Brother Stanislaus Guadeloupe Ybarra FMCD, presents the first of nine monthly programmes offering reflections about St Margaret Mary Alocoque (1647-1690) and the First Friday Devotions.
The First Friday Devotions are a set of Catholic devotions to especially recognize the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and through it offer reparations for sins. In the visions of Christ reported by Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque in the 17th century, several promises were made to those people who practiced the First Friday Devotions, one of which included final perseverance.
This devotion consists in attending Holy Mass and receiving Holy Communion in reparation for those who do not receive Our Lord, who do not love Him and who wound Him by their sinful lives.
“I promise you, in the excessive mercy of My Heart, that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the First Friday of nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in my disgrace, nor without receiving their Sacraments, My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.”Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary
Generally speaking, those who promote this devotion place the following conditions or recommendations so as to avoid this holy practice becoming something automatic or magical:
(1) that Our Lord required Communion to be received on a particular day chosen by him;
(2) that the nine Fridays must be consecutive;
(3) that they must be made in honour of his Sacred Heart, which means that those who make the nine Fridays must practice the devotion and must have a great love for our Lord;
(4) that Our Lord does not say that those who make the nine Fridays will be dispensed from any of their obligations or from exercising the vigilance necessary to lead a good life and overcome temptation; rather, he implicitly promises abundant graces to those who make the nine Fridays to help them to carry out these obligations and persevere to the end;
(5) that perseverance in receiving Communion for nine consecutive First Fridays helps the faithful to acquire the habit of frequent Communion, which Our Lord eagerly desires; and(6) that the practice of the nine Fridays is very pleasing to Our Lord since he promises such great reward, and that all Catholics should endeavour to make the nine Fridays.