THE NINE FIRST FRIDAYS
THE TWELFTH PROMISE OF THE SACRED HEART
“I promise thee, in the excess of the mercy of My Heart, that Its all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Communion on the First Friday of every Month, for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance, and that they shall not die under My displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments, and that My Heart shall be their secure refuge at that last hour.”
— Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary
“A French writer in Le Règne du Cœur de Jésus comments as follows on the promises in general and on the twelfth promise in particular: ‘Our Lord did not make these promises except in favor of those who have a serious and constant devotion to His divine Heart. The fulfilment goes on a par with the devotion and will be more certain and abundant in proportion as the conditions laid down by Our Lord are more perfectly accomplished. By these marvelous promises the Heart of Jesus intends solely to induce us to return to Him love for love, in order that, fortified by this love, we may practise in their sublime perfection all the Christian virtues, even those which are the most difficult.’
Referring specially to the twelfth promise, the pious author writes: ‘Let us begin by saying that, extraordinary as this promise appears, it really contains nothing new. A similar one is attached to the scapular of Mount Carmel. Let us also add that this promise is certain as regards its origin and its effects ... it is certainly accomplished in favor of those who fulfil the conditions.
‘It is, however, necessary to understand it in its true sense and to guard against all false interpretation. Our Lord does not say that those who accomplished the conditions demanded are dispensed from an attentive vigilance to avoid all sin, or from a courageous struggle to vanquish temptations and to fulfil all the commandments, or from assiduously employing all the means which belong to a true Christian life — especially prayer and penance. It gives us this assurance only, viz., that those who perform these nine communions will obtain the graces necessary for the exact observance of the commandments and the evangelical counsels, for carrying the cross all the days of their life, and for persevering unto death in the narrow way which leads to heaven.’ ”
— From Fr. Lasance's “The Prisoner of Love” (1918)
THE TWELVE PROMISES OF THE SACRED HEART
ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE SACRED HEART
I (N. N.) give and consecrate to Thee, O Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ! my body and soul, my life, my actions, pains, and sufferings, so that I may no longer desire to employ any part of my being save in honouring, loving, and glorifying Thee. This is my irrevocable resolution—to belong entirely to Thee, and to do all for Thy love, while I renounce with my whole heart everything which could displease Thee. Wherefore, I take Thee, O Sacred Heart of Jesus! as the sole Object of my love, the Protector of my life, the Pledge of my salvation, the Remedy of my weakness and inconstancy, the Reparation for all the imperfections of my life, and my assured Refuge at the hour of my death. Be Thou, therefore, O bountiful Heart! my justification with God, Thy Heavenly Father, and turn aside from me His anger, which I have justly deserved. O Heart of Love! I place all my confidence in Thee, for I have everything to fear from my weakness, while I hope for everything from Thy bounty. Annihilate in me everything which can displease or resist Thee. Imprint Thy pure love so deeply on my heart that I may never forget Thee, nor ever be separated from Thee. I conjure Thee, by Thy infinite goodness, that my name may be engraved on Thee, since I desire to make all my happiness and all my glory consist in living and dying in quality of Thy devoted servant. (St. Margaret Mary)
REVELATIONS OF THE SACRED HEART TO ST. MARGARET MARY
December 27, 1673
“Being one day before the Blessed Sacrament, and having at the time more leisure than usual, I felt myself wholly invested with the presence of God, so that I lost all thought of myself and the place where I was, and abandoned myself to the Divine Spirit, yielding up my heart to the power of His love. My Sovereign Master made me repose for a long time upon His Divine Brea st, where He discovered to me the marvels of His love and the inexplicable secrets of His Sacred Heart, which He had up to this time kept concealed from me. He opened to me for the first time His Divine Heart in a manner so real and sensible, that He left me no room to doubt of the reality of this grace, in spite of the dread which I have always had of deceiving myself in anything that I say on such matters.
“The following, as it seems to me, is the way in which the thing occurred. Jesus said to me, ‘My Divine Heart is so full of love for men, and for you in particular, that being unable to contain within Itself the flames of Its burning charity, It must needs spread them abroad by your means, and manifest Itself to them to enrich them with the treasures It contains. I discover to you the price of these treasures; they contain graces of sanctification and salvation necessary to draw them from the abyss of perdition. I have chosen you, in spite of your unworthiness and ignorance, for the accomplishment of this great design, in order that it may better appear that all is done by Me.’ ”
“On one occasion, whilst the Blessed Sacrament was exposed, I felt drawn within myself by an extraordinary recollection of all my senses and powers. Jesus Christ, my sweet Master, presented Himself to me all resplendent with glory, His Five Wounds shining like five suns. From His Sacred Humanity issued flames on all sides, but especially from His adorable Heart, the living source of these flames. He revealed to me at the same time the ineffable marvels of His pure love, and the excess of His love towards men. He complained of their ingratitude, and said that He felt this more sensibly than any other pain in His Passion. ‘If they made Me a return,’ He said, ‘all that I have done for them would appear but little to My love. But they entertain only coldness towards Me, and the only return they make to My advances is by rejecting Me. Do you at least give Me the consolation of supplying for their ingratitude as far as you are able.’ On my representing to Him my inability, ‘See,’ He replied to me, ‘this will enable you to supply for all your deficiencies.’ And at the same moment His Heart opened, and there issued from it so burning a flame that I thought I should have been consumed by it. I could not bear it, and I asked Him to have pity on my weakness. ‘I will be your strength,’ He said to me; ‘fear nothing, but be attentive to what I tell you, and to the following requests I make of you, in order to dispose you for the accomplishment of My designs:—
‘You shall receive Me, in the first place, in Holy Communion as often as obedience shall permit you, whatever mortification or humiliation it may cause you, for they are pledges of My love.
‘Secondly, you shall, moreover, communicate on the first Friday of each month.
‘Thirdly, every night between Thursday and Friday, I will make you share in that mortal sadness I was pleased to feel in the Garden of Olives; and this participation which I will give you in My sadness shall reduce you to an agony harder to endure than death. You shall bear Me company in the humble prayer I offered at that time to My Father in My anguish. For this purpose you shall rise between eleven o'clock and midnight, and remain prostrate with Me during an hour, to appease the divine anger by begging mercy for sinners, and also to sweeten in some sort the bitterness which I felt at that time at being abandoned by My Apostles, and which obliged Me to reproach them for not having been able to watch with Me for one hour.’ ”
June 16, 1675
“As I was before the Blessed Sacrament, on a day within the Octave of Corpus Christi, I received from my God excessive graces of His love. Feeling myself touched with a desire of making Him some return, and of rendering Him love for love, ‘You cannot make Me any greater return of love,’ He said, ‘than by doing what I have so often asked of you.’ And discovering to me His Divine Heart, ‘See this Heart,’ He said, ‘which has loved men so much that It has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming Itself, in order to testify to them Its love; and in return I receive from the greater part only ingratitude, by reason of the contempt, irreverence, sacrilege, and coldness which they show Me in this Sacrament of Love. But what I feel still more is that they are hearts consecrated to Me who use Me thus. On this account, I ask of you that the first Friday after the Octave of Corpus Christi be set apart for a special Feast to honor My Heart, by communicating on that day and making reparation to It by a solemn act to repair the indignities which It has received during the time It has been exposed on My altars. I also promise you that My Heart shall expand Itself to shed in abundance the influence of Its divine love upon those who shall pay It this honor and procure it to be paid.’ ”