Yes! It has the Imprimatur. Once upon a time, there was a much more widespread devotion in the Catholic church called Nocturnal Adoration in the Home, also known as the Catholic Holy Hour at Home. First given to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque by Jesus, it was spread far and wide by Father Matteo and soon was practiced by many faithful Catholics who wanted to respond to the sorrow of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane by answering Our Lord’s call to “watch and pray” for one hour with Him: to stay awake. And though the home Holy Hour is a devotion that was once cherished… it became all but forgotten after Father Matteo's death in 1960. I want to bring it back in a big way. I attest that it is one of the most perfect devotions for our time. I say this because it can be prayed anywhere, does not require access to a church (only the domestic kind), and can bring a deep sense of purpose to any challenge or sorrow you are going through. I hope you'll join this movement to bring this wonderful devotion back!
Big time! Although it’s a sorrowful mystery of the Rosary, I can attest that it will bring you great and lasting joy – the kind of joy that transfigures and heals. The kind of joy that’s impossible to find without Christ. So don’t let the whole “Agony” word scare you off. You have just discovered a treasure that will give you peace!
There are different Holy Hours recognized by the Church, and they are related, too. The first kind of Holy Hour you are perhaps more likely to have heard of or done yourself. And you guessed it, that first type is the foremost one: Eucharistic Adoration!!! I hope you attend Eucharistic Adoration frequently! It’s the best of the Holy Hours in many ways because after all… you’re adoring the Real Presence! It’s the Eucharistic Holy Hour, or Eucharistic Adoration. It’s one of the greatest possible uses of your time. I will sing the praises of Eucharistic Adorationbecause I love it and can’t recommend it highly enough. It is far more well known than the second and third kind of Holy Hour, the at-home varieties, which this website is dedicated to promoting.
The second type of Holy Hour can be prayed anywhere, usually at home, and was instituted thanks to the private revelation of the great Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, who famously brought the Sacred Heart devotion to prominence in the Catholic Church. Jesus asked her to pray the Holy Hour as a meditation on His agony in the Garden from 11 pm-12 am on Thursday nights.
The third type of Holy Hour is made at home and can be done any time that is convenient, but dedicates an hour of an individual’s or family’s time for prayer. You can be creative in this Holy Hour as to when and what exactly you pray, but it should ideally be in reparation to the Sacred Heart. Fr. Mateo called the Sacred Heart Night Adoration Holy Hour in the home “the most beautiful flower of his work.” It was an outgrowth of his love for the Sacred Heart and that other wondrous devotion we owe to Fr. Mateo’s apostolate: the Home Enthronement of the Sacred Heart.
For this Holy Hour devotion, an image of the Sacred Heart should be displayed and enthroned in the home, and be the focus of the Nocturnal Adoration.
11 pm-12 am on Thursday nights.
Jesus told St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, “Here I suffered inwardly more than in the rest of my passion because I was totally alone, abandoned by heaven and earth, burdened with the sins of mankind… In order for you to be united with me, in the humble prayer that I presented to my Father in the midst of all that anguish, you will arise between eleven o’clock and midnight, and prostrate yourself in adoration for one hour with me.”
You don't have to kneel at all if your knees won't allow it, but if you are healthy and strong enough try to kneel for as much of the time as you can joyfully do so. A good way to start out is kneeling for your opening prayer and closing prayer: a few minutes at the beginning and end and maybe work your way to more as your health allows.
If you're infirm or have tricky knees, don't let that stop you from praying! Chair-bound or bed-bound, you bring Christ much consolation in the Garden that way, too! Just spend time with Him!
Yes! The Holy Hour at home can be done of course at any time of day and any day of the week because God cherishes all devout prayer. But there is a special day and time for this Holy Hour.
Thursday night... the hour of 11pm -12 am is special. It's the hour Our Lord asked for.
Chances are, if you're reading this right now, YOU might be being called to do just that!
Whether you are a mother up at all hours with a baby or sick child; a caregiver looking after a loved one; a patient suffering an illness; someone facing hardships of old age alone; a student burning the midnight oil; a busy dad staying up late to complete all the unfinished tasks; a natural night owl, or just happen to find yourself still awake at eleven p.m, this will be an amazing discovery for you: you can dedicate yourself to Jesus in Gethsemane in this hour and send Him consolation. After all, He is outside of time and space. He accepts at-home Holy Hours as a consolation to Him there in the Garden. What could be a more meaningful use of your time?
Offer that pain to this Holy Hour, this truly intimate time of loyal friendship with Christ. After all, that pain, when offered up to God, becomes sacrifice and helps to make you more compassionate, more loving, more able to console the One who waits to console you.
What you pray can actually be different every time. The main rule of thumb is this: that you offer your prayers in a spirit of reparation to Jesus of Gethsemane.
Since Jesus prayed that His Father's Will be done in the Garden, it is important also to pray in a spirit of surrendering your own will to God. Simply, in prayer, offer Him your will and ask Him to give you His. Pray as He did, “Not my will but yours be done.”
The content for your Holy Hour can be praying a Rosary, various prayer devotions you love... but as part of that hour, you should at some point dwell on the Garden of Gethsemane. Don't worry-- this site has lots of inspiration and Gethsemane praters, meditations and will continue to feature new Holy Hour prayers each first Thursday of the month! Make sure you've subscribed to the First Thursday of the Month club!