Monday, 30 July 2012

The church's current position on Teresa Higginson and the Sacred Head devotion

The cause of Teresa Higginson's beatification was opened by the Archdiocese of Liverpool in the 1930's by Archbishop Frederick William Keating, and his successor Richard Downey.  Hopefully in future another blog post will be written describing it in more detail!  Unfortunately on February 21st 1938 the Holy See declared Teresa's cause for beatification as 'Non Expedire' (not expedient) and asked the bishops of England and Wales to withdraw images of the Sacred Head from their churches, as well as the imprimatur from prayers and devotions associated with it.

However unlike what was to happen to the Divine Mercy devotion for 20 years in 1959, neither she nor the Sacred Head devotion were declared 'Reponatur' which means condemned, as no heresy or moral disorder was found in either, and the beatification while shelved can be reopened.  In February 1949 a letter from the then Congregation of Rites stated that there was no insurmountable obstacle to the cause.  In the succeeding years the successive bishops in Shrewsbury (in which diocese she is buried) and Liverpool (in which diocese she had her revelations) had not seen fit to reopen it: however the current Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury is known to be sympathetic.

Since 1938 the church's position on both Teresa Higginson and the Sacred Head devotion has remained substantively unchanged. While the faithful may still continue to practice devotion to the Sacred Head privately, the church currently does not sanction it as an official cult, and does not endorse the public celebration of the feast of the Sacred Head on the octave day of the Sacred Heart: there are no lawful mass propers and public prayers that can be used for it.  Hence this devotion cannot be practiced in an official public capacity in parishes.  Hopefully when God sees fit this will change.  The author of this blog is certain that Teresa, who was utterly obedient to the often misinformed ecclesiastical authority of her time, would not want us in any way to go against the church's judgement today.


  1. would you be interested in information regarding a medically inexplicable cure through the intercession of Teresa Higginson and whom do I contact? Thank you and God bless.

  2. I certainly would! Please e-mail me on : however for reasons of discretion and confidentiality I cannot publish any names or personal details on this blog, and cannot state any miracles due to the intercession of Teresa Higginson as definite until they have been proven beyond doubt by competent authority.

  3. Blessed theress higginson cured my nan in wirral in 1940 .

  4. My late nan had nine children and my grandad worked on the docks my name was very ill and doctors said her illness was not curable .my grandfather said he would put the children in a catholic home and see them when not working. My nan said it wasn't an option .
    My nan traveled to the wirral with my Aunty winifred when she arrived she was ill and weak and was taken to a small room given a prayer and a small piece of cloth to hold she said she felt all the illness lift out of her .she left and went back home.
    I don't know if this was recorded or not but thank our lord our lady and blessed theresa all the angels and saints that it did xxx it was one of my favorite childhood stories my nan went on to live to eighty xxxx