by Fr Richard Heilman | March 1, 2016 2:51 PM
This coming Friday, March 4th, marks the 1st of nine consecutive first Fridays leading up to the November 8 presidential election. We are asking everyone to join us, with prayer and fasting, to call upon the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus to accept our prayers of reparation, and save our land! While we pray everyday, leading up to the elections, these nine consecutive first Fridays are our special offering unto our Lord.
On February 1st, 2016, I was compelled to write this article, “Our Lady of Fatima, 1917-2017 – Why 100 Years Matters.” At more than 11,500 shares (to date), it was one of the most shared articles I had ever written. People believe something is coming! The article was a compilation of information I had studied over the years. Like many, I too sense “something is coming,” and I am more than intrigued how so many alleged messages, private revelations and approved apparitions spoke so clearly about the times in which we now live. As private revelations, we are not required to heed the warnings offered, but many great saints and popes have chosen to take many of them quite seriously.
I firmly believe – and I pray you do too – that we are being called to a “Nineveh Moment” as evil continues to ramp up, and as we move closer to the 100th anniversary of Fatima in 2017. God sent Jonah to warn Nineveh of their pending destruction. In our times, we have been warned by Christ’s mother, Mary, herself.
Who will heed the warning? If not you and me, then who?
Venerable Fulton Sheen once wrote:
It is a characteristic of any decaying civilization that the great masses of the people are unconscious of the tragedy.
Humanity in a crisis is generally insensitive to the gravity of the times in which it lives.
Men do not want to believe their own times are wicked, partly because they have no standard outside themselves by which to measure their times. If there is no fixed concept of justice, how shall men know it is violated?
Only those who live by faith really know what is happening in the world; the great masses without faith are unconscious of the destructive processes going on, because they have lost the vision of the heights from which they have fallen.
With little time remaining, and with a presidential election that will blatantly demonstrate to God the course we are choosing to follow – His way or ours – we must turn to prayer and fasting in the months leading up to this election; we must seek reparation for our sins against the Sacred Heart of Jesus, especially the irreverence and sacrilege shown our Lord in the Holy Eucharist. “Who knows, God may relent and forgive, and withhold his blazing wrath, so that we shall not perish” (Jonah 3:9).
In one of the more celebrated visions shown to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, a 17th Century French nun and mystic who received many apparitions from Jesus during her life, Christ showed her His Sacred Heart saying,
“Behold the Heart that has loved men so much that It has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming Itself, in order to testify to them Its love. But in return I receive from the greater part of mankind only ingratitude, by reason of the contempt, irreverence, sacrilege, and coldness shown Me in this Sacrament of Love.”
It was the special desire of our Lord Jesus Christ, revealed to Blessed Margaret Mary, that the first Friday of each month be consecrated to the devotion to and adoration of His most Sacred Heart (details of this devotion can be found here).
In a letter written to her Mother Superior in May 1688, St. Margaret Mary set out what is called The Great Promise Our Lord made regarding the Nine First Fridays and what we must do to earn it:
“On a Friday during Holy Communion, Our Lord said these words to His unworthy slave: ‘I promise you in the excessive mercy of My Heart that Its all powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on nine first Fridays of the month consecutively the grace of final repentance, and they will not die under My displeasure or without receiving the Sacraments, My Divine Heart making Itself their assured refuge at the last moment.’”
The specific conditions to fulfill the Great Promise are, therefore, twofold:
1. They must be made on nine consecutive First Fridays of the month;
2. They must receive Holy Communion; this assumes that the person is in the state of grace.
The communicant should have the intention, at least implicitly, of making reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for all the sinfulness and ingratitude of men.
The Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
Our Lord made many promises to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque regarding those who practice the Nine First Fridays and have a deep devotion to the Sacred Heart. The Twelve Promises listed below, which we find in prayer books and devotional cards, includes the Great Promise (#12).
1. “I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life.”
2. “I will establish peace in their homes.”
3. “I will comfort them in their afflictions.”
4. “I will be their secure refuge during life, and above all in death.”
5. “I will bestow a large blessing upon all their undertakings.”
6. “Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and the infinite ocean of mercy.”
7. “Tepid souls shall grow fervent.”
8. “Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.”
9. “I will bless every place where a picture of My Heart shall be set up and honored.”
10. “I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.”
11. “Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be blotted out.”
12. “I promise thee in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the First Friday in nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving the Sacraments; My Divine heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.”
Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Most sweet Jesus, Whose overflowing charity for men is requited by so much forgetfulness, negligence, and contempt, behold us prostrate before You, eager to repair by a special act of homage the cruel indifference and injuries to which Your loving Heart is everywhere subject.
Mindful, alas! that we ourselves have had a share in such great indignities, which we now deplore from the depths of our hearts, we humbly ask Your pardon and declare our readiness to atone by voluntary expiation, not only for our own personal offenses, but also for the sins of those, who, straying far from the path of salvation, refuse in their obstinate infidelity to follow You, their Shepherd and Leader, or, renouncing the promises of their Baptism, have cast off the sweet yoke of Your law.
We are now resolved to expiate each and every deplorable outrage committed against You; we are now determined to make amends for the manifold offenses against Christian modesty in unbecoming dress and behavior, for all the foul seductions laid to ensnare the feet of the innocent, for the frequent violations of Sundays and holy-days, and the shocking blasphemies uttered against You and Your saints. We wish also to make amends for the insults to which Your vicar on earth and Your priests are subjected, for the profanation, by conscious neglect or terrible acts of sacrilege, of the very Sacrament of Your divine love, and lastly for the public crimes of nations who resist the rights and teaching authority of the Church which You have founded.
Would that we were able to wash away such abominations with our blood. We now offer, in reparation for these violations of Your divine honor, the satisfaction You once made to Your Eternal Father on the cross and which You continue to renew daily on our altars; we offer it in union with the acts of atonement of Your Virgin Mother and all the saints and of the pious faithful on earth; and we sincerely promise to make recompense, as far as we can with the help of Your grace, for all neglect of Your great love and for the sins we and others have committed in the past. Henceforth, we will live a life of unswerving faith, of purity of conduct, of perfect observance of the precepts of the Gospel, and especially that of charity. We promise to the best of our power to prevent others from offending You and to bring as many as possible to follow You.
O loving Jesus, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mother, our model in reparation, deign to receive the voluntary offering we make of this act of expiation; and by the crowning gift of perseverance keep us faithful unto death in our duty and the allegiance we owe to You, so that we may all one day come to that happy home, where with the Father and the Holy Spirit You live and reign, God, forever and ever. Amen.
Sacred Heart Novena Prayer
When someone asks you to pray for them, use the prayer below (by St. Margaret Mary Alacoque) which Padre Pio would use when people asked him to pray for them.
O my Jesus, You have said: “Truly I say to you, ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you.” Behold I knock, I seek and ask for the grace of (here name your request). Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory Be … Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in You.
O my Jesus, You have said: “Truly I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father in My name, He will give it to you.” Behold, in Your name, I ask the Father for the grace of (here name your request). Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory Be … Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in You.
O my Jesus, You have said: “Truly I say to you, heaven and earth will pass away but My words will not pass away.” Encouraged by Your infallible words I now ask for the grace of (here name your request). Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory Be … Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in You.
O Sacred Heart of Jesus, for whom it is impossible not to have compassion on the afflicted, have pity on us miserable sinners and grant us the grace which we ask of You, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Your tender Mother and ours.
Say the Hail, Holy Queen and add: “St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, pray for us.”
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