The Holy Hour






















The Holy Hour is an exercise of mental or vocal prayer, made for an hour on Thursday night at any time after nine o'clock, generally from eleven till midnight, in order to honour and to share the sorrows of Jesus in the Garden of Olives. This devotion is closely connected with devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, they arose simultaneously, they have a common origin, and their object is the same; the Son of God burning with love for men and giving Himself as a sacrifice for their salvation.

The sufferings of the Heart of Jesus seem to have reached their climax in His agony in the Garden. They were so intense, that by an unheard of prodigy, He poured forth a sweat of Blood, and He said to His Apostles, My soul is sorrowful even unto death. He seeks compassion from those who love Him. He said to Blessed Margaret Mary Alacoque, I request you to spend the hour from eleven to twelve o'clock of the night between Thursday and Friday in prayer, that you may share the sorrows of My Agony in the Garden, and appease My anger towards sinners. Such was the origin of the Holy Hour. We know the favours by which our Lord rewarded His servant's fidelity, in practicing this devotion.








Offering of the Holy Hour

O my Sweet Jesus, I desire to spend this Hour with Thee, to console Thee, and to make some reparation by the love of my poor heart for the agony Thou didst suffer in Gethsemane. In that lone hour Thou wast forsaken, and the creatures, whom Thou didst create to love Thee, loved Thee not. The weight of all our sins pressed on Thee, and mine as well; and for the sorrow which I caused Thee then by my sins, I will endeavor to repay Thee now by my love. Strengthen it, my Jesus, that it may in some small measure give Thee consolation.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, strengthened in Thine agony by an Angel, comfort us in our agony.

(300 Days Indulgence)










Prayer to Jesus in His Agony
Which may be used during the Holy Hour.


O my Saviour Jesus, Who, for the great love which Thou bearest to all men, didst will to be "sorrowful even unto death," in the Garden of Olives; and in Thy heaviness and Agony didst deign to be comforted by an Angel, do not reject the consolation which I, Thy most unworthy servant, offer to Thee, with all possible love and veneration. Alas! my sweetest Saviour, I was one of the causes of Thine Agony; for me Thou didst suffer; for me Thou didst pour forth a sweat of Blood, Thy tears and sighs were on my account. O my Jesus, let me unite my prayer to Thy prayer, my sacrifice to Thy sacrifice, for the expiation of my sins, and the salvation of the souls of the dying; and then let me join the Angel in consoling Thee in Thine Agony. Let me be with Thee in the lonely grotto, let me witness Thine Agonies, let me compassionate and share them, and drink with Thee even to the dregs, the chalice of bitterness which Thy Father has given Thee. Glorious Minister of the most High, whose sublime mission it was to console and strengthen God, let me with thee, keep my Saviour company. Would that I could also give some consolation to His heaviness and mortal agony! Give me thy strength, thy courage, thy love, that I may pray with Jesus, suffer with Jesus, and die with and for Jesus. Amen.




Prayer for Those in Their Last Agony

[Recited while kneeling]

O Most Merciful Jesus, Lover of Souls: I pray Thee, by the agony of Thy most Sacred Heart, and by the sorrows of Thine Immaculate Mother, cleanse in Thy Blood the sinners of the whole world who are now in their last agony, and are to die this day. Amen.


Heart of Jesus Agonizing, have mercy on the dying.
(300 Days Indulgence)

Jesus, Mary, Joseph, we love Thee, save souls.
(7 Years Indulgence)





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Veneration of the Thorn-Crowned Savior

"And platting a crown of thorns, they put it up on His head. They began to spit upon Him, and they gave Him blows. Others smote His face and said: 'Prophesy, who is it that struck Thee?' "

O holy Redeemer! Thou art clothed with a scarlet cloak, a reed is placed in Thy hands for a sceptre, and the sharp points of a thorny crown are pressed into Thy adorable head.

My soul, thou canst never conceive the sufferings, the insults and indignities offered to our Blessed Lord during this scene of pain and mockery.

I therefore salute Thee and offer Thee supreme homage as King of Heaven and earth, the Redeemer of the world, the Eternal Son of the living God.

O my afflicted Savior! O King of the world, Thou art ridiculed as a mock king. I believe in Thee and adore Thee as the King of kings and Lord of lords, as the supreme Ruler of Heaven and earth.

O Jesus! I devoutly venerate Thy sacred head pierced with thorns, struck with a reed, overwhelmed with pain and derision.

I adore the Precious Blood flowing from Thy bleeding wounds. To Thee be all praise, all thanksgiving and all love for evermore.

O meek Lamb, Victim for sin! May Thy thorns penetrate my heart with fervent love, that I may never cease to adore Thee as my God, my King and my Savior.


V. Behold, O God, our Protector,
R. And look upon the face of Thy Christ.

Let us Pray:

O my beloved Savior, at sight of Thy most holy face disfigured by suffering, at the sight of Thy Sacred Heart so full of love, I cry out with St. Augustine: "Lord Jesus, imprint on my heart Thy sacred wounds, so that I may read therein sorrow and love: sorrow, to endure every sorrow for Thee; love, to despise every love for Thee." Amen.

We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee, because by Thy holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.


(3 Years Indulgence)




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Prayer to Mary Standing at the Foot of the Cross.


O Mary, glorious and Blessed Virgin, who didst die consumed by the ardour of divine love; to whom death was a sweet sleep, soon ended by thine awakening to immortality, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Do not forsake thy poor children at that awful moment. Thou, who didst stand at the foot of the Cross of thy dying Son, come to receive the last sighs of those who now invoke thee with entire confidence. Remember that if death was a triumph to thee, it is a chastisement to us. Have mercy on all afflicted souls, who call on thee as their Mother and their hope. Pray for us all, assist us all. Obtain for us grace to bear our sufferings with resignation, and to make the sacrifice of our life cheerfully to God.

In preparation for the hour of death, we unite ourselves beforehand to the holy dispositions of thy compassionate Heart, and of the Agonizing Heart of thy Divine Son Jesus in the Garden of Olives, and upon the Cross. Sanctify our sufferings, sanctify our agony. Let thy maternal protection be extended even to those poor souls who know thee not, who outrage thy Beloved Son, who persevere in refusing the offers of His mercy and of His love. Obtain for them the powerful grace of conversion which breaks and transforms the heart, and of the most hardened sinners often makes the greatest saints. Amen.




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Prayer to Mary, Mother of Sorrows.


O most sorrowful Mother, by the cruel martyrdom which thou didst suffer at the foot of the Cross, during the three hours of the Agony of thy beloved Son Jesus, assist us in our agony, for we are the children of thy sorrows, and intercede for us that we may pass from our deathbed to join the blessed, who are ever with thee in heaven. Amen.




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Short Prayer to the Most Holy Virgin in Her Desolation


Hail Mary, full of sorrows, the Crucified is with thee: tearful art thou amongst women, and tearful is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of the Crucified, grant tears to us crucifiers of thy Son, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.


(Indulgence 100 days Pius IX--1847)



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Seven "Ave Maria's" and Seven "Sancta Mater's"


Pope Pius VII., by a Brief of Dec. 1, 1815, in order to augment in all the faithful devotion towards the sorrows of most holy Mary, and the more to excite in them grateful recollections of the Passion of her Son, Jesus, granted a 300 days indulgence, once a day, to all who, contrite in heart, shall say seven Ave Maria's, with the versicle to each:


Sancta Mater istud agas,
Crucifixi fige plagas
Cordi meo valide.


Or in English:


Holy Mother, pierce me through;
In my heart each wound renew
Of thy Saviour crucified.








Prayer for Mercy for the Holy Souls in Purgatory

Have Mercy, O gentle Jesus! on the Souls detained in Purgatory. Thou Who for their ransom didst take upon Thyself our human nature and suffer the most cruel death, pity their sighs and the tears shed when they raise their longing eyes toward Thee; and by virtue of Thy Passion, cancel the penalty due to their sins.

May Thy Blood, O tender Jesus, Thy Precious Blood, descend into Purgatory to solace and refresh those who there languish in captivity. Reach forth Thy hand to them, and lead them into the realms of refreshment, light and peace. Amen.




Divine Heart of Jesus, convert sinners, save the dying,
and set free the holy souls in purgatory.
(300 Days Indulgence)



By the Sign of the Holy Cross, deliver us from our enemies, O our God!
(3 Years Indulgence)






Prayer for Final Perseverance

Eternal Father, I humbly adore and thank Thee for having created me, and for having redeemed me by means of Jesus Christ. I thank Thee for having made me a Christian by giving me the true faith, and by adopting me for Thy child in holy Baptism. I thank Thee for having given me time for repentance after my many sins, and for having, as I hope, pardoned all my offenses against Thee. O Infinite Goodness! I thank Thee also for having preserved me from falling again as often as I should have done if Thou hadst not held me up and saved me. But my enemies do not cease to fight against me, nor will they until death, that they may again have me for their slave; If Thou dost not keep and help me continually by Thine assistance, I shall be wretched enough to lose Thy grace anew. I therefore pray Thee, for the love of Jesus Christ, to grant me holy perseverance till death. Thy Son Jesus has promised that Thou wilt grant us whatever we ask for in His name. By the merits, then of Jesus Christ, I beg of Thee for myself, and for all those who are in Thy grace, the grace of never more being separated from Thy love, but that we may always love Thee in this life and in the next.


Sweet Heart of Jesus, be my love,
Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation.

(300 Days Indulgence)








Other Related Links to Prayers, Devotions
and Pious Readings to be used for the Holy Hour:




Feast of the Sacred Heart

Devotions to the Sacred Heart

The Manual of the Sacred Heart

Devotion to the Five Wounds of Jesus

The Psalter of Jesus

Devotions and Litany of the Holy Face of Jesus

Clock of the Passion

The Litany Holy Cross

The Greatest Suffering on Earth

The Steps of Our Savior's Passion

Manual of Devotions in Honour of Our Lady of Sorrows

Prayers and Devotions to the Holy Name

Prayers and Devotions for the Season of Lent and Holy Week

Spiritual Communion, Anima Christi and Prayer Before the Crucifix








Who His own self bore our sins in His body upon the tree: that we, being dead to sins,
should live to justice: by whose stripes you were healed.--1 Peter 2: 24



Stations of the Cross