Devout Commemoration of the Three Hours Agony of Our Savior, Jesus Christ

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Devout Commemoration of the Three Hours Agony of Our Savior, Jesus Christ

The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius VII., by a decree of the Sacred Congregation of Indulgences, Feb. 14, 1815, granted the following indulgences to all the faithful who shall practice the devotion of the Three Hours’ Agony, on Good Friday, beginning it after midday, and continuing it for the three hours following, up to that moment in which the memory of our divine Redeemer’s death is annually recalled. This pious praclice may be performed either in public or in private, alone or with others, under the direction of a priest or other sacred minister, or using any pious book that is approved, and meditating, according to each one’s ability, on the great sufferings which our Saviour endured during those three hours, and on the seven words He uttered on the cross, or, instead of this, by reciting psalms, hymns or prayers:

An Indulgence of Two Hundred Days to all who, on every Friday of the year, shall, with devotion, recall the memory of our Saviour’s agony, and pray devoutly, for some time, in the manner aforesaid.

V. Incline unto my aid,
R. O Lord! make haste to help me.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Words of Jesus on the Cross

FIRST WORD: Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.

V. We adore thee, O Christ, and bless Thee.
R. Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

Jesus, my love! Who, for love of me, dost hang in agony on the cross, there by Thy pains to pay the penalty of my sins, and dost open Thy divine mouth to obtain me pardon for them from eternal justice: O Jesus! pity all those faithful souls who now are in their last sad agony, and pity me when I, too, shall be in mine. By the merit of Thy most precious blood shed for our salvation, vouchsafe us all such lively sorrow for our sins, as shall make us breathe forth our souls into the bosom of Thy boundless mercy.

Glory be to the Father, three times.
Have mercy on us, O Lord ! have mercy on us.

My God, in Thee I believe, in Thee I hope; Thou art my love. I repent of my sins, because by them I have offended Thee.

SECOND WORD: This day shalt thou be with Me in Paradise.

V. We adore thee, O Christ, and bless Thee.
R. Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

Jesus, my love! Who, for love of me, dost hang in agony on the cross, and with such readiness and bounty dost meet the good thief’s cry of faith, when in Thy humiliations he acknowledges Thee to be the Son of God, and dost then assure him of paradise prepared for him: oh ! pity all faithful souls now in their last agony, and pity me when I, too, shall be in mine. By the merit of Thy most precious blood, renew in our souls such firm and steadfast faith as shall never waver at any suggestions of the evil one; that so we also may obtain the blessed prize of paradise.

Glory be to the Father, three times.
Have mercy on us, O Lord ! have mercy on us.

My God, in Thee I believe, in Thee I hope; Thou art my love. I repent of my sins, because by them I have offended Thee.

THIRD WORD: Behold thy mother! Behold thy son!

V. We adore thee, O Christ, and bless Thee.
R. Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

Jesus, my love! Who, for love of me, dost hang in agony on the cross, and, unmindful of thine own sorrows, dost leave us Thy own most holy mother as a pledge of Thy love, that we, through her, may, in our greatest straits, seek Thee with confidence: have pity on all faithful souls now in their last agony, and pity me when I, too, shall be in mine. By the inward martyrdom of Thy dear mother, quicken in our hearts a firm hope in the infinite merits of Thy most precious blood, that so we may escape the sentence of eternal death, which we know we well deserve for our sins.

Glory be to the Father, three times.
Have mercy on us, O Lord ! have mercy on us.

My God, in Thee I believe, in Thee I hope; Thou art my love. I repent of my sins, because by them I have offended Thee.

FOURTH WORD: My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?

V. We adore thee, O Christ, and bless Thee.
R. Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

Jesus, my love! Who, for love of me, dost hang in agony on the cross, and, heaping woe on woe, besides Thy sacred body’s pain, dost bear with infinite patience the most afflicting desolation of spirit, because thou wast forsaken by Thine eternal Father: pity all faithful souls now in their last agony, and pity me when I, too, shall be in mine. By the merit of Thy most precious blood, grant us all Thy grace to suffer with true meekness all the pain and anguish of our agony, that joining our pains with Thine, we, too, may in paradise be made partakers of Thy glory.

Glory be to the Father, three times.
Have mercy on us, O Lord ! have mercy on us.

My God, in Thee I believe, in Thee I hope; Thou art my love. I repent of my sins, because by them I have offended Thee.

FIFTH WORD: I Thirst

V. We adore thee, O Christ, and bless Thee.
R. Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

Jesus, my love! Who, for love of me, dost hang in agony on the cross, and Who, ever thirsting for insults and for sufferings, dost will yet more and more to suffer, that all men may be saved, thus showing that all the torrent of Thy passion is not enough to quench the thirst of Thy most loving heart: pity all faithful souls now in their last agony, and pity me when I, too, shall be in mine. By the merit of Thy most precious blood, kindle such a fire of charity within us that, with burning longing, we may thirst ever to be one with Thee for all eternity.

Glory be to the Father, three times.
Have mercy on us, O Lord ! have mercy on us.

My God, in Thee I believe, in Thee I hope; Thou art my love. I repent of my sins, because by them I have offended Thee.

SIXTH WORD: It is finished.

V. We adore thee, O Christ, and bless Thee.
R. Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

Jesus, my love! Who, for love of me, dost hang in agony on the cross, and from this pulpit of the truth dost declare the work of our redemption finished–that work by which, from children of wrath and of eternal woe, we were made sons of God and heirs of heaven: pity all faithful souls now in their last agony, and pity me when I, too, shall be in mine. By the merit of Thy most precious blood, detach us wholly from the world and from ourselves, and, at the moment of our agony, grant us grace to offer Thee, with all our hearts, the sacrifice of our life in atonement for our sins.

Glory be to the Father, three times.
Have mercy on us, O Lord ! have mercy on us.

My God, in Thee I believe, in Thee I hope; Thou art my love. I repent of my sins, because by them I have offended Thee.

SEVENTH WORD: Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit.

V. We adore thee, O Christ, and bless Thee.
R. Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

Jesus, my love! Who, for love of me, dost hang in agony on the cross, and Who, to accomplish the great sacrifice, dost submit to the will of Thy eternal Father, commending Thy spirit into His hands, and then dost bow Thy head and die: pity all faithful souls now in their agony, and pity me when I, too, shall be in mine. By the merit of Thy most precious blood, give us in our agony an entire conformity to Thy divine will, that, ready to live or die as it shall please Thee, we may desire nothing but that Thy adorable will may ever find its full accomplishment in us.

Glory be to the Father, three times.
Have mercy on us, O Lord! have mercy on us.

My God, in Thee I believe, in Thee I hope; Thou art my love. I repent of my sins, because by them I have offended Thee.

Meditations for Each Day of Lent – Good Friday

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Meditations for Each Day of Lent
by St. Thomas Aquinas

Good Friday

The Death of Christ

That Christ should die was expedient.

1. To make our redemption complete. For, although any suffering of Christ had an infinite value, because of its union with His divinity, it was not by no matter which of His sufferings that the redemption of mankind was made complete, but only by His death. So the Holy Spirit declared speaking through the mouth of Caiaphas, It is expedient for you that one man shall die for the people (John xi. 50). Whence St. Augustine says, “Let us stand in wonder, rejoice, be glad, love, praise, and adore since it is by the death of our Redeemer, that we have been called from death to life, from exile to our own land, from mourning to joy.”

2. To increase our faith, our hope and our charity. With regard to faith the Psalm says (Ps. cxl. 10), I am alone until I pass from this world, that is, to the Father. When I shall have passed to the Father, then shall I be multiplied. Unless the grain of wheat falling into the ground die itself remaineth alone (John xii. 24).

As to the increase of hope St, Paul writes, He that spared not even his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how hath he not also, with him, given us all things? (Rom. viii. 32). God cannot deny us this, for to give us all things is less than to give His own Son to death for us. St. Bernard says, “Who is not carried away to hope and confidence in prayer, when he looks on the crucifix and sees how Our Lord hangs there, the head bent as though to kiss, the arms outstretched in an embrace, the hands pierced to give, the side opened to love, the feet nailed to remain with us.”

Come, my dove, in the clefts of the rock (Cant. ii. 14). It is in the wounds of Christ the Church builds its nest and waits, for it is in the Passion of Our Lord that she places her hope of salvation, and thereby trusts to be protected from the craft of the falcon, that is, of the devil.

With regard to the increase of charity, Holy Scripture says, At noon he burneth the earth (Ecclus. xliii. 3), that is to say, in the fervour of His Passion He burns up all mankind with His love. So St. Bernard says, “The chalice thou didst drink, O good Jesus, maketh thee lovable above all things.” The work of our redemption easily, brushing aside all hindrances, calls out in return the whole of our love. This it is which more gently draws out our devotion, builds it up more straightly, guards it more closely, and fires it with greater ardour.

Feast of Good Friday

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Feast of Good Friday

by Fr. Francis Xavier Weninger, 1876

“Now there stood by the cross, Mary His mother.”–John xix, 25.

Yesterday, beloved in Christ, the example of Judas the traitor was held up to us as a terrible warning upon which every sinner might meditate, and, perhaps, realize the consequences of such total atrocity and utter hardness of heart. That warning might be, for many, the very last grace vouchsafed by God! Oh, may it not be in vain! What reason has not the sinner to strike his breast, and cry out: “O God, be merciful to me, for my sins have been as great, perhaps, as those of Judas, and more frequent!” Yes, sinners, it is even so; for Judas, wretch though he was, did not try to pervert his fellow-laborers, the Apostles; while you, how many innocent souls have you not led astray, both by word and example? How many souls, most dear and precious to the Heart of Jesus, have you not turned away from Him?” Woe to him by whom scandals come. It were better for that man that a millstone be hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depths of the sea.” And yet, my brethren, if, among my hearers there are any who have been guilty of grievous sin, I would say to them, do not despair. Even though each passing year has witnessed the commission of crimes, each one more terrible than the last; nay, even if you have lived as an incarnate devil, do not despair. Look upon Mary beneath the cross. Call upon her; she will take you under her maternal protection; lead you to her divine Son, who can refuse her nothing; and obtain for you the grace of a true conversion; for is she not the one chosen by God, and destined to be the Mother of mercy, the refuge of sinners?

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INSTRUCTION ON GOOD FRIDAY

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INSTRUCTION ON GOOD FRIDAY

The Church’s Year
Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine

This day was formerly for the Jewish people a day of preparation for Easter, and was called by them the Parasceve; for us Christians it is the anniversary of the death and burial of our Lord who on this day, being Himself both High-Priest and Victim, offered Himself upon the cross for the salvation of the world.

Why do Catholics hold this day in such veneration?

Because it is one of the greatest days from the beginning of the world to its end. On this day the designs which God had from all eternity were perfected, as Jesus Himself expressed when He said, All is consummated; for on this day He was given up to the Gentiles by the Jews, was scourged, crowned with thorns, loaded with the cross, dragged to Calvary amid taunts and sneers, there nailed to the cross between two thieves, and by His painful death finished the great work of redemption.

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THE MONTH OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT

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THE MONTH OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT

Since the 16th-century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. The Church traditionally encouraged the month of April for increased devotion to Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. “The Church in the course of the centuries has introduced various forms of this Eucharistic worship which are ever increasing in beauty and helpfulness; as, for example, visits of devotion to the tabernacles, even every day; Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament; solemn processions, especially at the time of Eucharistic Congresses, which pass through cities and villages; and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament publicly exposed . . . These exercises of piety have brought a wonderful increase in faith and supernatural life to the Church militant upon earth and they are re-echoed to a certain extent by the Church triumphant in heaven, which sings continually a hymn of praise to God and to the Lamb ‘Who was slain.'” –Pope Pius XII.

ACT OF ADORATION

I adore Thee, 0 Jesus, true God and true Man, here present in the Holy Eucharist, humbly kneeling before Thee and united in spirit with all the faithful on earth and all the blessed in heaven. In deepest gratitude for so great a blessing, I love Thee, my Jesus, with my whole heart, for Thou art all perfect and all worthy of love.

Give me grace nevermore in any way to offend Thee, and grant that I, being refreshed by Thy Eucharistic presence here on earth, may be found worthy to come to the enjoyment with Mary of Thine eternal and everblessed presence in heaven. Amen.