FIRST FRIDAY DEVOTION
Our Lord appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alocoque (1647-1690), a French nun in the Visitation Order, and gave her the special task to spread devotion to His Most Sacred Heart at a time when religion was growing cold in the hearts of mankind. He said to her:
“Behold this heart which, notwithstanding the burning love for men with which it is consumed and exhausted, meets with no other return from most Christians than sacrilege, contempt, indifference and ingratitude, even in the sacrament of my love [the Eucharist]. But what pierces my heart most deeply is that I am subjected to these insults by persons especially consecrated to my service.”
Jesus asked for special prayers and practices to make amends (reparation) for this great neglect to the proper reverence owed to God. For those who did this faithfully, he made what St. Margaret Mary referred to as the “Great Promise” which was the last and greatest of the Twelve Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
“I promise you in the unfathomable mercy of my heart that my omnipotent love will procure the grace of final penitence for all those who receive communion on nine successive first Fridays of the month; they will not die in my disfavor [the grace of final repentance], or without having received the sacraments, since my divine heart will be their sure refuge in the last moments of their life.”
CONDITIONS TO FULFILL THE FIRST FRIDAY DEVOTION
The specific conditions to receive the Great Promise of the Sacred Heart of Jesus are:
- Receive Holy Communion on nine consecutive first Fridays of the month (this assumes that the person is in a state of grace, having made a sacramental confession for any mortal sins prior to receiving communion).
- Having the intention, at least implicitly, of making reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for all the sinfulness and ingratitude of men.
FIRST SATURDAY DEVOTION
The practice of the First Saturday devotion was requested by Our Lady of Fatima, who appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal, multiple times starting in 1917. She said to Lucia, the oldest of the three children:
“I shall come to ask . . . that on the First Saturday of every month, Communions of reparation be made in atonement for the sins of the world.”
Years later she repeated her request to Sr. Lucia, the only one still living of the three young Fatima seers, while she was a postulant sister living in a convent in Spain:
“Look, my daughter, at my Heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce me at very moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least try to console me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the rosary, and keep me company for 15 minutes while meditating on the 15 mysteries of the rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.”
CONDITIONS TO FULFILL THE FIRST SATURDAY DEVOTION
There are five requirements to obtain this promise from the Immaculate Heart of Mary. On five consecutive first Saturdays of the month, one should:
- Have the intention of consoling the Immaculate Heart in a spirit of reparation.
- Go to confession (within eight days before or after the first Saturday).
- Receive Holy Communion.
- Say five decades of the Holy Rosary.
- Meditate for 15 minutes on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary with the goal of keeping Our Lady company (for example, while in church or before an image or statue of Our Lady).