The “Nine First Fridays” Devotion to the

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus


Fr. Wade L. J. Menezes, CPM

Fathers of Mercy


  • Derived from revelations made by Jesus Christ to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690), the “Nine First Fridays” devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus involves the practice of receiving Holy Communion on nine consecutive First Fridays in reparation to “the Heart that has loved men so and is loved so little in return” (Christ’s own words to St. Margaret Mary).  Among the graces Christ is said to have promised to those faithful who practice this devotion are:  Final perseverance in the Catholic faith, reception of the Sacraments and Last Rites of the Church at the time of death, death in the state of Sanctifying Grace, and the consolation of the love of Christ’s Sacred Heart at the time of death.


  • The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is a profound symbol of the core belief of Christianity:  That Jesus Christ, the Son of God made man, loves each of one of us immeasurably and without exception.  Although pierced terribly by our sins, the Sacred Heart of Our Lord overflows with compassion and love for all mankind, even when that love is not reciprocated; therefore, devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is one of the most important devotions among Catholics.  It became popular following the apparitions of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, a Catholic nun from France, between the years of 1673 and 1675.  This timing within history was important, as this devotion helped to counteract the heresy of Jansenism – a very rigid form of Catholicism throughout France at that time that focused more on the justice of God at the expense of His mercy.  In short, Jansenism placed a certain emphasis on God’s selective salvation which in turn produced a general harshness and moral rigorism, denying God’s mercy to mankind.


  • The Church dedicates the entire month of June to the Sacred Heart of Jesus – a month which also hosts the great liturgical Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.  This Solemnity celebrates and assures us that God has eliminated all distance between us and Him, loving us from within our own human nature – a human nature which He Himself took on in the womb of His Blessed Mother, Mary, and which is just like ours in every way but sin (Cf., Hebrews 4:15).  The Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus means that a Divine Person loves us with a perfect human heart.  This Solemnity reveals the merciful love of Our Savior, thus banishing all fear, shame, confusion, and discouragement from our own hearts.  Consequently, our own wounded human hearts are consoled and perfected by His Sacred Heart.  We have only to unite our hearts to Christ’s Sacred Heart with true and sincere devotion to receive all that It contains.  The Sacred Heart of Jesus continues to beat for us in Heaven, pouring out Its infinite merits upon us through the Sacraments of the Church.  Devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus remains one of the Church’s greatest treasures, and one of our greatest consolations on our pilgrim way here on earth.  So, remembering always that we were loved first by God, Catholics strive to venerate and imitate the most generous and Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ.


Requirements for the Nine First Fridays Devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus


    1. Receive Holy Communion on each First Friday (preferably at Holy Mass) with the intention of honoring Our Lord Jesus Christ’s Most Sacred Heart.  Note:  If you have knowledge that you are not in a state of Sanctifying Grace (that is, you are knowledgeable of mortal sin(s) on your soul, and thus unable to receive Holy Communion) you will also need to go to Confession prior to receiving your Holy Communion on the First Friday.

    2. The Nine First Fridays must be consecutive.

    3. The Nine First Fridays must be made in honor of and in reparation to Our Lord’s Most Sacred Heart for all the blasphemies, outrages, sacrileges, and indifferences committed against It.


  • Worth noting is that some rites and devotional practices of the Catholic Church are centered on devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.  For example:  The First Friday Holy Hour including Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament and Solemn Benediction at the end of the Eucharistic Holy Hour; the praying of the Litany of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus; making an Act of Consecration of the Human Race to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus; making a Personal Act of Consecration to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus – not only on First Fridays but on every Friday of the year (on “Friday” because that’s the day that Jesus died on the Cross for us and had His Sacred Heart pierced with a lance); and the Sacred Heart Enthronement and Blessing of the Family Home.  Some of these rites and devotional practices may be carried out at your local parish church(es) on the First Friday of each month.


The Twelve Promises of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus


  • Here is a list of the Twelve Promises to those who remain devoted to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, as communicated by Our Lord Jesus Christ to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque during a private revelation in 1675:


    1. I will grant them all the graces necessary for their state of life (single, married, widowed, consecrated religious, diocesan priest, etc.).

    2. I will grant peace in their families.

    3. I will console them in all their troubles.

    4. They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of their death.

    5. I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.

    6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.

    7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.

    8. Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.

    9. I will bless the homes in which an Image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honored.

    10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.

    11. Those who propagate this devotion shall have their name written in My Heart, never to be erased.

    12. The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Holy Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under My displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Heart shall be their assured refuge during that last hour (of their life).


  • St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, writing about Our Lord’s second appearance to her in 1674:  “And He showed me that it was His great desire of being loved by men and of withdrawing them from the path of ruin into which Satan hurls such crowds of them, that made Him form the design of manifesting His Heart to men, with all the treasures of love, of mercy, of grace, of sanctification, and salvation which It contains, in order that those who desire to render Him and procure for Him all the honor and love possible, might themselves be abundantly enriched with those divine treasures of which this Heart is the source.  He should be honored under the figure of this Heart of flesh, and Its Image should be exposed… He promised me that wherever this Image should be exposed with a view to showing It special honor, He would pour forth His blessings and graces.  This devotion was the last effort of His love that He would grant to men in these latter ages, in order to withdraw them from the empire of Satan which He desired to destroy, and thus to introduce them into the sweet liberty of the rule of His love, which He wished to restore in the hearts of all those who should embrace this devotion.”


Some Traditional, Short Aspiration Prayers in Honor of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus


      • Most Merciful Jesus, I consecrate myself today and always to Thy Most Sacred Heart.

      • Most Sacred Heart of Jesus I implore, that I may love Thee more and more.

      • Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in Thee!

      • Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!

      • Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I believe in Thy love for me.

      • Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on me, a sinner.

      • Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine.

      • Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy Kingdom come!

      • Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, convert sinners, save the dying, deliver the holy souls in Purgatory.