Blessed Bernardo Francisco de Hoyos, SJ
First Apostle of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Spain



Blessed Bernardo Francisco de Hoyos, SJ on a Spanish cinderella
SPAIN, 1933, a cinderella marking the bicentenary of what it called La gran promesa to Fr. Hoyos, SJ
"I will reign in Spain, and with greater veneration than in other places." (14 May 1733)

Bernardo Francisco de Hoyos was born in Torrelobatón, in the province of Valladolid in Spain on August 21, 1711. He studied in the Jesuit school in Medina del Campo and entered the Jesuits in 1726. He studied theology in Valladolid at the Jesuit College of Saint Ambrose, which today is the National Shrine of the Great Promise. This was a decisive turning point in his life. Jesus told him on May 4th, 1733: "I wish for you to spread the devotion to My Sacred Heart throughout all of Spain." From then on, Bernardo did not live for anything else. On May 14th of the same year, he received what is known as the "Great Promise" from the Sacred Heart of Jesus: "This will always be my place of rest. I will make my home here—the place where I have desired and chosen to be. I will reign in Spain with more veneration than in other places."

Bernardo formed a group of devoted collaborators to communicate the essence of the devotion to the Sacred Heart to others. Bernardo himself would distribute prayer cards and leaflets and founded many confraternities and associations in honor of the Sacred Heart. His book, The Hidden Treasure, was the first book published in Spain on the Sacred Heart. But the best way he spread this devotion was through his own holiness, piety, and personal witness to the love of Christ.

On January 2, 1735, Bernardo was ordained a priest, but within the year, on November 29, he died after contracting typhus. He was beatified in Valladolid 18 April 2010.