From: Heralds of the Gospel Canada
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Nine First Fridays
The Friday following the Feast of Corpus Christi the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In addition to the liturgical celebration, many other devotional exercises are focused on the Heart of Christ. There is no doubt that devotion to the Heart of the Saviour has been, and remains, one of the most widespread and beloved expressions of popular piety of the Catholic Church.
The “great promise” of the Nine First Fridays of the Month
The practice of the Nine First Fridays has its origin in the “great promise” made by Jesus to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. He said to her: “I promise you that my omnipotent love will grant to all those who receive communion on the first Friday of the month, for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance, and that they will not die without receiving the holy sacraments.” At a time when sacramental communion was very rare among the faithful, the practice of the nine first Fridays devotion contributed significantly to reestablishing more frequent use of the sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist. Today, the devotion of the First Fridays of the month, if practiced in the right way, will provide unquestionable spiritual fruits.
The conditions outlined by Our Lord to obtain these graces are the following:
1. Receive Holy Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months without interruption.
2. Have the intention of honouring the Sacred Heart of Jesus and obtaining final perseverance.
3. Offer each Holy Communion as an act of atonement for the offences committed gainst the Blessed Sacrament.