The First Friday Devotions are made to recognize the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and his universal kingship in our lives. Through the practice of these devotions we offer reparation to the wounded Heart of Our Savior our personal sins and those of our society.
Historical Highlights of 1st Fridays and the Sacred Heart
• On December 27, 1673, the feast of St. John Jesus permitted St. Margaret Mary to rest her head upon his heart, and then disclosed to her the wonders of his love, telling her that he desired to make them known to all mankind and to diffuse the treasures of his goodness, and that he had chosen her for this work.
• Around June or July, 1674, Jesus requested from her that he wished to be honored under the figure of his heart, also claiming that, when he appeared radiant with love, he asked for a devotion of expiatory love: with reception of Holy Communion, especially on the First Friday of the month, and the observance of the Holy Hour.
• During the octave of Corpus Christi, 1675, St Margaret Mary received the vision known as the “great apparition” Jesus said, “Behold the Heart that has so loved men … instead of gratitude I receive from the greater part (of mankind) only ingratitude …”, He asked Margaret Mary for a reparation on the Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi, bidding her consult her confessor.
Promise for the First Friday Devotions
In the visions of Christ reported by St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in the 17th century, several promises were made to those people who practiced the First Fridays Devotions, one of which included final perseverance.
According to the words of Christ through His apparitions to St Margaret Mary, there are several promises to those that practice the First Friday Devotions: “In the excess of the mercy of my Heart, I promise you that my all-powerful love will grant to all those who will receive Communion on the First Fridays, for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance: they will not die in my displeasure, nor without receiving the sacraments; and my Heart will be their secure refuge in that last hour.”
On these days, a person is to attend Holy Mass and receive communion. In order to receive communion in a state of grace, a person should also make use of the Sacrament of Penance before attending Mass.
PROMISES OF THE SACRED HEART
Jesus, in his apparitions to St. Margaret Mary, promised these blessings to those who practice devotion to his Sacred Heart. This tabular form of promises was not made by Saint Margaret Mary or her contemporaries. It first appeared at 1863. In 1882, an American businessman spread the tabular form of the promises profusely throughout the world, the twelve promises appearing in 238 languages. In 1890, Cardinal Adolph Perraud deplored this circulation of the promises in the tabular form which were different from the words and even from the meaning of the expressions used by Saint Margaret Mary, and wanted the promises to be published in the full, authentic texts as found in the writings of Saint Margaret Mary
- I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
- I will give peace in their families.
- I will console them in all their troubles.
- I will be their refuge in life and especially in death.
- I will abundantly bless all their undertakings.
- Sinners shall find in my Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
- Tepid souls shall become fervent.
- Fervent souls shall rise speedily to great perfection.
- I will bless those places wherein the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and venerated.
- I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
- Persons who propagate this devotion shall have their names eternally written in my Heart.
- In the excess of the mercy of my Heart, I promise you that my all-powerful love will grant to all those who will receive Communion on the First Fridays, for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance: they will not die in my displeasure, nor without receiving the sacraments; and my Heart will be their secure refuge in that last hour.
The last promise has given rise to the pious Roman Catholic practice of making every effort to go to Confession attend Mass and receive Holy Communion on the first Friday of each month.
Additional Promises for First Friday Devotions and
Enthronement of the Image of the Sacred Heart in your Home
Great efficacy of converting people has been attached to the use of the image of the Sacred Heart. “Even at the hour of death, incredulous, indifferent, hardened souls have been converted by simply showing them a picture of the Sacred Heart, which sufficed to restore these sinners to the life of hope and love, in a word, to touch the most hardened.
It would, indeed, be a great misfortune to any apostolic man to neglect so powerful a means of conversion, and in proof of this I will mention a single fact which will need no comment. A religious of the Company of Jesus had been requested by St. Margaret Mary to make a careful engraving of the Sacred Heart. Being often hindered by other occupations, there was much delay in preparing this.
“This good father,’ writes the saint, ‘is so much occupied in the conversion of heretics, that he has neither time nor leisure to give to the work so ardently desired by the Heart of our Divine Master. You cannot imagine, my much-loved mother, how greatly this delay afflicts and pains me. “
I must avow confidently to you my belief that it is the cause of his converting so few infidels in this town. I seem constantly to hear these words: ‘ That if this good father had acquitted himself at once of his promise to the Sacred Heart, Jesus would have changed and converted the hearts of these infidels, on account of the joy He would have felt at seeing Himself honored in the picture He so much wishes for. As, however, he prefers other work, even though to the glory of God, to that of giving Him this satisfaction, He will harden the hearts of these infidels, and the labors of this mission will not be crowned with much fruit.
May God save us from similar misfortune in our propensity towards misplaced zeal in our apostolic lives.
Sacred Heart of Jesus Our peace and reconciliation have mercy upon us
Sacred Hear of Jesus Thy Kingdom Come on Earth as it is in Heaven!
We have many opportunities to avail ourselves for that all determining moment the moment of our death that Men do not want to think about. Let us use the means Heaven has given us to have Happy Deaths. Following the Message of Fatima and the 5 First Saturday’s and the nine first Friday’s. We are responsible for our eternal destinies. We cannot blame anyone else but our own poor choices of what we have done with the time God has given to us.
The Servant of God Fr John Anthony Hardon, S.J. often said that: “Only the very humble and the very chaste will enter heaven, no one else, no one else, no one else!”
Jesus meek and humble of Heart Make our Hearts like unto thine!
Now Will you make the Nine First Fridays?