Sacred Heart of Jesus – Part 2 (The Promises)


“I promise you, in the excessive mercy of my Heart that my all powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the first Friday for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance; they shall not die in my disgrace nor without receiving the sacraments; my divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in that last moment.” – Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary

One cannot help but be excited about this devotion when you read such a promise. After all, the promise of safe refuge in the last moments and the grace to receive the sacraments before we die is not to be treated lightly. But where has this pious practice gone? Has it been forgotten? Has it been dismissed as some “old fashioned” practice? On the surface it appears that one needs to set out on an expedition in spiritual archaeology to dig up these devotions and treasures of the Church. Why is this devotion and its attached promises not proclaimed in every Church and household all over the world?

Christ, always the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow, never changing, does not fail on His promises. Even though we may be unfaithful, He always remains faithful (2 Tim 2:11-13). In this blog I want to take a closer look at the promises of the Sacred Heart devotion and the practice of the First Fridays as revealed by Our Lord.

Our Lord, in his revelations to St Margaret Mary, lists 12 promises to those who practice sincere devotion to the Sacred Heart. If one does a simple search on the internet or even reads through a Catholic prayer book, one can see the list of promises attached to the Sacred Heart devotion. The 12 promises are summarised as follows:

Promises of Our Lord to families who honour His Sacred Heart

1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
2. I will establish peace in their families.
3. I will bless every house in which the picture of My Heart shall be exposed and honoured.
4. I will console them in all their difficulties.
5. I will be their refuge during life and especially at the hour of death.
6. I will shed abundant blessings upon all their undertakings.
7. Sinners shall find in My Heart a fountain and boundless ocean of mercy.
8. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
9. Fervent souls shall rise speedily to great perfection.
10. I will give to priests the power of touching the hardest hearts.
11. Those who propagate this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart never to be blotted out.
12. I promise you, in the excessive mercy of My Heart, that My all-powerful love will grant to all who communicate on the First Friday of the month for nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My displeasure nor without their Sacraments: My Divine Heart shall he their safe refuge in this last moment.

When one reads the promises of Christ to St Margaret Mary and the requirements of Confession and the Eucharist on 9 consecutive first Fridays, it may seem very simple. A “ticket to heaven” perhaps. But it is not as simple as going to Mass for nine months and then “clocking off” and never going to Mass again or leading a sinful life. The whole purpose of the devotion is to draw a person closer to the heart of Christ. If a person is to fulfil these obligations of attending Mass faithfully and sincerely on nine consecutive Fridays, and of receiving the Sacrament of Confession and the Holy Eucharist, one cannot remain the same. It is a consequence (good consequence) that one will draw closer to God (or rather God will draw closer to the soul) and transform his way of life.

I know that for me personally, knowledge and devotion to the Sacred Heart and committing to the First Friday devotion of confession and Holy Communion has transformed me. Not only am I more aware of my sinfulness, but I am more aware of the love of Christ and that burning flame of love that surrounds his Sacred Heart. One cannot but be drawn to intimacy with the Sacred Heart and as a consequence, reflect and ponder at what this Heart has done for him and for all humankind. This Heart which burns for you, which suffered for you, and which carries the cross of all your burdens and sinfulness, is the love of God poured out for the world.

In his encyclical Miserentissimus Redemptor (Reparation to the Sacred Heart), written in 1928, Pope Pius XI clearly states:

“It is no wonder, therefore, that Our Predecessors have constantly defended this most approved form of devotion from the censures of calumniators, and have extolled it with high praise and promoted it very zealously, as the needs of time and circumstance demanded.”

Coming to know the love of the Sacred Heart and placing my trust, anxiety and worries in the Sacred Heart has helped my life in more ways than I could imagine. The First Friday devotion to the Sacred Heart is more than just a devotion. It is an opportunity to encounter Christ and His Heart. Jesus wants us to rest on His Heart, like St John at the Last Supper. This devotion is an opportunity to deepen our love for Jesus, and to seek rest and refuge in His Sacred Heart.

In his classic book, Confessions, St Augustine famously proclaims, “You have made us for Yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you”, highlighting the truth of a soul’s journey. May your restless heart find refuge in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and by the practice of this pious devotion, may your heart be transformed to be more like his.

Remember that devotees of the Sacred Heart should not stop just there. They should do everything they can to promote the devotion in their families, parishes and throughout the world. The best way to spread this devotion is to live it every day so that people will see the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus pouring through you and will want it for themselves too.

Bog i Hrvati

Sacred Heart of Jesus Series
Part 1 (History of the devotion)
– Part 2 (The Promises)
Part 3 (A Prodigal Son’s Journey)
Part 4 (History of The Enthronement)

Croatian History – Sacred Heart of Jesus

Pod Barjakom Presvetog Srca Isusova – 120th Anniversary