A Manual of Prayers for the Use of the Catholic Laity/The Devotion of the Forty Hours' Adoration

2205728A Manual of Prayers for the Use of the Catholic Laity — The Devotion of the Forty Hours' Adoration1889Clarence E. Woodman

The Devotion of the Forty Hours' Adoration.

THIS Devotion, known in Italy as the Quarant' ore, continues for Forty Hours, in memory of the forty hours during which the Body of our Lord remained in the Sepulchre. It was begun at Milan in 1534, and was introduced into Rome by St. Philip Neri in 1548, and sanctioned by Pope Clement VIII., who issued a solemn Bull respecting it, November 25, 1592.

The devotion owes its origin to Father Joseph, a Capuchin friar at Milan. In the year 1534 the city of Milan was suffering all the horrors attendant on war, and was reduced almost to despair, when Father Joseph called upon the citizens to raise their eyes from the miseries around them, and look up to heaven for succor, assuring them, on the part of God, that if they would give themselves to fervent prayer for forty hours, their city and their country would be liberated from the devastations of their enemies. The citizens obeyed the call. The Forty Hours' Prayer commenced in the Cathedral, and was taken up by the other churches of the city in rotation. The people meanwhile attended with fervor at the appointed prayers, and approached with great devotion the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist. Heaven did not delay to fulfil the assurance given by the pious servant of God; for in a short time the Emperor Charles V. and Francis, King of France, were seen at the gate of Milan arranging the articles of peace.

To promote this devotion Pope Clement VIII. granted a Plenary Indulgence to all such as, confessing their sins and receiving Holy Communion, should visit any church or chapel where this devotion was being performed.

To gain this Indulgence it is required (1) to visit the Blessed Sacrament once during the three days of Exposition; and (2) to receive Holy Communion on the day preceding, or on one of the three days, but not necessarily in the same church or chapel in which the Blessed Sacrament is exposed.

Pope Paul V. also granted an Indulgence of ten years and ten quadragenæ for every Visit made to the Blessed Sacrament thus exposed.

These Indulgences are applicable to the Souls in Purgatory.

The forms of prayers used in this devotion are, the Litany of the Saints, Collects, etc., as given on page 256; to which may be added the Litany of the Holy Name (p. 6o), the Litany of the Blessed Virgin (p. 65), the Miserere (p. 249), and the Te Deum (p. 160).


An Act of Adoration to the Most Holy Trinity.

I MOST humbly adore Thee, O uncreated Father, and Thee, O Only-begotten Son, and Thee, O Holy Ghost the Paraclete, one Almighty, Everlasting, and Unchangeable God, Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. I acknowledge in Thee a true and ineffable Trinity of Persons, a true and indivisible Unity of Substance. I glorify Thee, O Almighty Trinity, one only Deity, my most compassionate Lord, my sweetest hope, my dearest light, my most desired repose, my joy, my life, and all my good. To Thy most merciful goodness I commend my soul and body; to Thy most sacred Majesty I wholly devote myself, and to Thy divine will I resign and yield myself eternally. All honor and glory be to Thee for ever and ever. Amen.

O HEAVENLY Father, O most forgiving Father, O Lord God, have mercy upon me a wretched sinner, have mercy upon all men. In fullest reparation, expiation, and satisfaction for all my iniquities and negligences, and for the sins of the whole world, and perfectly to supply the deficiency of my works, I offer unto Thee Thy Beloved Son, Christ Jesus, in union with that sovereign charity with which Thou didst send Him to us, and didst give Him to us as our Saviour. I offer His transcendent virtues, and all that He did and suffered for us. I offer His labors, sorrows, torments, and most Precious Blood. I offer the merits of the most Blessed Virgin Mary and of all Thy Saints. Assist me, I beseech Thee, O most merciful Father, through the same Thy Son, by the power of Thy Holy Spirit. Have mercy on all unhappy sinners, and graciously call them back to the way of salvation. Grant to all the living pardon and grace, and to the faithful departed eternal light and rest. Amen.

O HOLY Spirit, sweetest Comforter, who proceedest from the Father and the Son in an ineffable manner, come, I beseech Thee, and enter into my heart. Purify and cleanse me from all sin, and sanctify my soul. Wash away its defilements, moisten its dryness, heal its wounds, subdue its stubbornness, melt its coldness, and correct its wanderings. Make me truly humble and resigned, that I may be pleasing unto Thee, and Thou mayest abide with me for ever. O most blessed Light, O Light worthy of all love, enlighten me. O Joy of Paradise, O fount of purest delights, O my God, give Thyself to me, and kindle in my inmost soul the fire of Thy love. O my Lord, instruct, direct, and defend me in all things. Give me strength against all undue fears and a cowardly spirit; bestow upon me a right Faith, a firm Hope, and a sincere and perfect Charity; and grant that I may ever do Thy most gracious will. Amen.

Prayer of St. Alphonsus Liguori.(i)

LORD Jesus Christ, who, through the love which Thou bearest to men, dost remain with them, day and night, in this Sacrament, full of mercy and of love, expecting, inviting, and receiving all who come to visit Thee: I believe that Thou art present in the Sacrament of the Altar. From the abyss of my nothingness I adore Thee, and I thank Thee for all the graces which Thou hast bestowed upon me, particularly for having given me Thyself in this Sacrament, for having given me for my advocate Thy most holy Mother, Mary, and for having called me to visit Thee in this church. I pay my homage this day to Thy most loving Heart, and I do so, first, in thanksgiving for this great gift itself; secondly, as a reparation for all the injuries which Thou hast received from Thine enemies in this Sacrament; thirdly, I wish, by this visit, to adore Thee in all those places on earth where Thou art Sacramentally present, and in which Thou art the least honored and the most abandoned. My Jesus, I love Thee with my whole heart. I am sorry for having hitherto so many times offended Thine infinite goodness. I purpose, with the assistance of Thy grace, never more to offend Thee; and, at this moment, miserable as I am, I consecrate my whole being to Thee. I give Thee my entire will, all my affections and desires, and all that I have. From this day forward do what Thou wilt with me, and with everything that belongs to me. I ask and desire only Thy holy love, the gift of final perseverance, and the perfect fulfilment of Thy will. I commend to Thee the souls in purgatory, particularly those who were most devoted to the most Blessed Sacrament and to the Blessed Virgin Mary; and I also commend to Thee all poor sinners. Finally, my dear Saviour, I unite all my affections with the affections of Thy most loving Heart; and, thus united, I offer them to Thine Eternal Father, and I entreat Him, in Thy name and for Thy sake, to accept and answer them. Amen.

The Prayer Look down, O Lord (p. 90), may be used here.

An Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

O JESUS, Only Son of the Living God, who, by an incomprehensible effect of Thy love, wast pleased to be made Man, to be born in a stable, to live amidst labors and sufferings, to die upon a Cross, and to leave us, as a perpetual pledge of Thy tenderness, Thine own Body and Blood for the nourishment of our souls, in the ineffable Sacrament of the Eucharist: Thou beholdest at Thy feet a criminal covered with confusion, who comes, in the spirit of union with all the associates in the adoration of Thy divine Heart, humbly to confess his ingratitude, his iniquities, and those of all other men, that he may make reparation for them as far as in him lies.

Alas! O loving Jesus, we have sinned against heaven and before Thee. What hath Thy most Sacred Heart not suffered on our part in the course of Thy sacred life, in Thy bitter Passion, and from the moment that Thou hast dwelt amongst us in the Sacrament of Thy Love! O with how much bitterness, opprobrium, and grief have we deluged Thy divine Heart! Pardon; mercy; O adorable Heart of Jesus! mercy for me, mercy for all men, and for our land in particular!

I detest, with all the sincerity of my soul, and with the most profound and bitter grief, everything which hath ever offended Thee in myself or in others; I detest it for the love Thou deservest, and which is supremely due unto Thee. O that I could efface with my tears, and wash away with my blood, the injuries which we have done unto Thee. O that I could repay Thee, by my repentance, by my works, and by my love, all the glory, honor, and satisfaction of which Thou hast been robbed by the injuries and outrages that have been committed against Thee! Accept at least the earnest desire with which Thou inspirest me.

Vouchsafe, O Heart infinitely rich in mercy, to light again in my heart and that of all men the sacred fire which Thou camest to kindle upon the earth. Let it purify them, let it inflame them, let it make of them one heart with Thy Heart. Pour down, I beseech Thee, Thy most precious and abundant benedictions on Thy holy Church, and those who govern it; on this diocese, on this region, and on all those who are united with us in devotion to Thy Sacred Heart. O Heart of Jesus, live, reign in all hearts, for time and for eternity. Amen.

An Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

TO Thee, O Sacred Heart of Jesus, do I devote and offer up my life, my thoughts, my words, my actions, and my sufferings. May my whole being be no longer employed but in loving and serving and glorifying Thee. O Sacred Heart, be Thou henceforth the sole object of my love, the protector of my life, the pledge of my salvation, and my refuge at the hour of my death. Plead for me, O blessed and adorable Heart, at the Bar of Divine Justice, and screen me from the anger which my sins deserve. Imprint Thyself like a Seal upon my heart, that I may never be separated from Thee. May my name also be ever engraven upon Thee, and may I ever be consecrated to Thy glory, ever burning with the flames of Thy Love, and entirely penetrated with it for all eternity. This is all my desire, to live in Thee. One thing have I sought of the Lord, and this will I seek, that I may dwell in the Heart of my Lord all the days of my life.

A Prayer to the Eternal Father.

O ETERNAL Father, let me offer up unto Thy mercy the Sacred Heart of Thy dearly-beloved Son, even as He offered Himself up a Sacrifice to Thy Justice.

Accept, on my behalf, all the thoughts, sentiments, affections, motions, and all the actions of this Sacred Heart; they are mine, because It was immolated for me; they are mine, because for the future I am resolved to admit nothing into my heart but what hath place in Thine. Receive, then, O God, the merits of this Sacred Heart in satisfaction for my sins, and in thanksgiving for all the benefits conferred upon me. Receive them, O Lord, as so many motives for granting my petitions. Give me, O Lord, for their sake, all the graces I need, but especially the gift of final perseverance. Receive them as so many acts of love, adoration, and praise, which I now offer to Thy divine Majesty. This Sacred Heart, this Heart alone, can love, honor, and glorify Thee as Thou deservest. Amen.

A Prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.(i)

HOW boundless, O Jesus, is Thy Love! Thou hast prepared for me, of Thy most precious Body and Blood, a divine Banquet, wherein Thou dost give Thyself to me without reserve. What hath urged Thee to this excess of love? Nothing but Thine own most Loving Heart. O adorable Heart of Jesus, Furnace of divine Love, receive my soul into the wounds of Thy most sacred Passion, that in this school of charity I may learn to make a return of love to that God who hath given me such wonderful proofs of His Love. Amen.

JESUS, meek and humble of heart,
 Make my heart like unto Thine!(i)

O sweetest Heart of Jesus, I implore

That I may ever love Thee more and more!(i)

O Heart of Jesus, burniug with love of me, inflame my heart with the love of Thee!(i)

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, mayest Thou be known, loved, and adored throughout all the world!(i)

O Heart of my dear Redeemer, may the love of Thy friends supply all the injuries and neglects which Thou sustainest!