THE NINE FIRST FRIDAYS
THE TWELFTH PROMISE OF THE SACRED HEART TO ST. MARGARET MARY
“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.”
“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 was certainly made to Blessed Margaret Mary ... and 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).
ACT OF REPARATION FOR THE FIRST FRIDAY
Adorable Heart of Jesus, glowing with love for us and inflamed with zeal for our salvation: O Heart ever sensible of our misery and the wretchedness to which our sins have reduced us, infinitely rich in mercy to heal the wounds of our souls, behold us humbly prostrate before Thee to express the sorrow that fills our hearts for the coldness and indifference with which we have so long requited the numberless benefits that Thou hast conferred upon us. With a deep sense of the outrages that have been heaped upon Thee by our sins and the sins of others, we come to make a solemn reparation of honor to Thy most sacred majesty. It was our sins that overwhelmed Thy Heart with bitterness; it was the weight of our iniquities that pressed down Thy face to the earth in the Garden of Olives and caused Thee to expire in anguish and agony on the cross. But now, repenting and sorrowful, we cast ourselves at Thy feet and implore forgiveness. Adorable Heart of Jesus, source of true contrition and ever merciful to the penitent sinner, impart to our hearts the spirit of penance, and give to our eyes a fountain of tears, that we may sincerely bewail our sins now and for the rest of our days. Oh, would that we could blot them out, even with our blood! Pardon them, O Lord, in Thy mercy, and pardon and convert to Thee all that have committed irreverences and sacrileges against Thee in the Sacrament of Thy love, and thus give another proof that Thy mercy is above all Thy works. Divine Jesus, with Thee there are mercy and plentiful redemption: deliver us from our sins, accept the sincere desire we now entertain, and our holy resolution, relying on the assistance of Thy grace, henceforth to be faithful to Thee. And in order to repair the sins of ingratitude by which we have grieved Thy most tender and loving Heart, we are resolved in the future ever to love and honor Thee in the Most Adorable Sacrament of the Altar, where Thou art ever present to hear and grant our petitions, and to be the food and life of our souls. Be Thou, O compassionate Jesus, our Mediator with Thy heavenly Father, Whom we have so grievously offended, strengthen our weakness, confirm these our resolutions of amendment, and as Thy sacred Heart is our refuge and our hope when we have sinned, so may it be the strength and support of our repentance, that nothing in life or death may ever again separate us from Thee. Amen.