The Last First
Our last First Friday of the school year, that is! We have had a wonderful year with Father Jack and will certainly miss him, as he has been reassigned for the fall. Thank you for teaching us more how to know, love and serve our Lord. We will continue to pray for you Father Jack!
(Sorry for the delay on this post! Although we met on June 7th, Feast of the Sacred Heart, we really felt we needed Father’s approval before using this cute photo. He had no problem sharing his lighter side with us and all of you….Thanks, Father!)
June 7th is the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus can be clearly traced back at least to the eleventh century. The beginnings of a devotion toward the love of God, as symbolized by the heart of Jesus, are found even in the fathers of the Church, including Origen, Saint Ambrose, Saint Jerome, and Saint Augustine of Hippo, to name a few. (Source: Wikipedia)
The first liturgical feast of the Sacred Heart was celebrated, with episcopal approval, on 31 August 1670 in France. Devotion to the Sacred Heart spread with the help of St. Marguerite Mary Alacoque, a young French nun. During 1874-75, she experienced visions and visitations from Christ. He informed her that she was His chosen instrument to spread devotion to His Sacred Heart, instructed her in a devotion that was to become known as the Nine Fridays and the Holy Hour, and asked that the feast of the Sacred Heart be established. The devotion was officially recognized and approved by Pope Clement XIII in 1765, seventy-five years after her death. (Source: Saints & Angels/Catholic Online)
Almost 250 years later, June 7 found us at St. John Church in Winslow, ME for 8am Mass. Afterward, we headed over to the Winslow Public Library. Using coloring pages and oral readings, the children reviewed the Twelve Promises of The Sacred Heart, as experienced by St. Marguerite Mary.
He promised that, in response to those who consecrate themselves and make reparations to His Sacred Heart:
- He will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life.
- 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 that 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. (Source: Fisheaters)
During our meeting, we parents also spent time putting our heads together to plan a fun yet meaningful “moving on” ceremony for our combined 13 children. More on that next time!
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