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First Friday Devotion in the Catholic Church

by aquinasandmore on November 7, 2008

Today is the First Friday of the month, which is a devotion that many Catholics around the world follow.

History of First Friday

First Friday devotions among Catholics are related to devotion to the Sacred Heart of Christ. First Friday practices date to the last decades of the 17th century, when Jesus appeared to St. Margaret Mary and spoke to her of His Sacred Heart. Among the promises Our Lord revealed to St. Margaret Mary, the 12th specifically referenced practices for Fridays:

In the excess of the mercy of my Heart, I promise you that my all powerful love will grant to all those who will receive Communion on the First Fridays, for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance: they will not die in my displeasure, nor without receiving the sacraments; and my Heart will be their secure refuge in that last hour.

Devotion to the Sacred Heart, as given to St. Margaret by Jesus, began to grow in popularity as soon as the saintly woman had died, but was officially recognized 75 years later. Though the devotion dictated to Margaret referred to 9 consecutive first Fridays, it does not need to end there. Many of the Catholic faithful continue to make the First Friday devotion beyond the nine consecutive months.

Read the rest of this article about the First Friday devotion.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Lindy February 5, 2010 at 3:42 am

Jesus died on the cross and rose again. Because He did this He paid for our sin IN FULL and if we accept His death on the cross as payment in full we are fogiven of our sins. It is not us doing a devotion that does this for us. He gives us this as a free gift. For me, as a Catholic, I just love and celebrate Jesus and what He did by giving Him praise as a “first fruit”…on First Friday. I don’t think what we do as a praise “wins” us salvation. He already has done this for us. We just can celebrate His most precious gift. The Sacred Heart celebrates our Jesus…. and we get to love Him up by praising Him in this way.

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Marija May 5, 2010 at 8:34 am

When we see that the Holy Church of Jesus has approved something, we should automatically accept it, with obedience and humility. If we want to gain further understanding about it, there are a great many avenues to do this, including the internet. Jesus Himself appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and asked her to spread this Devotion to His Sacred Heart on First Fridays, for the purpose of making known the treasure of goodness within His Sacred Heart which He wished to share with mankind, and also to make reparation to His Sacred Heart for all those who ignore or sin against Him.

It is not the Redemption of Jesus’ Holy Sacrifice on the Cross – it is responding to His Request and a Special Means of Giving Love to Him “Who has Loved us so much, and is so little loved in return,” as He Said. The Special Way is to do what He Asked – to receive His Living Presence in Holy Communion, and to offer our love to His Sacred Heart Present in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar in Holy Hours.

Also, let us not forget that although Our Lord’s Holy Sacrifice Redeemed us from Original Sin, we must continue to “run the race” as St. Paul said, and try to live in accord with the Commandments in Charity and Humility, receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation when we fall, and the Bread of Life in Holy Mass so as to have His Divine Life within us. It is a fatal flaw to live without regard to the consequences of our own self-centeredness because we think Jesus’ Sacrifice on the Holy Cross means that “all we have to do is accept His death on the Cross and our sins are forgiven.” Our Protestant brothers and sisters are led to think this way as a means to deny the Holy Catholic Church’s gifts of the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist. Life on earth is complex and we have concupiscence, the tendency to sin. Jesus’ Holy Sacrifice atoned for the Original Sin of our first parents, Adam and Eve, but He also gave us the gifts of the Sacraments to help us grow in holiness so as to be fit for Heaven, “as little children.” Devotions such as First Fridays and First Saturdays are means of reparation to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, but also help us to grow in holiness.

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Ginger June 3, 2011 at 8:17 pm

Lindy, the idea is to make reparation to Our Lord for all of the insults, indifferences and lack of love that is offered to Him by most everyone. He knows best what He wants and He told St. Margaret Mary exactly what that was. I suggest we do it His way, not our interpretation of His way.

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Mary Anne January 6, 2012 at 4:27 am

Reading your comment Lindy made me realise fully that Jesus payed the debt of my sins and mistakes and that I don’t have to live in the past and keep carrying its burdens. I can move ahead in life with Christ. Now , I say “Thank you Jesus for paying my debt. ” God bless you, Mary Anne

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betsy May 20, 2010 at 5:17 pm

My grandmother always attended first Friday services for as long as i can remember. We often went with her, but she always went. When she was in hospice care at home, she was only partly conscious until the day before she died, and hadn’t spoken for days. That day, her priest came to deliver a final anointing of the sick. She was awake for the blessing and was able to quietly pray a Hail Mary with the priest. That “amen” was the last word she spoke. She passed the next day. We knew that final blessing was a devoted prayer answered.

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susan December 3, 2010 at 8:40 pm

I made my 9 first Fridays when I was a child. I am now Jewish. Does that mean I will still be going to heaven?

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ken schenatzki December 18, 2010 at 5:17 pm

hi susan, only god knows whether we are going to hell or heaven.
i believe we prepare ourselves for heaven by:
1. belief in and accepting jesus christ as our savior.
2. jesus says those who eat his body and drink his blood in the eucharist will have eternal life. i believe we should receive holy communion at least once a week.
3. obeying the ten commandments and spiritual laws.
4. that we must die in a state of grace to go to heaven. many people believe we can pray directly to jesus to have our sins forgiven.
catholics believe you must go to confession and have a priest forgive you for your sins.
5. the bible says sexual sins will send more people to hell than any other mortal sin. we are all human and imperfect, so if we give in to mortal sin, it is important to confess it to jesus christ right away or to a priest if so you believe, and ask for forgiveness.
6. my prayer everyday is: god my heavenly father and jesus christ, son of the living god, have mercy on me, a sinner. please let me die in a state of grace, be saved, and granted eternal life in heaven.
may the peace of jesus christ be with you, and may we see each other in heaven. kenny joe schenatzki

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Kathy February 16, 2011 at 7:24 am

This smacks of EARNING salvation. Salvation is given by God’s grace with our acceptance of Jesus’ sacrifice for us, not through EARNING it. You can’t earn it. And nobody else can earn it or affect it either. That would go against all Jesus said. Margaret Mary was hallucinating.

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Ian February 16, 2011 at 7:30 am

Please go back and read the Bible. While Jesus’ saving grace was freely offered, it’s up to us to accept it and our actions can and do affect whether or not we are saved.

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Al Cronin May 3, 2012 at 11:10 am

Shame for your unbelieving ways—St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
although doubted in the early days about her visitations by Jesus, was nonetheless accepted as as a truthful and pious nun that Jesus sought out many times to convey his message. It is perhaps the context of “earning” that doesn’t sit right with you. Yes he died for us and our sins were forgiven, but we must earn that right by continuing to avoid further sinning during our life. By devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, particularly on 7 consecutive Fridays we are assuring ourselves of continuing acceptance into an eternal life with Jesus and it is a reinforcement to help us avoid sin and also to comply with the wishes of Jesus. It is called Faith—not doubt.

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jisha January 26, 2013 at 9:46 am

Jesus is endless love and sacrifice……. the more we get close to god the more selfless we become………when ever we do good we get that positive energy from elsewhere and when we do bad the vice versa happens…………..so god is within our body and soul…..

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