Forty Hours: procession of the Blessed Sacrament

The Forty Hours Devotion

Its Meaning

This beautiful devotion, in memory of the forty hours during which the Body of Jesus lay in the sepulcher, is held in each Catholic church and chapel once every year, and is welcomed by every parish and religious community as a period of special graces and blessings. The devotion dates its origin as far back as the year 1534, and has for its object reparation, propitiation and impetration. The worship of Jesus in the Eucharist is the primary devotion of Holy Mother Church, before which all other devotions pale as the stars at the coming dawn. The Forty Hours devotion is, furthermore, precious on account of the indulgences that are offered.

The Indulgences

  1. A Plenary Indulgence may be gained once a day on each day during the Forty Hours Devotion by all who, being truly repentant, confess their sins, receive Holy Communion, visit the church in which the Blessed Sacrament is exposed and pray for the intentions of the Church. The prayers prescribed for this indulgence are the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be, six times.
  2. A Partial Indulgence of fifteen years may be gained for each and every visit to a church in which the Blessed Sacrament is exposed for the Forty Hours Devotion. The same prayers are prescribed.
    1. These Indulgences are applicable to the souls in Purgatory.
    2. The sick can gain these indulgences if they perform some good work prescribed by their confessor.
    3. The Confession may be made and Communion received on the morning before the Exposition has taken place, or any day of the following week.
    4. If Communion be received in the church of Exposition and during the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, this visit will answer for one of the prescribed as necessary to gain the Plenary Indulgence.

A REFLECTION

Every member of your family should visit the church during these days of grace, to testify his faith in the Real Presence and to prove his love for Jesus Christ, who has given Himself to us “A Prisoner of Love.” All the day and night and all the year round Jesus dwells in the Tabernacle, ready to listen to your prayers, but during these days He holds, as it were, a reception for his friends. Will you not be one of them? The nearest approach to a foretaste of Heaven is the time spent in silent adoration of Jesus in the Sacrament of the Altar.


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