the promoters of the magazine by Donal Neary SJ and the first of a series of 30 articles by Brian Grogan SJ, on the life of the world to come, based on his recently published book, Where to From Here? The Christian Vision of Life After Death.
According to Messsenger editor John Looby SJ, “125 years ago Fr James Cullen, a Jesuit, wished that the minds and heart of the people of 1888 could be touched, just as Jesus touched minds and hearts back in Galilee. Maybe he got the idea after Ireland was consecrated to the Sacred Heart on Palm Sunday 1873. We may even have been the first country to be dedicated… And we are proud to say that it has been published in an unbroken series ever since, and in the same spirit in which it was founded.”
Fr Cullen was an man of vision and imagination who put his whole heart into founding The Messenger. And he wanted it to be available to everyone so “when it was first published it only cost a penny and it has remained inexpensive ever since”, says Fr Looby.
Fr Cullen’s circulation target in the first year was 7.000 and he hit 9,000. “Now with a world-wide readership, it celebrates its 125th birthday thanks to new generations of promoters and the creative spirit of God who wished it into being and has sustained it to this day,” concludes Fr Looby.