What is the Holy Hour?

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. It’s on Thursdays… at eleven o’clock at night… and I’ll tell you more about why in a minute. But 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?

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 I hope you have! 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 Adoration because I love it and can’t recommend it highly enough. It is far more well known than the second kind of Holy Hour.

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.

Jesus told her, “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.”

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.