• TH2 New Priests Bless the Bishop
  • TH2 New Priests prepare to give first blessings to family and friends
  • TH2 Anointing of Hands
  • TH2 Laying of Hands (Ordination)
  • TH2 Concelebrating Mass with Bishop Robert Morlino
  • TH2 Handing over of the bread and wine

First Fridays & First Saturdays

Dear Fellow Parishioners,

Have you ever wondered why, when we say the Hail Mary, our last request to the Blessed Mother is to “pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death“? It should serve as a clear reminder to us of the importance of the final moments of our life on earth, and our need for the grace of final repentance.  The purpose of this letter is to talk about two devotions based on promises from Jesus and Mary, which we can practice and that may prove to be of great comfort to us in this final hour of need.

First Fridays and the Grace of Final Repentance

Towards the end of the seventeenth century, Our Lord made some extraordinary promises to St. Margaret Mary of Alacoque for those Catholics who would practice devotion to His Most Sacred Heart.  One the 12 promises Christ made to St. Margaret Mary was to grant us the grace of final repentance:

“I promise in the excess of the mercy of My Heart, that its all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive communion on the first Friday of every month for nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance, and that they shall not die under My displeasure, nor without the sacraments, and that My Heart shall be their secure refuge at that last hour.”

Some important points to consider: (1) we must receive Communion on the first Friday of the month for nine consecutive months; (2) we must do this in honor of His Sacred Heart; (3) we must remember 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; (4) we should remember that perseverance in receiving Holy 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 endeavor to make the nine Fridays.

First Saturdays and the Graces Necessary for Salvation

When the Blessed Mother appeared to the children of Fatima in 1917, she told them she would come to ask the world for a special devotion in atonement for the sins of the world.  In December of 1925, she and the Infant Jesus appeared to Lucia of Fatima, who was now in a convent, to complete her request and to make a great promise.  Our Lady said:

 “See, my daughter, my Heart encircled by thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. Do you, at least, strive to console me. Tell them that I promise to assist at the hour of death with the graces necessary for salvation all those who, in order to make reparation to me, on the First Saturday of five successive months, go to confession, receive Holy Communion, say five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for a quarter of an hour, meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary.”

There are four aspects to this devotion, all of which must be offered in reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It is important to make this intention before starting the five First Saturdays, and it helps to renew the intention on each of the First Saturdays.

  1. Confession: This confession can be made (up to 8 days) before each First Saturday or afterward, provided that Holy Communion be received in the state of grace. This confession should be offered in reparation.
  2. Holy Communion: Before receiving Holy Communion, it is likewise necessary to offer it in reparation to Our Lady.
  3. Rosary: The Rosary is a vocal prayer said while meditating upon the mysteries of Our Lord’s life and Passion and Our Lady’s life. To comply with the request of our Blessed Mother, it must be offered in reparation and said properly while meditating. (In our parish, we offer the rosary 30 minutes before Mass, for those in attendance.)
  4. 15-minute meditation: Also offered in reparation, the meditation may embrace one or more mysteries; it may include all, taken together or separately. This meditation is in addition to saying the rosary and can be done anytime during the day.

Remember Our Lady’s promise: “I promise to assist at the hour of death with the graces necessary for salvation.” This means that our Blessed Mother will be present at the hour of death with the actual grace of final perseverance, (which after the gift/grace of Faith), is the most important grace.

All are encouraged to adopt one or both of these devotions.  What a small sacrifice for such a great reward. 

Sincerely,

Father Faustino Ruiz               Father John Del Priore

St. Mary Pastoral Council Members:

Greg Merrick                           Dave Klar

Jessica Clifton                         Connie McCabe

Joe Hood