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Holy Hour is the Roman Catholic devotional tradition of spending an hour in Eucharistic adoration in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.[1] The official Raccolta book provides indulgences for this practice.[2] The practice is also observed in many Anglican churches.

In 1673 Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque stated that she had a vision of Jesus in which she was instructed to spend an hour every Thursday night to meditate on the sufferings of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. This practice later became widespread among Catholics.[3][4][5]

The inspiration for the Holy Hour is Matthew 26:40.[6] In the Gospel of Matthew, during the agony in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before his crucifixion, Jesus spoke to his disciples, saying "My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch with me." (Matthew 26:38) Returning to the disciples after prayer, he found them asleep and in Matthew 26:40 he asked Peter:

"So, could you men not keep watch with me for an hour?".[6]

In 1829, the Archconfraternity of the Holy Hour was established by Père Robert Debrosse at Paray-le-Monial, Bourgogne, France.[7] In 1911 it received the right of aggregation for the entire world.[8] A similar society called "The Holy Perpetual Hour of Gethsemani" was formed in Toulouse in 1885 and was canonically erected in 1907. In 1909 it received indulgences from Pope Pius X.[9][10]

The practice of a "daily Holy Hour" has been encouraged in the Catholic tradition, for instance Mother Teresa of Calcutta had a Holy Hour each day and all members of her Missionaries of Charity followed her example.[11][12] The Holy Hour has been practiced by saints such as Gemma Galgani , Faustina Kowalska.[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The New Catholic Dictionary. 
  2. ^ The Raccolta by Joseph P. Christopher 2003 ISBN 0-9706526-6-6 pages 107-108
  3. ^ Ann Ball, 2003 Encyclopedia of Catholic Devotions and Practices ISBN 0-87973-910-X page 240
  4. ^ The Westminster Dictionary of Christian Spirituality by Gordon S. Wakefield 1983 ISBN 0-664-22170-X page 347
  5. ^ Catholic encyclopedia
  6. ^ a b Peter Stravinskas, 1998, Our Sunday Visitor's Catholic Encyclopedia, OSV Press ISBN 0-87973-669-0 page 498
  7. ^ Catholic encyclopedia
  8. ^ Acta Apostolicae Sedis, III, 157.
  9. ^ Acta Apostolicae Sedis, I, 483.
  10. ^ Catholic encyclopedia
  11. ^ A Drama of Reform by Benedict J. Groeschel 2005 ISBN 1-58617-114-3 page 30
  12. ^ My Daily Eucharist II Joan Carter McHugh 1997 ISBN 0-9640417-5-8 page 14
  13. ^ The voices of Gemma Galgani by Rudolph M. Bell, 2003 ISBN 0-226-04196-4 pages 15 and 47

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