Saint Gertrude Sees How Even the Most Vilest of Sinners Are Saved When They Come to Mary
St. Gertrude one day saw Mary with her mantle extended, beneath which many wild beasts, lions, bears, and tigers had sheltered themselves; and Mary not only did not cast them from her, but received them with pity and caressed them. And by this the saint understood, that the vilest sinners, when they flee to Mary, are not cast out, but welcomed and saved from eternal death. Let us enter, then, into this ark, and seek refuge under the mantle of Mary; for she certainly will not reject us, and will surely save us.
Many were the secrets, shown by God, during her ecstasies to the holy and enlightened virgin, Lutgarde.He wished her to be, as it were, a channel, a trench, along which the stream of the divine graces might flow into the hearts of men. But Lutgarde, in her humility, held herself far too unworthy to be thus used as an instrument.Over and over did God show to her the dangerous state of the sinful world, and the punishments with which He ceaselessly visits sin, seeking to lead men to mend their ways in time, and thus turn the divine anger into mercy and compassion.
In truth, the saint was given the selfsame mission as was entrusted to Bridget, that holy widow, to the most enlightened Tauler, to the Blessed Father Amandus Suso, and to many others, by whose months God likewise told the sinful world of impending chastisements and calamities.
Painful indeed to the saintly Mother were such visions of miseries to come, and in every possible way she strove with all her faculties to avert the divine anger, and to prevent the threatened punishments from falling on the heads of men with so great promptitude and violence.
And thus it fell out that on a day when St. Lutgarde was speaking with a sister in religion on heavenly and spiritual matters, and searching for fresh means to appease the wrath of God, they were both overcome with so intense a longing for the salvation and rescue of sinners, that for very pity their hearts did faint away, and they were consumed with hot and fiery love for God and their fellowmen.
Even as they spoke together quickly and eagerly, they were both overpowered by ecstasy, and in that state lay as dead during four whole days. But while their bodies lay thus, they themselves were led in spirit into the clear light of eternal joy, and they saw the whole heavenly host, and the Most Holy, Undivided Trinity, and heard four Voices sound forth unto the world, three of which issued from the Mouth of the Three Divine Persons, but the fourth from the mouth of the Blessed Virgin.Of the Fourfold Voice in praise of the Prayer of the Heavenly Court (which St. Lutgarde heard in ecstasy)During the four long unbroken days when the holy servant of God and her spiritual sister lay on the ground as though dead, they heard first of all, a Voice from the Divine Mouth of the Heavenly Father, and these were the words spoken: “I will send a Prayer into Christendom, a Prayer which shall be uttered in My honour, and of which I Myself will be the Reward.”
From God the Son, our Redeemer and all our Blessedness, came likewise a Voice, and these were the words spoken: “I will specially guard the bodies and souls of all who seek to honour Me by this Prayer, and will shield them from every transgression and all shameful sins, and fill them to overflowing with My grace and comfort. With the streams of grace that flow from My innocent and bitter passion and death, and which avail for the forgiveness of every kind of sin, I will wash them clean from all their past misdeeds and adorn and enrich their souls with the beauty of goodness.”Similarly, fiery words came from the Divine Mouth of the Holy Spirit, and the words were these: “I will kindle the fire of My Divine love in all who say this Prayer which I now send into the world, and in all for whom it is said.”
Last of all Lutgarde and the Sister saw a clear light shine out from the Queen of Heaven, the glorious Mother of God, and her lips opened, and they heard these words: “All those who use this Devotion and teach others to use it, will I plunge, by means of my intercession, into the unfathomable ocean of mercy of my most dear Son.”
Moreover, as to David long ago (Psalm 83), to both was given a slight foretaste of the sweet joy of Heaven, with an intimation that the high degree of happiness prepared for all who should use this new Prayer surpassed the utmost comprehension of angels and of men.
The two devoted Sisters saw how the Heavenly Court was so exquisitely adorned and ordered with such beauty and regularity that their hearts were not able to grasp it nor their lips to express it.
They saw how the Most Holy Trinity lit up the whole of Heaven with an unutterably clear light; and how the noble Queen Mary, as Mother of the Eternal Wisdom, shone with a radiance incomparably more beautiful than does the hottest mid-day sun.And this all high and holy Court resounds with the most entrancing music, and with the songs of the dear Angels.
There the holy patriarchs and prophets, who had foretold the coming of the Redeemer and longed after it with so great a longing, lifted up their voices in right merry gladness.
There the holy Apostles sit as Judges, because they forsook all on earth to follow Christ, their Lord and Master; and beside them sit the Evangelists, who did so faithfully transmit to us the teaching, life, and miracles of Christ, leaving behind them a record for all future generations of men.There the glorious martyrs reign in triumph – they who yielded up their bodies to a thousand kinds of pain and martyrdom for love of Christ, and by the shedding of their blood deserved to win a heavenly crown.
There stand all glad and joyous the holy priests and confessors who witnessed to the Name of God openly and boldly; and by their side are all the holy virgins, who led down here a life austere and upright, chaste and mortified, silent and hidden.And all these together encircle the vast hall of Heaven like a garland of beautiful red roses and glorious white lilies, filling it with the sweetest perfume, all the while they sing to the Most High God their ceaseless hymn of praise.
Last of all, St. Lutgarde and the Sister saw a great company that no man could number, who by the earnest pursuit of good works had laid hold of salvation, and through the conquest of self, the world, and Satan, had deserved to enter the Heavenly Court, and to enjoy its endless happiness in the company of the blessed.
Now it was revealed to our Saints that in one particular quarter of the Holy City reigned the greatest joy of all the Heavenly Court. Here existed, as it were, a very overflow of happiness, for here the all-sweet odor of Divine love and of every conceivable goodness and virtue, was united to the most soul-entrancing music of the great Song of Praise.
The least little gleam from this spot surpasses all the gleam of a hundred thousand earthly suns. So far indeed does it surpass them, that it was quite useless to try to describe it.St. Lutgarde earnestly besought God that He would show her the Way of Prayer that pleased Him best of all, a very beautiful prayer was infused into her, which comprised in itself the whole of the life and sufferings of Christ. And forthwith her memory retained it so accurately that she repeated it every day with the greatest devotion. The Blessed Virgin told St. Lutgarde that she herself had begged the grace of this Prayer for her.
The Prayer, as recorded by Father Musaus, runs thus:
O, all-holy and all-merciful Redeemer, Source of all graces, and our most kind Jesus! Out of incomprehensible love for us poor children of Eve, has Thou left Thy seat on the right hand of Thy heavenly Father, and willed to clothe Thyself with our helplessness and poverty.
Nay, the more surely to win us to love Thee in return, Thou hast made Thyself helpless and poor beyond us all. No possible trouble, no possible toil, has Thou spared Thyself in order to save us from the wicked enemy, and make us the children of Thy Father in Heaven.
Bitterly do I grieve that up till now, I, a valueless and wretched worm of earth, have so little understood the excess of Thy Love, and have given Thee such poor thanks for all the hardships, pains and martyrdom Thou has borne for me.
And therefore do I now offer up to Thee this my unworthy prayer, in honour of Thy most holy life and sufferings and death, and of every year and day and hour Thou didst spend on earth for the salvation of lost and sinful men.
And I offer Thee too, from the inmost depths of my heart, all the myriad acts of praise and love and gratitude of the nine Choirs of holy Angels, and indeed of all creatures from the first moment of their creation until now, and all the acts made by the Most Blessed Virgin Mary with the greatest possible love and devotion since her Immaculate Conception to this very day, together with those she will not cease to make through all the instants of Eternity.
And I offer Thee these acts that I may thank Thee perfectly for All Thou has done for me:
1. For Thy choice from all Eternity of the Most Blessed Virgin MARY to be the Mother of GOD;
2. For her Immaculate Conception, and her preservation from every spot of original sin, in which all other mortals are conceived and born;
3. For the most pure nativity of Thy Immaculate Mother, which shed a light over the whole world and caused joy in Heaven;
4. For Thine own wonderful Conception by the power of the Holy Ghost in the virgin womb of Thy chosen Mother which was announced by the Archangel Gabriel;
5. For the first journey Thou didst take, hidden in the most pure womb of Thy Holy Mother, a journey over the hills to Thy cousin Elizabeth and her child John – John who, even as Thou didst, then lay hidden;
6. For Thy Holy Nativity, when Thou didst come into the world in the greatest poverty and wast born in a stable amid senseless beasts, without even a pillow on which to lay Thy Sacred Head, or clothes wherewith to warm and protect Thy tender limbs;
7. For the great honour Thou didst vouchsafe to receive from the Adoration of the Three Wise Men and from their costly symbolic gifts – gold, frankincense, and myrrh;
8. For Thy first blood-shedding at the Circumcision, which Thou didst suffer for our sakes and out of humble obedience to the Law of Moses;
9. For Thy most holy Presentation in the Temple at Jerusalem by Thy Blessed Mother, in accordance with the Law of Moses;
10. For the bitter persecution which began even with Thy tenderest years, and which drove Thee into the godless land of Egypt and kept Thee there for a long space of time;
11. For Thy most dear Mother’s search for Thee, and her joyful finding of Thee amid the doctors in the Temple, after she had sought Thee for three days with bitter grief and pain;
12. For the submission Thou didst show to Mary and Joseph at Nazareth rendering them all manner of humble filial services;
13. For all Thy teaching and preaching, for Thy hard and dangerous journeys, and especially for all the fatigue and toil Thou didst undergo for our salvation;
14. For Thy most holy fast of forty days, and Thy constant, fervent prayers in the desert;
15. For Thy great and glorious miracles, worked to convince the stubborn Jews;
16. For Thine agonized prayer and bloody sweat in the garden of Gethsemane, when shuddering and sorrowful unto death, Thou wert perfectly resigned to Thy Father’s Will;
17. For the false kiss with which the faithless Judas betrayed Thee and delivered Thee into the hands of wicked men;
18. For the painful bands and cruel cords of Thine infamous captors, and for their grievous dragging and pulling of Thee over stones and through water and briars;
19. For the many false accusations devised and brought against Thy most holy Person before Annas and Caiaphas, Pilate and Herod;
20. For the most painful treatment meted out to Thee when Thou wast ignominiously drawn from one unjust Judge to another;
21. For the hard and worse than blasphemous blow Thou didst receive on Thy most Holy Face from a servant of the High Priest;
22. For the copious and most painful blood-shedding when every part of Thy most holy Body was torn by the rods and scourges of the executioners;
23. For Thy nakedness, and the bitter shame Thou didst experience when most of Thy garments were torn from Thee and Thou wert thus bound to the pillar before all the crowd;
24. For the jeering, scoffing, and mock genuflections by which godless Jews ridiculed Thee to Thy holy Face;
25. For the sharp pressure on Thy sacred Head of the crown of thorns, which caused Thy Precious Blood to flow down over Thy Face;
26. For Thy piteous appearance before Pilate, who by his exclamation BEHOLD THE MAN tried to move the people to compassion;
27. For the sentence pronounced on Thee by Pilate, for the manner in which Thou wast led forth to die, and for the heavy weight of the Cross;
28. For Thy dolorous meeting with Thy sorrow-stricken Mother and the other holy women who had followed Thee on the Path to Calvary and shed tears of pity over Thee;
29. For the painful removal of most of Thy clothing to the renewal of Thy wounds, and for the merciless nailing to the wood of the Cross, as also for all the priceless words spoken on the Cross, and the final surrender of Thy Spirit;
30. For Thy glorious Resurrection on the third day after Thy sufferings, when Thou didst appear to Thy Mother, Thy Disciples and Apostles, and after that to many others;
31. For Thy wonderful Ascension into Heaven and glorious return to Thy Heavenly Father, when Thine earthly pilgrimage was ended and Thou hadst triumphed victoriously over the world and Satan;
32. For the wonderful fiery Descent of the Holy Ghost on Thy disciples and Apostles and Thy most beloved Mother on the holy Day of Pentecost;
33. For the lordly triumph Thou didst celebrate when Thou didst assume Thy beloved Mother, body and soul, into heaven;
34. For Thy festival of joy, in which were associated Father and Holy Ghost, at the exaltation of Thy most glorious Mother over all the Choirs of Angels, and at her Coronation as the Queen of Heaven;
For all these, and more especially for every beat of Thy Heart and every act of love, for all Thy thoughts and desires, for all the silent and the uttered prayers which Thou didst offer while on earth, and still dost offer in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar – for all these I tender Thee a thousand thanks, and ask Thee most humbly that Thou wouldst grant to me and to all who have commended themselves to my prayers, or for who I ought to pray, perfect contrition for our sins and a firm determination never again to offend Thy Divine Majesty, together with the grace of final perseverance. Grant that I and all men may enjoy Thy grace here, and after this toilsome life is over may be received into the company of Thine elect, and be united with them to the Source of Eternal Joy – which is none but Thou Thyself, O dearest Lord. And may we be permitted to gaze at last on Thy most holy Face, Who with the Father and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest, God, for ever and ever. Amen.
St. Lutgarde used to exhort those whom she instructed as to the aforesaid God-revealed Prayer, to say a thousand Paters and as many Ave Marias, and Glorias, in honour of each of the thirty-four mysteries, and this too she doubtless had from God. But because the Prayer thus said might easily degenerate into an empty, mechanical repetition, the Saint advised that with every thousand Paters, Aves and Glorias, a short meditation be made on one of the thirty-four mysteries into which she had divided the whole of the life and sufferings of our Lord: and she wished these mysteries to be contemplated in the selfsame order in which she had arranged them. (While your lips pronounce the words of the prayers, let your mind picture the Mystery.)
This contemplation of the mysteries of Jesus was repeatedly enjoined on the Saint in her intercourse with Heaven as being the very soul of the Prayer of the Heavenly Court. “If a man would take the direct path to my treasure-room,” said the Lord to her once, “let him exercise himself in meditating on My life and My love, and give up his own will. If a man would but consider what I have done for him and all I have given him, never again would he so rouse My anger.”
The Blessed Virgin revealed to our Saint that what she desired before all else in this Devotion was that men should contemplate therein the mysteries of her Son. And with these words did she begin her discourse: “Daughter, put on thy clothes, and fasten on thy collar—that is, the passion of my Son.”“Do thou fasten it on for me,” begged Lutgarde.“That will I do,” replied the Mother of God, “and I will tell thee of the sufferings wherewith my Son was clothed:” And forthwith Mary began to relate to the Saint all the mysteries of the life and passion of her Son in the very same order which Lutgarde, remembering her words, afterwards adopted, and at the end of each she added: “Contemplate this mystery, O my daughter, and keep it ever before thine eyes.” The Saint was also shown a soul who by meditating on the mysteries of Jesus Christ had been fired with a little spark of the Divine love, and had thereby attained to eternal happiness.
It followed as a matter of course that Lutgarde should before all things demand an inner, spiritual activity, before the Prayer revealed to her in honour of the mysteries of Christ could find favour with God. This spiritual activity on the part of those who said it, was to find its outlet in considerations and loving contemplations. And in this way the outward form and construction of the Prayer could by no means be called superfluous or insignificant. Again and again had the Saint heard various oral prayers offered aloud and in common by members of the Society of the Heavenly Court, such as the Te Deum, Pange Lingua, Glory be to the Father, with many another; she could not possibly, therefore, have attributed a purely subordinate importance to the oral prayers or outward form of the Devotion revealed to her.
Moreover, the Saint permitted an alteration to those who used the Devotion more frequently. Instead of the continued repetition of each thousand Our Fathers, they might either assist at a Holy Mass, or give an alms, or follow the Way of the Cross, or say the Psalter, or make a Novena; and in this wise, thirty-four Masses, gifts of alms, days of fasting, Ways of the Cross, Psalters, Novenas, and so forth, made with heartfelt devotion, would serve to merit the favors attached to the Prayer of the Heavenly Court.
Some wonders narrated by St. Lutgarde and others of the Prayer of the Heavenly Court
Once the holy Mother Lutgarde saw our.dear Lord Jesus Christ in a vision after the following manner: He hung on a Cross, and fresh Blood was streaming from all His Sacred Wounds. And men were turning towards this stream of the Precious Blood, in such fashion that some received That Which flowed from the Heart, and others again That Which flowed from the Feet of the Saviour. By means of this picture God taught the Saint that through the Prayer of the Heavenly Court many men should be saved and brought to eternal blessedness.
But a number of men despised these rivers of grace and turned away from them, and these the holy Mother saw hurled with ignominy into a deep abyss.A nun of the Order founded by St. Francis, presumably attached to the Convent of Wittichen, had grave doubts of the Prayer of the Heavenly Court and of its efficacy, and she besought God to enlighten her on the matter and to remove the temptation. And in truth her doubts were soon resolved by a secret and Divine communication, which she did indeed keep hidden, but which had the result that she afterwards took every opportunity of seeking out persons who would follow in common with her the Devotion of the Heavenly Court. She even made an occasion of speaking of this Prayer, so rich in graces, to the Abbess of a neighboring Convent, who, however, gave but little credence to her words. “In good sooth” (so ran her answer), “we have a number of more beautiful and more spiritual prayers in our Convent, and, my daughters can make use of these at choice; nor have we any time to devote to so long and troublesome a Prayer.”
But during the ensuing night, the Holy Mother of God appeared to the Abbess, reproved her for those words, and herself instructed her as to the great power of this Prayer.
The result was that not only did the Abbess and all her daughters make use of the Prayer from that day forth, but they did all that in them lay to induce others to do the same.
The Prayer of the Heavenly Court has extraordinary power and efficacy
Quite remarkable are the words in which our Lord revealed to His servant Lutgarde the merit and power of the Devotion of the Heavenly Court, and the exceeding great pleasure which He Himself took in it.
“Whosoever,” said He to her, “shall piously and devoutly recite this Prayer, to him will I in My great mercy give thirty-four human souls; that is to say, for his sake I will rescue from everlasting death, thirty-four human souls who had otherwise died in sin.
“For his sake too, I will release thirty-four souls from Purgatory. But as for the man himself who had made this Prayer, his reward shall be multiplied as the grass of the field, whose blades no one can number.
“And even should such a man have always acted in times past against My Will, yet as soon as ever he begins this Prayer with grief and contrition for his sins, and a firm purpose of amendment, I will forgive all his iniquities; nor will I ever remember his misdeeds in Eternity, but will utterly remit and forget them.
“And if such a man, during the course of this Prayer, should be called to depart from this transitory life, then will I come with My Angels to accompany him on his last journey, and to the sound of celestial music will conduct his soul to the threshold of Eternity, where I Myself dwell, and where he shall rejoice for ever in the company of My Mother, the constant Advocate of Sinners, and of all My Saints.”
THE PRAYER OF THE HEAVENLY COURT IS REVEALED TO OTHERS ALSO
It fell out that certain pious persons had banded themselves together for the serving of God with zeal. They cherished a heartfelt devotion to the Crucified Jesus, strove to follow His footsteps, and were indeed not only filled with care for their own salvation, but also with deep concern for the souls of their fellowmen. On this account, they sought by all manner of good deeds, and by humble and persevering prayer, to appease the anger of God aroused by the sins of the world, and to restore to all poor sinners the grace which they had lost.
Untiringly, they begged the Queen of Heaven to show them a means by which her beloved Son might be appeased, and the punishments so well deserved averted from men. And presently the Mother of Mercy heard their fervent, loving request, and obtained from her Son that one of that pious company should seem for a time to all appearance dead, though in reality she was rapt in ecstasy.
When she was come once more to herself, she sought out her companions and told them as follows: “Great is the wrath of God against all misdeeds and transgressions of men, and right severely does He intend to punish the world. God has shown me the pains and torments reserved for those who without confession or repentence sin on until their life’s end and die impenitent. And so great are these pains and torments that it were little wonder if they caused the hard rock itself to split in pieces and to sweat blood.
“But it was also given to me to see the joy of those who depart from this life in true penitence. So great is their joy that no Angel nor man can possibly understand it. And I have likewise seen how the Mother of Mercy never ceases to intercede with her Son for all mankind, and how once again her prayer is even now about to be granted.
“For last of all God spoke to me: ‘Thou shalt go back into thy body out of which I have called thee, and this shalt thou tell to men: That in My praise, in honour of My all-holy life and sufferings and death, and in grateful remembrance of all the insults, shame and scorn I bore from sinners—in honour of all this, they are to say thirty-four thousand Our Fathers, and as many Hail Marys, and Glory be to the Fathers. They may, however, instead of each thousand Our Fathers, etc., say or cause to be said a Holy Mass, or give an alms according to their means, or fast for a day with contrite devotion’.”
HOW THE HOLY EXERCISE ALREADY SO OFTEN REVEALED IS ANNOUNCED TO YET ANOTHER RELIGIOUS
From the time that God thus revealed the Devotion to one of the holiest of its members, the Prayer of the Heavenly Court was generally adopted by the aforesaid devout Society. Now there chanced to be in its number a certain nun of eighteen years standing, who served the Lord in all fervour. After she had for a long time known the Prayer of the Heavenly Court, and had used it with the greatest devotion, she also (as St. Lutgarde before Her) was favored with a revelation from God and was commanded to teach and explain the Prayer to others.
Accordingly, she addressed herself to a good friend and faithful, and besought him, since she herself was now very aged and severed from the world by her vows, to take upon himself the furtherance and propagation of the Prayer of the Heavenly Court. He promised her to do so, yet forgot, as it seems, to fulfill his undertaking, or was indeed little reminded to trouble himself about the new Devotion, which seemed to him overly difficult.
But one day, when he was assisting at an early Mass, all his strength suddenly left him, so that those around deemed him dead. In this state he remained until the hour of Vespers; but meanwhile, being of a truth in ecstasy and all astounded, the Prayer of the Heavenly Court was shown to him by God after this manner. It seemed to him that he saw an Altar, sparkling as it were with beautiful dark red gems, and at the Altar stood a Priest. A great company of people, some of whom were clad like Kings and Potentates and victorious Knights, others like Bishops, but very many like ordinary lay persons drew near to the Priest, who, standing at the Altar, gave his blessing to each division, and each, as it advanced, was greater than the preceding one.
The “good friend and faithful” of the holy nun was astonished beyond measure at this unexpected sight; but, at the bidding of God, his Guardian Angel thus explained the vision to him: “The Altar thou didst see is the Most Sacred Heart of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Which is ceaselessly filled with deepest longing and unquenchable thirst for the salvation of souls. From out this Most Pure Heart sprang the prayer which men call the Prayer of the Heavenly Court.
“The Priest Who stands at the Altar represents the Eternal and Divine Being Who blesses mankind. And they who draw near to the Altar signify those who use the Prayer. Among those are some who have gone through the Prayer once, others who have gone through it twice, others again who have gone through it many times. Therefore did these last bear themselves as Kings and Princes and the Mighty of the earth; those who have prayed it once as victorious Knights; while those who wear the guise of ordinary lay people, signify all who did indeed begin the Prayer of the Heavenly Court, but never reached the end.
“Those clad as Bishops are such as have applied themselves to spread the Devotion of the Heavenly Court, and to instruct others therein.”
Now, when the person to whom this befell came out of this ecstasy towards the hour of Vespers, he related all that he had seen and heard, adding: “The Prayer which the Lord God deigns to reward in such diverse ways is called in God the Father, ‘A Flowery Paradise’; In God the Son, ‘A Crown of Chivalry’; and in God the Holy Ghost, ‘A Benign and Ever-Open Place of Refuge and Consolation’.”
And henceforth this same man, once so full of ill-will and vexation concerning the Prayer of the Heavenly Court, busied himself in explaining to all, as far as lay in his power, the right manner in which to say it, and the glorious profit to be drawn from its use.
How by means of this Prayer a women frees her mother from Purgatory
Among many others to whom God disclosed the Prayer of the Heavenly Court, a certain woman who had under- taken it on behalf of her own mother, did most particularly experience its holy and wonderful power.For after she had finished the Prayer, she saw in spirit her dead mother in the midst of a great company of people, walking in a fair and spacious meadow wherein grew all manner of beautiful and fragrant flowers. And when she accosted her mother, she got this answer: “Speak to her who walks last of all in the company.” The daughter therefore, let all the happy crowd pass by, until she perceived at the rear of the procession a marvelously beautiful Queen, who shone with greater brilliance than the sun.
“O most wonderful and beautiful Queen!” cried the woman, with deepest humility, “let it not anger thee, I meekly pray, if I beg thee to tell me what people these may be whose footsteps cause no hurt at all to flowers or grass.”And the Queen of Heaven made answer: “These are they who have been saved by the Prayer of the Heavenly Court, and I conduct them myself into the Land of Eternal Life where their joy shall never end.”
“And, along with this vast company, I will come to the deathbed of every soul who has said this Prayer, or for whom another has said it. All such souls will I protect from evil spirits in their last hour, and will lead them to my dearest Son in the Land of Eternal Bliss, and He Himself will be their Everlasting Reward.”
To this, the Reverend Father Musaus adds: “O, if only men would prize as they deserve to be prized the merits of this Prayer and the joys which flow from it! Then, indeed, would they hold it in right high honour, nor would they so easily let slide many a time an opportunity of using it.”
The main purpose of this devotion then is to make Christ live in the lives of men. By contemplating the 34 Mysteries over and over again, the Life of Christ becomes a Reality, the main focus-point and a pattern for our lives.
For subject matter on the 34 Mysteries, use the Sacred Scriptures, especially the Gospels, “Way of Divine Love,” “Divine Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary,” “The Path to Glory,” etc.
THE HEAVENLY COURT
In giving this prayer to St. Lutgarde in 1246 Jesus said, “Whosoever shall piously and devoutly recite this Prayer, to him will I in My great mercy give 34 human souls; rescue from everlasting death 34 human souls who would other- wise die in sin . . . For his sake too, I will release 34 souls from Purgatory. As for the man himself who had made this prayer, his reward shall be multiplied as the grass of the field whose blades no one can number.”Dividing His life and suffering into 34 Mysteries Our Lord requested that we say 1000 Our Fathers, Hail Marys and Glory be’s for each Mystery and for the most spiritual merit picture in our mind the Mystery as we say the prayers. No time limit was set but our intention must be to complete it in our lifetime.
When I was 20 years old I met a young man who was an atheist. In spite of this, I got engaged to him, and prayed for him to convert, as well as tried to explain what little I knew about the scriptures to him.
We set a wedding date, and my grandparents were getting ready to come from out of state to our wedding. One night, precisely a month before we were to get married, I dreamt I was standing in front of my parish, St. Thomas Aquinas, when Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal appeared to me. St. Joseph was also with her.
She seemed very upset and when I wondered why this was so, she let me know without speaking that if I married this man, he’d make me very unhappy. She then went on to stretch for her right arm. There, nestled in her veil I saw myself throwing my rings (both my wedding and engagement ring) to him in the hallway leading to his mother’s apartment. I woke up, I told my mom to let my grandparents know not to buy any tickets to come to my wedding. I wasn’t getting married. My mom spoke to my grandmother and told her my dream, and they all decided to hold a wait attitude.
One week later, after going on a picnic, this man calls me up and tells me he can’t marry me. What happened in my dream unfolded exactly as I saw it. The interesting thing is that I had forgotten the dream, but the minute I held up the rings to throw them at his feet, I screamed out, “My God, I dreamt this last week!” and I ran away.
Later, this young man married another. Someone who knew him and his wife told me, “You’re lucky. Mary saved you from a wife beater.”
Our Lady has always looked after me all my life. Now that I prepare children to receive First Communion, I teach them the Rosary and tell them how my beloved lady saved me from getting married to the wrong man.
Tomorrow is First Saturday and if you start this devotion tomorrow (June 3rd)you will end in October the 100th Anniversary of the last apparition of Fatima and the anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun!Join the movement and honor Our Lady’s requests at Fatima and offer it for her intentions,for our country and for mercy for our depraved world!
FIVE FIRST SATURDAYS DEVOTION
In December of 1925, Our Lady appeared to Sister Lucia, giving her the following guaranty of salvation for those who complete the First Five Saturdays Devotion:
“I promise to assist them at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for the salvation of their souls.”
Why Five Saturdays?
The five first Saturdays correspond to the five kinds of offenses and blasphemies committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary:
1) Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception.
2) Blasphemies against her virginity.
3) Blasphemies against her divine maternity, at the same time the refusal to accept her as the Mother of all men.
4) Instilling indifference, scorn and even hatred towards this Immaculate Mother in the hearts of children.
How to complete the Five First Saturdays Devotion:
On the first Saturday of five consecutive months:
1. Go to confession;
2. Receive Holy Communion;
3. Say five decades of the Rosary;
4. Keep Our Lady company for 15 minutes, meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary;
5. Have the intention of making reparation to Our Lady for the offenses listed above.
“I promise you, in the excessive mercy of my Heart that my all powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the first Friday for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance; they shall not die in my disgrace nor without receiving the sacraments; my divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in that last moment.” — Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary
How to complete the First Friday’s Devotion:
Receive Holy Communion on each First Friday;
The nine Fridays must be consecutive;
They must be made in honor and in reparation to His Sacred Heart.
ACT OF REPARATION TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS
Sacred Heart of Jesus, animated with a desire to repair the outrages unceasingly offered to Thee, we prostrate before Thy throne of mercy, and in the name of all mankind, pledge our love and fidelity to Thee!
The more Thy mysteries are blasphemed, the more firmly we shall believe them, O Sacred Heart of Jesus!
The more impiety endeavors to extinguish our hopes of immortality, the more we shall trust in Thy Heart, sole hope of mankind!
The more hearts resist Thy Divine attractions, the more we shall love Thee, O infinitely amiable Heart of Jesus!
The more unbelief attacks Thy Divinity, the more humbly and profoundly we shall adore It, O Divine Heart of Jesus!
The more Thy holy laws are transgressed and ignored, the more we shall delight to observe them, O most holy Heart of Jesus!
The more Thy Sacraments are despised and abandoned, the more frequently we shall receive them with love and reverence, O most liberal Heart of Jesus!
The more the imitation of Thy virtues is neglected and forgotten, the more we shall endeavor to practice them, O Heart of Jesus, model of every virtue!
The more the devil labors to destroy souls, the more we shall be inflamed with desire to save them, O Heart of Jesus, zealous Lover of souls!
The more sin and impurity destroy the image of God in man, the more we shall try by purity of life to be a living temple of the Holy Spirit, O Heart of Jesus!
The more Thy Holy Church is despised, the more we shall endeavor to be her faithful children, O Sweet Heart of Jesus!
The more Thy Vicar on earth is persecuted, the more we will honor him as the infallible head of Thy Holy Church, show our fidelity and pray for him, O kingly Heart of Jesus!
O Sacred Heart, through Thy powerful grace, may we become Thy apostles in the midst of a corrupted world, and be Thy crown in the kingdom of heaven. Amen.
12 Promises of the Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary
1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
2. I will give peace in their families.
3. I will console them in all their troubles.
4. I will be their refuge in life and especially in death.
5. I will abundantly bless all their undertakings.
6. Sinners shall find in my Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
8. Fervent souls shall rise speedily to great perfection.
9. I will bless those places wherein the image of my Sacred Heart shall be exposed and venerated.
10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
11. Persons who propagate this devotion shall have their names eternally written in my Heart.
12. 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.
If there is an age whose sole hope lies in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, it is our own. The evils committed by mankind today can scarcely be exaggerated. To mention just a few, these include blasphemy, the destruction of the family through abortion, divorce, euthanasia, widespread pornography, immoral fashions and lifestyles, homosexuality and so on.
As Pope Pius XI once said, the contemporary world is so morally depraved that at any moment it could be plunged into a deeper spiritual misery than that reigning in the world when Our Blessed Redeemer was born. In consideration of so many crimes, the idea of divine vengeance naturally comes to mind. When we view this sinful world, groaning beneath the weight of a thousand crises and a thousand afflictions but nevertheless unrepentant; when we consider the alarming progress of neo-paganism, which is on the verge of conquering humanity; and when, on the other hand, we consider the lack of resolve, foresight, and unity among the so-called remnant, we are understandably terrified at the grim prospects of catastrophes that this generation may be calling upon itself.
There is something liberal or Lutheran in imagining that so many crimes do not deserve punishment, that such a widespread apostasy of humanity is merely the fruit of some intellectual error without moral guilt. The reality is otherwise, for God does not abandon His creatures. Rather, He continuously assists and supports them with sufficient grace to aid them in choosing the right path. If they choose to follow a way other than His, the responsibility is theirs.
Were God to act solely according to His justice, there is no doubt what we should expect. Indeed, could we even have made it as far as this twentieth century? Nevertheless, since God is not only just but also merciful, the gates of salvation have not yet been shut against us. A people unrelenting in its impiety has every reason to expect God’s rigor. However, He Who is infinitely merciful, does not want the death of this sinful generation but that it “be converted…and live” (Ezech.18:23). His grace thus insistently pursues all men, inviting them to abandon their evil ways and return to the fold of the Good Shepherd.
The month of June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart by Holy Mother Church.
The Church, governed and taught by the Holy Ghost, has approved and recommended devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In our age of religious indifference, when fervor and charity have grown cold, Jesus exhibits to the world His Sacred Heart as the symbol of God’s infinite love – the symbol of His own generous self-sacrificing love for men. Jesus shows His Divine Heart as a furnace whose burning rays of love are able to reanimate faith and rekindle love in hearts grown cold and ungrateful.
But why His Heart? Because in every language, in every age, the heart is regarded as the natural symbol of love and affection. What more natural and expressive symbol is there, then, of the excessive love of Jesus than His Sacred Heart? The direct and material object of devotion to the Sacred Heart is the real, physical Heart of Jesus – the Heart of flesh, the living and loving Heart of our Blessed Lord; the Heart that beat in His Divine breast at the moment of the Incarnation; the Heart that loved us during the life of Jesus on earth, that poured forth its blood to the last drop on Mount Calvary; the beatified Heart now glorious in Heaven and still dwelling among us in the Blessed Sacrament; the Heart ever united to the Person of the Divine Word, to whom is due supreme homage and adoration.
We the Christians are the true Israel which springs from Christ, for we are carved out of His heart as from a rock. – St. Justin Martyr (d. 165)
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. – Matthew 11:29
There is in the Sacred Heart the symbol and express image of the infinite love of Jesus Christ which moves us to love in return. – Pope Leo XIII
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is devotion to Jesus Christ Himself, but in the particular ways of meditating on His interior life and on His threefold love – His divine love, His burning love that fed His human will, and His sensible love that affects His interior life. Pope Pius XII of blessed memory writes on this topic in his 1956 encyclical, Haurietis Aquas (On Devotion To The Sacred Heart). Below are a few excerpts which help explain the devotion:
~The Heart of the Incarnate Word is deservedly and rightly considered the chief sign and symbol of that threefold love with which the divine Redeemer unceasingly loves His eternal Father and all mankind.
~It is a symbol of that divine love which He shares with the Father and the Holy Spirit but which He, the Word made flesh, alone manifests through a weak and perishable body, since “in Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily.”
~It is, besides, the symbol of that burning love which, infused into His soul, enriches the human will of Christ and enlightens and governs its acts by the most perfect knowledge derived both from the beatific vision and that which is directly infused.
~And finally – and this in a more natural and direct way – it is the symbol also of sensible love, since the body of Jesus Christ, formed by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary, possesses full powers of feelings and perception, in fact, more so than any other human body.
~Since, therefore, Sacred Scripture and the official teaching of the Catholic faith instruct us that all things find their complete harmony and order in the most holy soul of Jesus Christ and that He has manifestly directed His threefold love for the securing of our redemption, it unquestionably follows that we can contemplate and honor the Heart of the divine Redeemer as a symbolic image of His love and a witness of our redemption and, at the same time, as a sort of mystical ladder by which we mount to the embrace of “God our Savior.” sacred heart
~Hence His words, actions, commands, miracles, and especially those works which manifest more clearly His love for us – such as the divine institution of the Eucharist, His most bitter sufferings and death, the loving gift of His holy Mother to us, the founding of the Church for us, and finally, the sending of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and upon us – all these, we say, ought to be looked upon as proofs of His threefold love.
~Likewise we ought to meditate most lovingly on the beating of His Sacred Heart by which He seemed, as it were, to measure the time of His sojourn on earth until that final moment when, as the Evangelists testify, “crying out with a loud voice ‘It is finished’ and bowing His Head, He yielded up the ghost.” Then it was that His heart ceased to beat and His sensible love was interrupted until the time when, triumphing over death, He rose from the tomb.
~But after His glorified body had been re-united to the soul of the divine Redeemer, conqueror of death, His most Sacred Heart never ceased, and never will cease, to beat with calm and imperturbable pulsations. Likewise, it will never cease to symbolize the threefold love with which He is bound to His heavenly Father and the entire human race, of which He has every claim to be the mystical Head.
The Two Elements of Devotion to the Sacred Heart: Consecration & Reparation
We consecrate ourselves to the Sacred Heart by acknowledging Him as Creator and Redeemer and as having full rights over us as King of Kings, by repenting, and by resolving to serve Him.
We make reparation for the indifference and ingratitude with which He is treated and for leaving Him abandoned by humanity.
To carry out these general goals of consecration and reparation, there are quite specific devotions authorized by the Church.
History of the Devotion
From the earliest days of the Church, “Christ’s open side and the mystery of blood and water were meditated upon, and the Church was beheld issuing from the side of Jesus as Eve came forth from the side of Adam. It is in the eleventh and twelfth centuries that we find the first unmistakable indications of devotion to the Sacred Heart. Through the wound in the side, the wounded Heart was gradually reached, and the wound in the Heart symbolized the wound of love.” (Catholic Encyclopedia)
General devotion to the Sacred Heart, the birthplace of the Church and the font of Love, were popular in Benedictine and Cistercian monasteries, especially in response to the devotion of St. Gertrude the Great (b. 1256), but specific devotions became even more popularized when St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690), a Visitation nun, had a personal revelation involving a series of visions of Christ as she prayed before the Blessed Sacrament. She wrote, “He disclosed to me the marvels of his Love and the inexplicable secrets of his Sacred Heart.” Christ emphasized to her His love and His woundedness caused by Man’s indifference to this love.
He promised that, in response to those who consecrate themselves and make reparations to His Sacred Heart:
He will establish peace in their homes.
He will comfort them in all their afflictions.
He will be their secure refuge during life, and above all, in death.
He will bestow abundant blessings upon all their undertakings.
Sinners will find in His Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
Lukewarm souls shall become fervent.
Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.
He will bless every place in which an image of His Heart is exposed and honored.
He will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in His Heart.
In the excessive mercy of His Heart, His all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Fridays in nine consecutive months the grace of final perseverance; they shall not die in His disgrace, nor without receiving their sacraments. His divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.
The devotions attached to these promises are:
Receiving Communion frequently
First Fridays: going to Confession and receiving the Eucharist on the first Friday of each month for nine consecutive months. Many parishes will offer public First Friday devotions; if they do, you must perform First Fridays publicly. If it isn’t so offered in your parish, you can do this privately, going to Confession, receiving the Eucharist, and offering your prayers for the intention of the Holy Father.
Holy Hour: Eucharistic Adoration for one hour on Thursdays. (“Could you not watch one hour with me?”) Holy Hour can be made alone or as part of a group with formal prayers.
Celebrating of the Feast of the Sacred Heart
Feast of the Sacred Heart
The Friday that follows the Second Sunday after Pentecost is the Feast of the Sacred Heart which brings to mind all the attributes of His Divine Heart mentioned above. Many Catholics prepare for this Feast by beginning a Novena to the Sacred Heart on the Feast of Corpus Christi, which is the Thursday of the week before. On the Feast of the Sacred Heart itself, we can gain a plenary indulgence by making an Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart.
Enthronement of the Sacred Heart
Father Mateo Crawley-Boevey, a South American priest of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, was inspired by God, after his instantaneous cure at Paray-le-Monial, to preach everywhere the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart to verify this promise of the Savior given to St. Margaret Mary: “I will bless every dwelling where an image of My Heart is both exposed and honored.”
According to Father Mateo: The Enthronement is the Official and Social Recognition of the loving Kingship of the Heart of Jesus in a Christian family. This recognition is made manifest by giving the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus a place of honor in the home which is thus solemnly offered Him by an act of consecration. The God of infinite mercy said in Paray-le-Monial: “Being Myself the fount of all blessings, I will distribute these abundantly wherever the image of My Heart has found a place, to the end that it may be loved and honored.” And further: “I shall reign in spite of My enemies and all those who attempt to oppose Me.”
The Enthronement then is simply the realization, not of this or that one of the requests made by Our Savior to St. Margaret Mary, but the complete and integral realization of all of them, calling forth the fulfilment of the splendid promises with which the King of Love has enriched them. Note that we say “integral realization of all the requests made in Paray, for the supreme end of the Enthronement is not, and ought not to be, to further a new pious practice, but to sanctify the home, and convert it into a living and social throne for the divine King.”
During the Enthronement ceremony, a blessed image of the Sacred Heart is hung in the most prominent place in the home, and Sacred Scripture is placed before it. Formal prayers are prayed and then each member signs a certificate of the Consecration.
Prayers For the Month of June
Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart
Most sweet Jesus, whose overflowing charity for men is requited by so much forgetfulness, negligence and contempt, behold us prostrate before Thee, eager to repair by a special act of homage the cruel indifference and injuries to which Thy 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 Thy 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 Thee, their Shepherd and Leader, or, renouncing the promises of their baptism, have cast off the sweet yoke of Thy law.
We are now resolved to expiate each and every deplorable outrage committed against Thee; 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 holydays, and the shocking blasphemies uttered against Thee and Thy Saints. We wish also to make amends for the insults to which Thy Vicar on earth and Thy priests are subjected, for the profanation, by conscious neglect or terrible acts of sacrilege, of the very Sacrament of Thy Divine Love; and lastly for the public crimes of nations who resist the rights and teaching authority of the Church which Thou hast founded.
Would that we were able to wash away such abominations with our blood. We now offer, in reparation for these violations of Thy divine honor, the satisfaction Thou once made to Thy Eternal Father on the Cross and which Thou continuest to renew daily on our Altars; we offer it in union with the acts of atonement of Thy 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 Thy grace, for all neglect of Thy 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 Thee and to bring as many as possible to follow Thee.
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 Thee, so that we may all one day come to that happy home, where with the Father and the Holy Spirit Thou livest and reignest, God, forever and ever. Amen.
THE BLESSING OF THE SACRED HEART
May the grace and blessing of the Sacred Heart be with you, the peace of the Sacred Heart encompass you! May the merits of the Sacred Heart plead for you, the love of the Sacred Heart inflame you! May the sorrows of the Sacred Heart console you, the zeal of the Sacred Heart animate you, the virtues of the Sacred Heart shine forth in your every word and work! And may the joys of the Beatific Vision be your eternal recompense!
ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS
I, __________, give myself and consecrate to the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ my person and my life, my actions, pains, and sufferings, so that I may be unwilling to make use of any part of my being save to honor, love,and glorify the Sacred Heart.
This is my unchanging purpose, namely, to be all His, and to do all things for the love of Him, at the same time renouncing with all my heart whatever is displeasing to Him.
I therefore take Thee, O Sacred Heart, to be the only object of my love, the guardian of my life, my assurance of salvation, the remedy of my weakness and inconstancy, the atonement for all the faults of my life and my sure refuge at the hour of death.
Be then, O Heart of goodness, my justification before God Thy Father, and turn away from me the strokes of His righteous anger. O Heart of love, I put all my confidence in Thee, for I fear everything from my own wickedness and frailty; but I hope for all things from Thy goodness and bounty.
Do Thou consume in me all that can displease Thee or resist Thy holy will. Let Thy pure love imprint Thee so deeply upon my heart that I shall nevermore be able to forget Thee or to be separated from Thee. May I obtain from all Thy loving kindness the grace of having my name written in Thee, for in Thee I desire to place all my happiness and all my glory, living and dying in true bondage to Thee.
CONSECRATION OF THE HUMAN RACE TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS
Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before Your altar. We are Yours, and Yours we wish to be; but, to be more surely united with You, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to Your Most Sacred Heart. Many indeed have never known You; many too, despising Your precepts, have rejected You. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to Your Sacred Heart.
You are King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken You, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned You; grant that they may quickly return to their Father’s house lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.
You are King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof; call them back to the harbor of truth and unity of faith, so that soon there may be but one flock and one Shepherd.
You are King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry or of Islamism; refuse not to draw them all into the light and kingdom of God. Turn Your eyes of mercy toward the children of that race, once Your chosen people. Of old they called down upon themselves the Blood of the Savior; may it now descend upon them a laver of redemption and of life.
Grant, O Lord, to Your Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give peace and order to all nations, and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry:Praise to the Divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to It be glory and Honor forever. Amen.
PRAYER TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS
O most holy Heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, I adore Thee, I love Thee and with a lively sorrow for my sins, I offer Thee this poor heart of mine. Make me humble, patient, pure and wholly obedient to Thy will. Grant, good Jesus, that I may live in Thee and for Thee. Protect me in the midst of danger; comfort me in my afflictions; give me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs, Thy blessing on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death. Within Thy Heart I place my every care. In every need let me come to Thee with humble trust saying, Heart of Jesus help me.
Merciful Jesus, I consecrate myself today and always to Thy Most Sacred Heart.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus I implore, that I may ever love Thee more and more.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in Thee.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I believe in Thy love for me.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy Kingdom Come.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, convert sinners, save the dying, deliver the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
LITANY OF THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, formed by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mother,
have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, substantially united to the Word of God, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, of Infinite Majesty, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Sacred Temple of God, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Tabernacle of the Most High, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, House of God and Gate of Heaven, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, burning furnace of charity, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, abode of justice and love, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in whom are all treasures of wisdom and knowledge, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in whom dwells the fullness of divinity, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father was well pleased, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, of whose fullness we have all received, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, patient and most merciful, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, enriching all who invoke Thee, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, fountain of life and holiness, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, propitiation for our sins, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, loaded down with opprobrium, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, bruised for our offenses, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, obedient to death, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance,have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, our peace and our reconciliation, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, victim for our sins, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who trust in Thee, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in Thee, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, delight of all the Saints, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, O Lord.
V. Jesus, meek and humble of heart.
R. Make our hearts like unto Thine.
Let us pray: Almighty and eternal God, look upon the Heart of Thy most beloved Son and upon the praises and satisfaction which He offers Thee in the name of sinners; and to those who implore Thy mercy, in Thy great goodness, grant forgiveness in the name of the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who livest and reignest with Thee forever and ever. Amen
“It is related in the life of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, a nun of the Order of the Visitation, that our Saviour revealed to this his servant his wish that in our times the devotion and feast of His Sacred Heart should be established and propagated in the Church, in order that devout souls should by their adoration and prayer make reparation for the injuries his heart constantly receives from ungrateful men when he is exposed in the Sacrament upon the Altar . . . .
“While this devout virgin was one day praying before the Most Holy Sacrament, Jesus Christ showed her his heart surrounded by thorns, with a cross on the top and in a throne of flames; and then He said thus to her: ‘Behold the heart that has so much loved men, and has spared nothing for love of them, even to consuming itself to give them pledges of its love, but which receives from the majority of men no other recompense but ingratitude, and insults towards the Sacrament of love; and what grieves Me most is, that these hearts are consecrated to Me.’
“And then He desired her to use her utmost endeavors in order that a particular feast should be celebrated in honor of His divine heart on the first Friday after the Octave of Corpus Christi.
And this for three reasons:
1. In order that the faithful should return thanks to Him for the great gift which He has left them in the adorable Eucharist;
2. In order that loving souls should make amends by their prayers and pious affections for the irreverences and insults which He has received and still receives from sinners in this Most Holy Sacrament;
3. In order that they might make up also for the honor which He does not receive in so many churches where He is so little adored and reverenced. And He promised that He would make the riches of His Sacred Heart abound towards those who should render Him this honor, both on the day of this feast, and on every other day when they should visit Him in the Most Holy Sacrament.”
Sources:America Needs Fatima and sistersofcarmel.com
One day, when Saint Mechtilde was praying and trying to think of some way in which she could express her love of the Blessed Mother better than she had done before, she fell into ecstasy.Our Lady appeared to her with the Angelic Salutation in flaming letters of gold upon her bosom and said to the saint, “My daughter, I want you to know that no one can please me more than by saying the salutation, which the Most Adorable Trinity sent to me and by which He raised me to the dignity of Mother of God.
“By the word Ave, which is the name for Eve, I learned that in His infinite power God had preserved me from all sin and its attendant misery that Eve had been subject to.
“The name Mary, which means ‘lady of light,’ shows that God has filled me with wisdom and light, like a shining star, to light up heaven and Earth.
“The words full of grace remind me that the Holy Spirit has showered so many graces upon me that I am able to give these graces in abundance to those who ask for them through me as Mediatrix.
“When people say The Lord is with thee, they renew the indescribable joy that was mine when the Eternal Word became incarnate in my womb.
“When you say to me blessed art thou among women, I praise Almighty God’s divine mercy, which lifted me to this exalted plane of happiness.
“And at the words blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus, the whole of heaven rejoices with me to see my Son Jesus Christ adored and glorified for having saved mankind.”
~Source:”Secret of the Rosary” by St.Louis de Montfort
~The Vision of Blessed Alan De La Roche~
Blessed Alan De La Roche was chosen by God to be the GREAT propogator of the Rosary in the fifteenth century,a time when it had very much gone out of use amongst the faithful.In a moment of deep discouragement,he was greatly animated in his work by the following vision which Our Lord granted him.This vision was accorded to him during the time that he was saying mass;Our Lord appeared to him hanging on the cross and addressed to him these words of reproach:”Behold Me nailed to the cross;it is you who have crucified me anew”.Blessed Alan answered,”How Lord could I be so miserable as to commit such a deed?”Our Lord said,”It is your sins that have crucified Me;not your deeds,but your omissions;for having the knowledge and the power to preach,you are guilty of all the sins that would have been prevented by the preaching of My Rosary.THE WORLD IS FULL OF RAVENOUS WOLVES AND YOU UNFAITHFUL DOG KNOW NOT HOW TO BARK”.Blessed Alan adds that the future punishment reserved for unfaithful guardians of Our Lord’s flock was then revealed to him,and these words were said to him:”If you remain silent any longer,there is your place.GO AND PREACH MY PSALTER,fearing nothing.I will defend you against all who desire to attack you”.Our Blessed Lady also made known to him her displeasure at his silence.She reproved him severely by having,like a slothful labourer,forsaken his work and showed him in spirit a large and beautiful city,like the Heavenly Jerusalem described by St.John in the Apocalypse,with its walls of jasper and its gates of pearl and its streets of transparent gold,glittering with the glory of God.And she promised to him,and to all those who should faithfully practice the devotion of the Rosary,that a dwelling should be theirs for all eternity.Encouraged by these warnings and promises,Blessed Alan published the Rosary with burning zeal,according to the voice of Our Lord and His Holy Mother.No longer depressed by opposition,he turned all his energy to the accomplishment of the glorious mission which had been confided to him.From that day forward he went from town to town,and from village to village,preaching everywhere,and carrying with him the knowledge and the love of Jesus and Mary by the Rosary.
Pompeii has experienced tragedies and dismal times, but in more recent years the tragedies have been transformed into triumphs of Our Lady of the Rosary, and the unhappy times have been replaced by countless pilgrims who are the joyful recipients of miracles and graces.
One of the first tragedies to visit Pompeii occurred in the year 79 A.D., when Mount Vesuvius erupted with a vengeance. The volcano destroyed the Roman city and concealed it for centuries beneath volcanic ash. The city that developed about a mile from these ruins was also subjected to tragedy when it was ravaged in 1659 by a widespread epidemic of malaria that killed most of the population.
An ancient church that had been built before the epidemic was eventually demolished in 1740, and a smaller one was built as a replacement. Of the once-thriving parish, only a handful of people remained —– and these were served by a tired and elderly priest. Finally, in addition to the various superstitions that gripped the people, they were additionally troubled and weakened by bandits who terrorized and pillaged. Pompeii eventually became known as “a most dangerous resort of bold and infamous robbers.”
But Our Lady never abandons her children, and the most unlikely places have been chosen by her to display the wonders she can perform for those who are devoted to her. The instrument she used for her conquest of this unhappy city was Bartolo Longo [1841-1926], who would at first appear to be a most unlikely choice.
Educated in Naples to be an attorney, Bartolo was introduced to Satanism during his college days. After “ordination” as a priest in the church of Satan, he spent many years in the exercise of his office by preaching, officiating at the rites, publicly ridiculing the Catholic Church and her priests, and speaking against all matters relating to the Catholic religion. Longo was brought to Satan by bad companions; a good friend, Vincente Pepe, brought him back to God. Vincent eventually succeeded in placing Bartolo in the care of a Dominican friar, Alberto Radente, who helped him in the final stages of withdrawal from the sect.
After returning to the Sacraments, Bartolo decided to make reparation by joining a group of people who cared for the poor and the sick. A member of this group was Countess di Fusco, a wealthy widow who owned property near the ancient ruins. Commissioned by her to collect the rents, Bartolo saw for himself the desolation of the city and the spiritual poverty of the people.
One day in October 1872, while he paused in the fields near Pompeii, he began to reflect on his previous consecration as a priest of Satan. He tells us:
I thought that perhaps as the priesthood of Christ is for eternity, so also the priesthood of Satan is for eternity. So, despite my repentance, I thought that I was still consecrated to Satan, and that I am still his slave and property as he awaits me in Hell. As I pondered over my condition, I experienced a deep sense of despair and almost committed suicide. Then I heard an echo in my ear of the voice of Friar Alberto repeating the words of the Blessed Virgin Mary:
“One who propagates my Rosary shall be saved.” These words certainly brought an illumination to my soul. Falling to my knees, I exclaimed: “If your words are true that he who propagates your Rosary will be saved, I shall reach salvation because I shall not leave this earth without propagating your Rosary.” Like an answer to my promise, the little bell of the parish church of Pompeii rang out, inviting the people to pray the Angelus. This incident was like a signature to my firm decision.
Without delay, Bartolo organized a parish mission and invited a group of priests to speak about devotion to the Holy Rosary. To conclude the mission, he planned to exhibit a painting of Our Lady. He found an appropriate picture in a Naples shop, but unfortunately, he could not afford to purchase it. He was later informed that the picture was unsuitable, since Canon Law at that time required that a painting be executed in oils upon canvas or wood. The picture he had chosen was an oleograph on paper.
On his return home he shared his disappointment with Friar Alberto Radente, who told him of a painting that a nun named Mother Concetta had in her convent. Since she was willing to part with it, Friar Alberto encouraged Bartolo to ask for it. This painting had originally been discovered in a junk shop by Friar Alberto. He had purchased it for a mere eight carlins, or the equivalent of one dollar. The friar had given the portrait of Our Lady to Mother Concetta some time earlier.
When Bartolo saw this painting, he was extremely displeased by its pitiful condition and its historical and artistical flaws. He described the painting in this manner:
Not only was it worm-eaten, but the face of the Madonna was that of a coarse, rough country-woman . . . a piece of canvas was missing just above her head . . . her mantle was cracked. Nothing can be said of the hideousness of the other figures. St. Dominic looked like a street idiot. To Our Lady’s left was St. Rose. This latter I had changed later into a St. Catherine of Siena . . . I hesitated whether to refuse the gift or to accept. I had promised a picture unconditionally for that evening. I took it.
Bartolo was enticed into accepting the picture by Mother Concetta. She encouraged him with the words: “Take it with you; you will see that the Blessed Mother will use this painting to work many miracles.” The words proved to be prophetic.
Since the painting was too large for Bartolo to carry back with him, he wrapped it in a sheet and gave it to a man who routinely drove his wagon between Naples and Pompeii. Not knowing the subject of the painting, the man arrived with the portrait positioned atop a load of manure that he was to deliver to a nearby field. In this inauspicious manner the Queen of the Rosary arrived in Pompeii.
The painting arrived on November 13, 1875. Every year the faithful observe the anniversary of the painting’s arrival with special prayers and observances.
Two months after its arrival, in January of 1876, the picture’s first restoration was completed in time for the canonical foundation of the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary which had been organized by Bartolo Longo. Another restoration took place in 1879 by Maldarelli, a Neapolitan artist, who thought at first that the task was hopeless. Still another restoration is said to have taken place in 1965 by artists at the Vatican.
As a fitting shrine for this painting, Bartolo arranged for the building of a magnificent church. Its construction was funded by the pennies of the poor and the substantial gifts of the rich.
While it was being built, three outstanding miracles took place. The first involved a twelve-year-old child, Clorinda Lucarelli, a victim of fierce attacks of epilepsy. Distraught relatives of the child made a promise to help in the building of the proposed church if the child recovered her health. Clorinda was cured on the day the picture was exposed for veneration. Two doctors certified on oath that the cure was nothing less than miraculous.
A young woman, Concetta Vasterilla, who was dying in agony, was also cured when similar promises were made. During the day when the cornerstone of the new church was laid, May 8, 1876, Fr. Anthony Varone, who had received the Last Sacraments and was dying of a gangrenous condition, was likewise healed. He celebrated Holy Mass the following morning and acknowledged his miraculous cure from the pulpit on the feast of the Holy Rosary.
A month after the cornerstone was laid, another miracle took place when Madame Giovannina Muta was cured. She had been in the last stages of consumption when she was persuaded to make certain promises to Our Lady of Pompeii. On June 8, while Madame Muta lay in bed, she saw in a vision the picture of Our Lady of Pompeii —– although she had never seen the picture in actuality. But as she gazed, Our Lady seemed to cast her way a ribbon on which was written: “The Virgin of Pompeii grants your request, Giovannina Muta.” When the vision faded, Madame Muta was completely cured. Other marvelous miracles and favors have taken place which are far too numerous to mention here.
While the Sanctuary was being constructed, Bartolo turned his interest to helping orphans, writing books about the history of the Rosary and composing novenas and a prayer manual for use at the Sanctuary. While engaged in these activities Bartolo found time to marry the widow, Countess Mariana di Fusco, on April 1, 1885.
Together the couple spent their time and money in helping the many orphans who were entrusted to their care. They likewise helped candidates to the priesthood and religious life, Bartolo being credited with paying for the education of about 45 seminarians.
The church was consecrated by Cardinal La Valletta, Papal Legate for Pope Leo Xlll, in May of 1891. In 1934, at the express command of Pope Pius XI, a great new basilica was begun. Completed in 1939, it was opened in the name of Pope Pius XII by Cardinal Magliones, Secretary of State to His Holiness. Pope St. Pius X had earlier expressed support for the Sanctuary and devotion to Our Lady of Pompeii.
The miraculous portrait of Our Lady of the Rosary is situated high atop the main altar of this artistically enriched sanctuary. In its golden frame, the colorful painting depicts the Blessed Mother seated upon a throne. On her knee is the Child Jesus, who is handing a Rosary to St. Dominic, while the Blessed Mother is handing a rosary to St. Catherine of Siena. Pope Leo XIll once stated, “God has made use of this image to grant those favors which have moved the whole world.”
This once-discarded portrait, costing a mere dollar, which arrived in Pompeii under the humblest conditions, is now studded with diamonds and gems which were donated to Our Lady by her grateful clients.
It has been estimated that at least 10,000 pilgrims visit the sanctuary each day, but twice a year, on May 8 and the first Sunday of October, at least 100,000 pilgrims join in the solemn prayers which Bartolo Longo composed.
The former Satanist, the devout convert, respected lawyer and champion of the orphaned lived a long life of 85 years, dying on October 5, 1926. The tombs of Bartolo Longo and his wife are found in the crypt of the sanctuary.
The promise of the Blessed Mother that “One who propagates my Rosary shall be saved” was realized when Pope John Paul II affirmed the salvation of Bartolo Longo’s soul at the ceremony of beatification which was conducted on October 26, 1980.
High atop the main altar of the basilica in Pompeii is found the miraculous painting that long ago had been purchased in a junk shop for the equivalent of one dollar.
Novena to Our Lady of Pompeii
V. O God, come unto my assistance;
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.
V. Glory be to the Father, etc.
R. As it was in the beginning, etc.
1. Behold me at thy knees, Immaculate Mother of Jesus, who dost rejoice at being invoked as Queen of the Rosary in the Vale of Pompeii. With joy in my heart, and my mind filled with the most lively gratitude, I return to thee who art my most generous benefactor, my dearest Lady, the Queen of my heart, to thee who hast shown thyself my true Mother, the Mother who loves me exceedingly. I was filled with groanings and thou didst hear my cry; I was in affliction and thou didst comfort me; I was in the valley of the shadow of death and thou didst bring me peace. The sorrows and pains of death laid siege to my soul, and thou, dear Mother, from thy throne in Pompeii with one look of pity didst make me serene. Who bath ever turned to thee with confidence and hath not been heard ? If only the whole world knew thy great goodness, thy tender compassion for those who suffer, how all creation would have recourse to thee! Mayest thou be ever blessed, O Virgin and Queen of Pompeii, by me and by all others, both men and Angels, on earth and in Heaven.
Glory Be to the Father; Hail, Holy Queen.
2. I return thanks to God and to thee, O Mother of God, for the fresh blessings that have been showered upon me through thy pity and loving-kindness. What a fate would mine have been, hadst thou rejected my sighs and tears! Let the Angels in Paradise, the glorious choir of the Apostles, the noble army of the Martyrs, the holy bands of Virgins and Confessors give thee thanks in my behalf. Let the many souls of sinners, saved by thine intercession, who now enjoy in Heaven the vision of thine unfading loveliness, give thanks to thee in my behalf. I would that all creatures might love thee in union with me, and that the whole world might repeat the refrain of my hymns of thanksgiving. What can I render to thee, O Queen, rich in mercy and magnificence? What remains of life I dedicate to thee and to the spreading of thy devotion, O Virgin of the Rosary of Pompeii, through whose invocation the grace of the Lord hath visited me. I will spread abroad devotion to thy Rosary, I will tell all men of the mercies thou hast obtained for me; I will ever more proclaim thy great goodness toward me, so that other sinners, as unworthy as I, may turn to thee in all confidence.
Glory Be to the Father; Hail, Holy Queen.
3. By what name shall I invoke thee, thou white dove of peace? Under what title shall I call upon thee whom the holy Doctors have named the Mistress of creation, the gate of life, the temple of God, the palace of light, the glory of the heavens, the Saint of saints, the wonder of wonders, the paradise of the Most High God? Thou art the treasurer of divine graces, the omnipotent answer to prayer, nay, the very mercy of God, which is shown toward the unfortunate. But I know, too, that it is pleasing to thy heart to be invoked as Queen of the Rosary in the Vale of Pompeii. And as I hail thee by this title, I perceive the sweetness of thy mystic name, O rose of paradise, transplanted into this valley of tears, to sweeten our miseries who are banished children of Eve; red rose of charity, more fragrant than all the spices of Libanus, who by the perfume of thy heavenly sweetness dost draw the hearts of sinners to the Heart of God in this thy valley of Pompeii. Thou art the rose of eternal freshness, watered by the streams of water from Heaven; thou hast set thy roots in a land parched by a rain of fire; thou art a rose of spotless beauty , who in a place of desolation hast planted a garden of the delights of the Lord. May God be praised, who hath made thy name so wonderful! Bless, O ye peoples, bless the name of the Virgin of Pompeii, for all the earth is full of her loving-kindness.
Glory Be to the Father; Hail, Holy Queen.
4. In the midst of the tempests which have overwhelmed me, I have lifted up mine eyes to thee, thou new star of hope that hath risen in these latter days above the valley of ruin. From the depths of my bitterness I have lifted up my voice to thee, O Queen of the Rosary of Pompeii, and I have felt the power of that title so dear to thee. Hail, I shall ever cry, hail to thee, thou Mother of pity, fathomless ocean of grace, sea of goodness and compassion! Who shall be worthy to sing the new glories of thy Rosary, the fresh victories of thy chaplet? In this valley, where Satan devoured souls in olden times, thou hast prepared salvation for a world, that is tearing itself from the loving arms of Jesus in order to cast itself into the deadly embrace of Satan. Triumphantly dost thou trample underfoot the fragments of pagan temples, and upon the ruins of ancient idolatry thou hast established the throne of thine imperial sway. Thou hast changed the valley of death into a valley of resurrection and life; and in a land once dominated by thine enemy, thou hast built a city of refuge, where thou dost receive thy people in safety. Behold, thy children, scattered throughout the world, have erected thy throne there, as a witness to thy miracles, as a memorial of thy mercies. From that throne thou hast called me to be among the sons of thy predilection; upon poor me thy merciful glance hath rested. May thy works be praised for ever, O Blessed Lady, and praised be the marvels wrought by thee in this valley of desolation and death.
Glory Be to the Father; Hail, Holy Queen.
5; Let every tongue speak of thy glory, dear Lady, and let the harmonious accord of our praises sound from evening even to the morning. May all generations call thee blessed and may all the coasts of earth and all the mansions of Heaven re-echo the hymn of praise. Nay, I will call thee thrice blessed, in union with the Angels and Principalities; thrice blessed, with the angelical Powers, with the Virtues of heaven, with the supernal Dominations; most blessed will I proclaim thee with the Thrones, with the Cherubim and Seraphim. O Queen of salvation, cease not to turn thine eyes in pity upon this thy family, upon this nation, upon the Church universal. Above all, deny me not the greatest of graces; that is, let not my frailty ever separate me from thee. Grant that I may persevere even to the end in the love and faith wherewith my soul is on fire at this moment. Grant, also, that all of us, who come together in the beauty of thy sanctuary in Pompeii, may be of the number of the elect. O chaplet of the Rosary of my Mother , I press thee to my breast and I kiss thee in a spirit of profound reverence. Thou art the way that leads to the attainment of every virtue, the treasure of merits for paradise, the pledge of my predestination, the mighty chain that binds fast the enemy of our salvation, a source of peace to all who give thee due honor in this life, and a foretaste of victory to those who kiss thee at the hour of death. In that last hour, I shall look to thee, O Mother; thy coming will be the sign of my salvation, thy Rosary will open to me the gates of paradise. Amen.
Glory Be to the Father; Hail, Holy Queen.
V. Pray for us, O Queen of the most holy Rosary;
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray.
O God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who hast taught us to come to Thee with confidence and to call Thee: Our Father, Who art in Heaven, ah! good Lord, to whom it belongeth to have mercy and to pardon, graciously hear us through the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, for we glory in the title of children of the Rosary; accept our humble thanks for the gifts we have received from Thee; and do Thou make the shrine which Thou hast set up in the sanctuary of Pompeii, every day more glorious and more lasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it
was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
HAIL HOLY QUEEN [Salve, Regina]
Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy; hail our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us. And after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.