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 more about First Fridays.
So, I was going to anounce the next three selections for the Catholic Summer Reading program today but my brother and operations manager's wife had a new baby which threw our schedule off a little. I don't know any details except that the baby girl is fine. I don't even know the baby's name yet. Please send some prayers to proud parents!
Win Books for your Library
As part of our ongoing Catholic Summer Reading Celebration you can win books for your parish or school library! (The link works this week, we promise.)