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Prayers & Devotions
First Friday Devotions
Paragraph 171 DIRECTORY ON POPULAR PIETY AND THE LITURGY
the pious practice of the first Fridays of the month which derives from the "great promises" made by Jesus to Saint Margaret Mary. At a time when sacramental communion was very rare among the faithful, the first Friday devotion contributed significantly to a renewed use of the Sacraments of Penance and of the Holy Eucharist. In our own times, the devotion to the first Fridays, even if practiced correctly, may not always lead to the desired spiritual fruits. Hence, the faithful require constant instruction so that any reduction of the practice to mere credulity, is avoided and an active faith encouraged so that the faithful may undertake their commitment to the Gospel correctly in their lives. They should also be reminded of the absolute preeminence of Sunday, the "primordial feast"(188), which should be marked by the full participation of the faithful at the celebration of the Holy Mass.
(188) -- SC 106.
excerpt from the DIRECTORY ON POPULAR PIETY AND THE LITURGY
PRINCIPLES AND GUIDELINES Vatican City December 2001
Chapter IV. THE LITURGICAL YEAR AND POPULAR PIETY (94-182)
The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (166-173)
The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus devotion was greatly increased by the visions Sister Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690), a French Visitandine nun at the convent of Paray-le-Monial. She had a vision of Christ's Heart on the feast of Saint John that was similiar to that of Saint Gertrude. Jesus permitted her to rest her head upon His Heart, and then disclosed to her the wonders of His love, telling her that He desired to make this known to mankind and to diffuse the treasures of His goodness, and that He had chosen her for this work, (probably 1673, Dec. 27). In June or July o f 1674, Sister Margaret Mary said, Jesus asked to be honored under the figure of His Heart of Flesh and asked for a devotion of expiatory love -- frequent Communion, Communion on the first Friday of each month and the observance of Holy Hours.
MISERENTISSIMUS REDEMPTOR, ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS XI, ON REPARATION TO THE SACRED HEART, May 8, 1928
"Moreover, by the inspiration of God's grace, it has come to pass that the pious devotion of the faithful towards the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus has made great increase in the course of time; hence pious confraternities to promote the worship of the Divine Heart are everywhere erected, hence too the custom of receiving Holy Communion on the first Friday of every month at the desire of Christ Jesus, a custom which now prevails everywhere."
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