Prayer

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Today’s Feast – St Dymphna

Saint Dymphna was born in Ireland in the 7th century. Her father, Damon was a pagan king of Oriel, but her mother was a devout Christian. When Dymphna was around 14 years old, she consecrated herself to Christ, taking a vow of chastity. After her mothers death, shortly after, Damon was said to have been afflicted with mental illness, brought on by his grief. He was advised to find another woman of noble birth, who resembled his wife, who would be willing to marry him. When none could be found, his evil advisers told him to marry his own daughter. Dymphna, upon hearing this, fled from her home altogether to Belgium with Saint Gerebran, her confessor and two other friends. Her father found them and gave orders for the priest to be killed, then Damon tried to persuade his daughter to return to Ireland with him. After she refused, he drew his sword and struck off her head. She was only fifteen years of age. Saint Dymphna received the crown of martyrdom in defense of her purity about the year 620 and is the patron of those suffering from nervous and mental afflictions. Many miracles have taken place at her shrine, built on the spot where she was buried in Gheel, Belgium.

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24 Reasons for Spending a Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament

11209756_995233657175956_3251360228111881499_nTwelve Reasons From The Teachings Of The Church For Wanting To Spend One Hour With Jesus In The Blessed Sacrament

1. You are greatly needed!
“The Church and the world have a great need of eucharistic adoration.” (Pope John Paul II, Dominicae Cenae)

2. This is a personal invitation to you from Jesus.
“Jesus waits for us in this sacrament of love.” (Pope John Paul II, Dominicae Canae)

3. Jesus is counting on you because the Eucharist is the center of life.
“Every member of the Church must be vigilant in seeing that the sacrament of love shall be at the center of the life of the people of God so that through all the manifestations of worship due him shall be given back ‘love for love’ and truly become the life of our souls.” (Pope John Paul II, Redeemer of Man)

4. Your hour with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament will repair for evils of the world and bring about peace on earth.
“Let us be generous with our time in going to meet Jesus and ready to make reparation for the great evils of the world. Let your adoration never cease.” (Pope John Paul II, Dominicai Cenae)

5. Day and night Jesus dwells in the Blessed Sacrament because you are the most important person in the world to him!
“Christ is reserved in our churches as the spiritual center of the heart of the community, the universal Church and all humanity, since within the veil of the species, Christ is contained, the invisible heart of the Church, the Redeemer of the world, the center of all hearts, by him all things are and of whom we exist.” (Pope Paul IV, Mysterium Fidei)

6. Jesus wants you to do more than to go to mass on Sunday.
“Our communal worship at mass must go together with our personal worship of Jesus in Eucharistic adoration in order that our love may be complete.” (Pope John Paul II, Redeemer of Man)

7. You grow spiritually with each moment you spend with Jesus!
“Our essential commitment in life is to preserve and advance constantly in Eucharistic life and Eucharistic piety and to grow spiritually in the climate of the Holy Eucharist.” (Pope John Paul II, Redeemer of Man)

8. The best time you spend on earth is with Jesus, your Best Friend, in the Blessed Sacrament!
“How great is the value of conversation with Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, for there is nothing more consoling on earth, nothing more efficacious for advancing along the road of holiness!” (Pope Paul VI, Mysterium Fidei)

9. Just as you can’t be exposed to the sun without receiving its rays, neither can you come to Jesus exposed in the Blessed Sacrament without receiving the divine rays of his grace, his love, his peace.
“Christ is truly the Emmanuel, that is, God with us, day and night, he is in our midst. He dwells with us full of grace and truth. He restores morality, nourishes virtue, consoles the afflicted, strengthens the weak.” (Pope Paul VI, Mysterium Fidei)

10. If Jesus were actually visible in church, everyone would run to welcome him, but he remains hidden in the Sacred Host under the appearance of bread, because he is calling us to faith, that we many come to him in humility.
“The Blessed Sacrament is the ‘Living Heart’ of each of our churches and it is our very sweet duty to honor and adore the Blessed Host, which our eyes see, the Incarnate Word, whom they cannot see.” (Pope Paul VI, Credo of the People of God)

11. With transforming mercy, Jesus makes our heart one with his.
“He proposes his own example to those who come to him, that all may learn to be like himself, gentle and humble of heart, and to seek not their own interest but those of God.” (Pope Paul VI, Mysterium Fidei)

12. If the Pope himself would give you a special invitation to visit him in the Vatican, this honor would be nothing in comparison to the honor and dignity that Jesus himself bestows upon you with the invitation of spending one hour with him in the Blessed Sacrament.
“The divine Eucharist bestows upon the Christian people the incomparable dignity.” (Pope Paul VI, Mysterium Fidei)

Twelve Biblical Reasons For Wanting To Spend One Hour With Jesus In The Blessed Sacrament11149390_988189037880418_4358189720342856800_n

1. He is really there!
“I myself am the living bread come down from heaven.” (Jn 6:35)

2. Day and night Jesus dwells in the Blessed Sacrament because of his Infinite love for you!
“Behold I will be with you always even to the end of the world,” because “I have loved you with an everlasting love, and constant is my affection for you.” (Mt 28:20; Jer 31:3)

3. The specific way that Jesus asks you to love him in return is to spend one quiet hour with him in the Blessed Sacrament.
“Where your treasure is, there is your heart….” “Could you not watch one hour with me?” (Mt 6:21; 26:40)

4. When you look upon the Sacred Host, you look upon Jesus, the Son of God.
“Indeed, this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks upon the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life. Him I will raise up on the last day.” (Jn 6:40)

5. Each moment that you spend in His Eucharistic Presence will increase his divine life within you and deepen your personal relationship and friendship with him.
“I have come that you may have life, and have it more abundantly.” “I am the vine and you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him shall bear much fruit because without me, you can do nothing.” (Jn 15:5)

6. Each hour you spend with Jesus will deepen his divine peace in your heart.
“Come to me all of you who are weary and find life burdensome and I will refresh you…” “Cast all of you anxieties upon the one who cares for you…” “My Peace is My Gift to you.” (Mt 11:28; Pt 5:7; Jn 14:17)

7. Jesus will give you all the graces you need to be happy!
“The Lamb on the throne will shepherd them. He will lead them to the springs of life-giving water.” (Rev 7:17)

8. Jesus is infinitely deserving of our unceasing thanksgiving and adoration for all he has done for our salvation.
“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive honor, glory and praise.” (Rev. 5:12)

9. For peace in our country!
“When my people humble themselves and seek my presence… I will revive their land.” (2Chr 7:14)

10. Each hour you spend with Jesus on earth will leave your soul everlastingly more beautiful and glorious in heaven!
“They who humble themselves shall be exalted….” “All of us, gazing on the Lord’s glory with unveiled faces, are being transformed from glory to glory into his very image.” (Lk 18:14; 2Cor 3:18)

11. Jesus will bless you, your family and the whole world for this hour of faith you spend with Him in the Blessed Sacrament.
“Blessed are they who do not see and yet believe…” “Faith can move mountains…” ” What is needed is trust… ” “Behold I come to make all things new.” (Jn 20:29; Mk 11:23; Mk 5:36; Rev 21:5)

12. Each moment you spend with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament brings joy, pleasure, and delight to his Sacred Heart!
“My joy, my pleasure, my delight is to be with you.” (Prov 8:31)

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Today’s Feast – St. Athanasius

imgresSt. Athanasius, the great champion of the Faith was born at Alexandria, about the year 296, of Christian parents. Educated under the eye of Alexander, later Bishop of his native city, he made great progress in learning and virtue. In 313, Alexander succeeded Achillas in the Patriarchal See, and two years later St. Athanasius went to the desert to spend some time in retreat with St. Anthony.

In 319, he became a deacon, and even in this capacity he was called upon to take an active part against the rising heresy of Arius, an ambitious priest of the Alexandrian Church who denied the Divinity of Christ. This was to be the life struggle of St. Athanasius.

In 325, he assisted his Bishop at the Council of Nicaea, where his influence began to be felt. Five months later Alexander died. On his death bed he recommended St. Athanasius as his successor. In consequence of this, Athanasius was unanimously elected Patriarch in 326.

His refusal to tolerate the Arian heresy was the cause of many trials and persecutions for St. Athanasius. He spent seventeen of the forty-six years of his episcopate in exile. After a life of virtue and suffering, this intrepid champion of the Catholic Faith, the greatest man of his time, died in peace on May 2, 373. St. Athanasius was a Bishop and Doctor of the Church.

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Today’s Feast – St Joseph the worker

imgresFrom the Acts of Pope Pius XII
The Church, most provident Mother of All, expends the greatest efforts for the protection and relief of the workers, erecting and promoting for them societies which Pius XII, the Supreme Pontiff, now wishes to be entrusted to the most powerful patronage of St. Joseph. For St. Joseph, since he was reckoned the father of Christ, who deigned to be called the son of a workman, on account of the irrevocable bond which united him to Jesus, drank abundantly of that spirit which ennobles and elevates labor. In like manner, associations of workers ought to be aware of the same kind of spirit, so that Christ may always be present in them, in their members, in their families and in fact in every labor organization, because the chief purpose of these associations is to foster and nourish the Christian life in their members, to spread the Kingdom of God more widely, especially among fellow workers in the same plant.

The same Pontiff supplied a new proof of the Church’s solicitude for labor organization, when, upon the occasion of a convention of workingmen held in Rome on the first of May in the year 1955, he took the opportunity of speaking to a large multitude gathered in the square before St. Peter’s Basilica, and commended most highly the instruction of workingmen. For in our day it is of prime importance that the workers be properly imbued with Christian doctrine in order that they may avoid the widespread errors concerning the nature of society and economic matters. Moreover, such instruction is needed that they might have a correct knowledge of the moral order established by God as it effects the rights and duties of workers, and which the Church discloses and interprets, so that by partaking in the needed reforms they might work more effectively toward their realization. For Christ was the first one to promulgate in the world those principles which he delivered to the Church and which still stand unchangeable and most valid for the solution of these problems.

In order that the dignity of human labor and the principles which underlie it might penetrate more deeply into souls, Pius XII has instituted the feast of St. Joseph the Workman, as an example and a protection for all associations of workers. For from this example, those who follow the worker’s calling ought to learn how and in what spirit they should discharge their duties, so that, obeying the first law of God, they might likewise subdue the earth and attain to economic prosperity, and at the same time reap the rewards of eternal life. Nor will the prudent guardian of the Family of Nazareth fail to shield with his protection, and from heaven bless the homes of those who, like him, are artisans and workmen. Most aptly has the Supreme Pontiff ordered this feast to be celebrated on the first of May, a day which the workers have adopted as their own; from henceforth let it be hoped that this day, dedicated to St. Joseph the Workman, will, as time goes on, not sharpen hatred and inflame strife, but with each recurring year, invite everyone to strive more and more for those things which are still lacking to civil peace, and indeed that it may stimulate the public authorities to use their abilities in effecting whatever right order demands of human fellowship.

Matthew 13:54-58
And at that time: When Jesus had come to his own country, he began to teach them in their synagogues, so that they were astonished, and said: “How did this man come by this wisdom and these miracles? Is this not the carpenter’s son?” And so on.

Homily by St. Albert the Great, Bishop
On the Gospel of Luke, Ch. 4
On the Sabbath day he entered the synagogue, where those who came to listen had gathered. And the eyes of everyone in the synagogue were intent upon him. Some indeed with devotion, some out of curiosity, while some watched him that they might trap him in his talk. And the Scribes and Pharisees said to the people, in whom faith and devotion had already made a beginning: “Is not this the son of Joseph?” See this attitude of disparagement toward him whom they did not even deign to call by his name. “The son of Joseph,” this little the Evangelist says because he had known that both in Mark and in Matthew a fuller statement would be made: “Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is he not a workman, the son of Mary?” All these things were said contemptuously.

Joseph is said to have been a carpenter who earned his living by his skill and the work of his hands, and he did not eat his bread in idleness and indulgence, like the Scribes and Pharisees. Mary also worked for her living with her husband, and with competent hands. And here is the meaning of what they said about him: “This man of ignoble and poverty-stricken birth could not be Christ the Lord, whom God anointed. And thus no credence is to be given to such an uncultivated and low-born man.”

Now the Lord was a workman because the prophet said of him: “You fashioned the moon and the sun.” A similar contemptuous way of speaking is found in the Book of Kings, where they said of Saul when he became king: “What is this that has happened to the son of Cis? Is Saul also among the prophets?” This slight remark shows great disparagement. For the Lord says: “Amen I say to you, that no prophet is acceptable in his own country.” Here the Lord calls himself a prophet. For he, to whom all things are known through his divinity, receives no revelation of inspiration from outside himself. Here, however, he definitely calls the place of his birth and upbringing his own country. But he was not acceptable to his fellow townsmen who were incited against him by envy.

Let us pray.
God, Creator of all things, who didst lay on the human race the law of labour: graciously grant; that by following the example of Saint Joseph and under his patronage, we may carry out the work thou dost command, and obtain the reward thou dost promise.
Amen.

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(Also) today’s Feast – St Gianna Francesca Beretta

6985Gianna Francesca Beretta was born in Magenta in Italy. She was the tenth of thirteen children in her family, only nine of whom survived to adulthood. When she was three, her family moved to Bergamo, and she grew up in the Lombardy region of Italy.

In 1942, Gianna began her study of medicine in Milan. Outside of her schooling, she was active in Azione Cattolica. She received a medical diploma in 1949, and opened an office in Mesero, near her hometown of Magenta, where she specialized in pediatrics.

Gianna hoped to join her brother, a missionary priest in Brazil, where she intended to offer her medical expertise in gynecology to poor women. However, her chronic ill health made this impractical, and she continued her practice in Italy.

In December 1954, Gianna met Pietro Molla, an engineer who worked in her office, ten years older than she. They were officially engaged the following April, and they married in September 1955.

The couple had Pierluigi, born in 1956, Maria Zita, in 1957 and Laura, was born in 1959. Gianna suffered two miscarriages after this.

In 1961, Gianna was once again expecting. During the second month, Gianna developed a fibroma on her uterus. After examination, the doctors gave her three choices: an abortion, which would save her life and allow her to continue to have children; a complete hysterectomy, which would preserve her life, but take the unborn child’s life, and prevent further pregnancy; or removal of only the fibroma, with the potential of further complications. Roman Catholic teaching would have allowed her to obtain a hysterectomy, but would forbid an abortion. Wanting to preserve her child’s life, she opted for the removal of the fibroma.

After the operation, complications continued throughout her pregnancy. Gianna was quite clear about her wishes, expressing to her family, “This time it will be a difficult delivery, and they may have to save one or the other — I want them to save my baby.”

On April 21, 1962, Good Friday of that year, Gianna went to the hospital, where her fourth child, Gianna Emanuela, was successfully delivered via Caesarean section. However, Gianna continued to have severe pain, and died of septic peritonitis 7 days after the birth.

Gianna was beatified by Pope John Paul II on April 24, 1994, and officially canonized as a saint on May 16, 2004. Gianna’s husband Pietro and their last child, Gianna, were present at the canonization ceremony.

The miracle recognized by the Roman Catholic Church to canonize Gianna Molla involved a mother, Elizabeth Comparini, who was 16 weeks pregnant in 2003 and sustained a tear in her placenta that drained her womb of all amniotic fluid. Because a normal term of pregnancy is 40 weeks, Comparini was told by her doctors the baby’s chance of survival was “nil.”

Through praying to Gianna Molla and asking for her intercession, Comparini delivered by Caesarean a healthy baby despite the lack of amniotic fluid for the remainder of her pregnancy.

In his homily at her canonization Mass, Pope John Paul II called Gianna “a simple, but more than ever, significant messenger of divine love.”

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Today’s Feast – St Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort

imgresConfessor, Marian devotee, and founder of the Sisters of Divine Wisdom He was born Louis Marie Grignon in Montfort, France, in 1673. Educated at Rennes, he was ordained there in 1700, becoming a chaplain in a hospital in Poitiers. His congregation, also called the Daughters of Divine Wisdom, started there. As his missions and sermons raised complaints, Louis went to Rome, where Pope Clement XI appointed him as a missionary apostolic. Louis is famous for fostering devotion to the Blessed VirginMaryand the Rosary. In 1715, he also founded the Missionaries of the Company of Mary. His True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin remains popular. Louis died at Saint-Laurent-sur-Sevre. He was canonized in 1947.

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Today’s Feast – St Mark the Evangelist

STMARKHe was a cousin of St Barnabas and accompanied the apostle St Paul on his first missionary journey; later he followed him to Rome. He was a disciple of St Peter, and his gospel is told from St Peter’s point of view. He is credited with founding the Church in Alexandria, where he was martyred.

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From 3rd May to the 6th May, St Joseph’s Church in Bonnybridge is holding 40 hours of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament….

But why Forty Hours?

The Forty Hours Devotion is 40 hours of prayer before the exposed Blessed Sacrament, where we come face-to-face with Our Lord. This devotion is also widely known as Forty Hours Prayer and Forty Hours Adoration. The selection of 40 as the number of hours the faithful pray and the Blessed Sacrament is exposed outside the tabernacle is likely because that was the number of hours Jesus spent in the tomb between His death and resurrection. The number 40 is found repeatedly throughout the Old and New Testaments, including: the number of days Jesus fasted and was tempted in the wilderness, the days of rain causing the great flood during Noah’s time, and the years of journey the Israelites wandered in the desert.

11149390_988189037880418_4358189720342856800_nFor over 500 years one of the most beautiful of all Catholic devotions has been the one known as Quarant Ore, or Forty Hours. The Blessed Sacrament is solemnly exposed for 40 hours outside the tabernacle and continuously adored by the faithful.

Starting on Sunday 3rd May after 11am Mass, the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed upon the altar until 10pm at night, with a Holy Hour being held at 4pm

On Monday 4th May, Mass will be celebrated at 10.00am, followed by exposition until 10.00pm, with a Holy Hour being held at 6.30pm

On Tuesday 5th May, Mass will be celebrated at 10.00am, followed by exposition until 10.00pm, with a Holy Hour being held at 6.00pm

On Wednesday 6th May, Mass will be celebrated at 9.30am, followed by exposition with a Holy Hour concluding the event at 7.00pm

All are welcome to attend this wonderful time of Grace being held in St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Bonnybridge.

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40 hours of Adoration an article by Fr William Saunders

The Forty Hours Devotion is a special forty-hour period of continuous prayer made before the Blessed Sacrament in solemn exposition.

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The Forty Hours Devotion is a special 40-hour period of continuous prayer made before the Blessed Sacrament in solemn exposition. Of course, the focus of this devotion is on the Holy Eucharist. As Catholics, the words of our Lord burn in our hearts: “I myself am the living bread come down from Heaven. If anyone eats this bread, He shall live forever; the bread I will give is my flesh for the life of the world” (Jn 6:51).

Affirming our belief in the real presence of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, the Vatican Council II taught that the Holy Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life” (“Lumen Gentium,” No. 11). While the Mass is the central act of worship for us Catholics, an act which participates in the eternal reality of our Lord?s passion, death and resurrection, Vatican Council II upheld and encouraged the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament outside of Mass. Of course such devotion derives from the sacrifice of the Mass and moves the faithful to both sacramental and spiritual communion with our Lord (“Eucharisticum Mysterium,” No. 50). As Pope Pius XII taught in “Mediator Dei,” “This practice of adoration has a valid and firm foundation.” Our late Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, had repeatedly “highly recommended” public and private devotion of the Blessed Sacrament, including processions on the feast of Corpus Christi and the 40 Hours Devotion (cf. “Dominicae Cecae,” No. 3, “Inaestimabile Donum,” No. 20-22, and “Ecclesia de Eucharistia,” No. 25).

Second, the number 40 has always signified a sacred period of time: the rains during the time of Noah lasted 40 days and nights; the Jews wandered through the desert for 40 years, our Lord fasted and prayed for 40 days before beginning His public ministry. The Forty Hours Devotion remembers that traditional “40-hour period” from our Lord?s burial until the resurrection. Actually in the Middle Ages, the Blessed Sacrament was transferred to the repository, “the Easter Sepulcher,” for this period of time to signify our Lord?s time in the tomb.

The Forty Hours Devotion begins with a Solemn Mass of Exposition, which concludes with the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and a procession. The Blessed Sacrament remains on the altar in a monstrance. During the next 40 hours, the faithful gather for personal or public prayer in adoration of our Lord. The Blessed Sacrament is reposed in the tabernacle for the daily Mass, and then returned for exposition after Mass. At the end of the devotions, the Mass of Reposition is offered, again concluding with a procession, benediction and final reposition of the Blessed Sacrament. While the 40-hour period should be continuous, some Churches break up the time, reposing the Blessed Sacrament at night because of security reasons.

The Forty Hours Devotion can be seen almost like a parish mini-retreat or mission. A guest priest may be invited to give a series of homilies. Confessions should be offered and encouraged. Consequently, a most appropriate time to schedule Forty Hours is either Advent or Lent.

While the Forty Hours Devotion nurtures the love of the faithful for our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, three special dimensions have also surrounded this devotion: the protection from evil and temptation; reparation for our own sins and for the poor souls in purgatory; and deliverance from political, material or spiritual calamities. Here the faithful implore our Lord to pour forth His abundant graces not only for themselves, but their neighbors, not only for their own personal needs, but for those of the world. Such practices are evidenced in the history of this devotion, which we shall explore next.

Having explored the spiritual dimension of the Forty Hours Devotion, a greater appreciation for this spiritual exercise is found through knowing its history. The practice of Forty Hours Devotion originated in Milan about the year1530. Granted, prior to this time, the Church did have exposition and benediction, Eucharistic processions, and devotions to the Blessed Sacrament reserved in the tabernacle. In 1539, Pope Paul III responded to a petition from the Archdiocese of Milan asking for an indulgence for the practice: “Since our beloved son the Vicar General of the Archbishop of Milan, at the prayer of the inhabitants of the said city, in order to appease the anger of God provoked by the offenses of Christians, and in order to bring to nought the efforts and machinations of the Turks who are pressing forward to the destruction of Christendom, amongst other pious practices, has established a round of prayers and supplications to be offered by day and night by all the faithful of Christ, before our Lord’s Most Sacred Body, in all the churches of the said city, in such a manner that these prayers and supplication are made by the faithful themselves relieving each other in relays for forty hours continuously in each church in succession, according to the order determined by the Vicar… We approving in our Lord so pious an institution, grant and remit.” While this pronouncement seems to be the earliest official approval by the Church of this devotion, the Forty Hours Devotion spread rapidly.

By 1550, both St. Philip Neri and St. Ignatius Loyola had also instituted this practice, especially for the reparation of sin. Recognizing the tremendous graces offered through this devotion as well as the dangers threatening the Church, Pope Clement VIII in his letter Graves et diuturnae (November 25, 1592) proclaimed, “We have determined to establish publicly in this Mother City of Rome an uninterrupted course of prayer in such ways that in the different churches, on appointed days, there be observed the pious and salutary devotion of the Forty Hours, with such an arrangement of churches and times that, at every hour of the day and night, the whole year round the incense of prayer shall ascend without intermission before the face of the Lord.” He also issued regulations for the devotions, which were later collected and promulgated by Pope Clement XI in 1705, and known as the Instructio Clementina.

In our own country, St. John Neumann (1811-60), the fourth bishop of Philadelphia, was a strong promoter of the Forty Hours Devotion. While the practice had already existed in individual churches throughout the city (as well as in other places in the country), no organized, cohesive diocesan schedule for it had ever before been attempted. St. John had an tremendous devotion to our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, and desired to foster such a spiritual life in his people.

Unfortunately at this time, a strong anti-Catholic sentiment plagued Philadelphia. During the Know Nothing riots of 1844, two churches were burned and another was saved simply by the threat of gunfire. Some priests, therefore, advised St. John that the introduction of 40 Hours Devotion would only flame the hatred against the Catholics and expose the Blessed Sacrament to desecration. St. John was left in a quandary.

A strange incident occurred which helped St. John decide. One night, he was working very late at his desk and fell asleep in his chair. The candle on the desk burnt down and charred some of the papers, but they were still readable. He awoke, surprised and thankful that a fire had not ignited. He fell on his knees to give thanks to God for protection, and heard His voice saying, “As the flames are burning here without consuming or injuring the writing, so shall I pour out my grace in the Blessed Sacrament without prejudice to My honor. Fear no profanation, therefore; hesitate no longer to carry out your design for my glory.”

He introduced the practice of 40 Hours Devotion at the first diocesan synod in April, 1853, and the first devotions began at St. Philip Neri Parish, an appropriate place since that saint had initiated the devotion in the city of Rome. St. John himself, spent most of the three days in the Church praying. No trouble ensued. St. John then introduced the program for the whole diocese, so that each parish would have Forty Hours Devotion during the course of the year. He composed a special booklet for the devotions and obtained special indulgences for the faithful attending them. The Forty Hours Devotion was so successful it spread to other dioceses. At the Plenary Council of Baltimore in 1866, the Forty Hours Devotion was approved for all Dioceses of the United States.

The Forty Hours Devotion provides a wonderful opportunity for the spiritual growth of each person and the parish as a whole. In a world where temptation and evil abound, where devotion to the Mass and our Lord in the Holy Eucharist have declined, where the practice of penance and confession have been forgotten, we need the Forty Hours Devotion more than ever.

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