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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]


  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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National Catholic Reporter

National Catholic Reporter
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 09:41:15 -0700

More than 2,000 Catholics process Sunday through the streets of Oklahoma City as part of a eucharistic Holy Hour led by Archbishop Paul Coakley at St. Francis of Assisi Church. The Oklahoma archbishop celebrated the Holy Hour in response to a Satanic ...

The Hornet

News On 6
Sun, 21 Sep 2014 19:51:15 -0700

In Tulsa, Catholics held a holy hour of prayer in an exhibition of public worship to counteract the black mass in OKC. It contained moments of prayer and reflection as a way to combat what some fear is causing a resurgence of evil close to home. “My ...

National Catholic Reporter

The Cardinal Newman Society
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 14:11:15 -0700

Students, staff and monks from St. Gregory's University and Abbey in Shawnee, Okla., joined with thousands of the faithful on Sunday, Sept. 21, at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church for a Eucharistic holy hour and procession in response to the ...
News On 6
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 20:05:39 -0700

On Sunday night, at 7 p.m., the same time the mass will be held in OKC, Catholics will have a holy hour at Holy Family Cathedral in downtown Tulsa. They are expecting hundreds to attend. by Taboolaby Taboola · Sponsored LinksSponsored Links · Promoted ...

Warwick Beacon

Warwick Beacon
Tue, 09 Sep 2014 12:07:30 -0700

Rose and Clement Parish, was among at least 50 people who attended a Holy Hour in honor of persecuted Christians in war-torn countries throughout the world. During the service, which was held at the church on Friday, Sept. 5, participants prayed for ...
National Catholic Register
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 06:30:38 -0700

“We are gathered as witnesses to hope at a time when darkness seems to be gaining ground both here and around the world,” Archbishop Paul Coakley said in a homily for a Holy Hour at Oklahoma City's St. Francis of Assisi Parish on the afternoon of Sept.

The Catholic Sun

The Catholic Sun
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 17:56:15 -0700

Fr. John Lankeit, rector of Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral, told those gathered for the July 25 holy hour that they must not get discouraged when the faith is attacked. Catholics around the country as well as in the Diocese of Phoenix will attend holy ...

Catholic Sentinel

Catholic Sentinel
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 12:29:27 -0700

During the congress' Holy Hour Sept. 20, Archbishop Kurtz also harkened back to the apostles, preaching that people's faith in Jesus today must be as resolute as that of his first disciples. Just as the apostles' faith in Jesus remained steadfast ...

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