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my bad thoughts, break off the yoke of my evil habits, and dispose me always to the practice of thy holy commandments. Let nothing henceforth separate me from thee, O Jesus; not the attractions of the world, nor the illusions of sense, nor the wanderings of my imagination, nor the evil passions of my heart.
At the Post-Communion. Intercede once more for me, O Mother of my God, my advocate, my tender Mother; ye Angels of the Most High, watch over me ; and ye, 0 elect of God, whom the Church hath given me for protectors, employ your powerful influence, that the Communion which I have made this day may consecrate for ever to the Lord my mind, my heart, and my whole being.
At the Benediction. May the blessing of the priest, О most Holy Trinity, be to me the pledge that thou wilt be faithful to thy promises; and since thou blessest, from the height of thy glory, those whom thy ministers bless on earth, may thy blessing descend upon me, accompany and follow me, co that, ever bearing in mind thy benefits, I may occupy myself only with testifying to thee the gratitude I owe thee.
At the last Gospel. O Word divine, Light of men, who shinest through the darkness of our understanding, banish for ever from my heart the fatal shades of sin, bid the Sun of justice rise upon me, and it will enlighten me. Say, Let there be light, and nothing shall obscure it. Alas, the world which thou createdst, and which thou camest to redeem, knew thee not! and I, who have now the happiness of possessing thee, what will it profit me to be enlightened by thy light, if I follow not the way it leads ? What fruit shall I draw from that treasure of graces which thou hast brought me, if I dissipate and waste it? Shall I forget in one day the exceeding love which thou hast lavished upon me? O Jesus, who art full of grace and truth,
impress upon my mind the truth that enlightens, establish in my heart the grace that sanctifies, and make me to find, in the unchangeableness of the one, and in the continual succour of the other, a restraint upon my inconstancy, and a support to my weakness.
After Mass. O my God, I am about to return to my ordinary oc. cupations, but I return to them with a spirit and a heart altogether new. Henceforth I will seek only to please thee; thou shalt be the beginning and the end of all my actions. I will endeavour to shew that it is no longer I that live, but thou that livest and movest in me.
Prayer. To which Pope Pius VII. hath annexed a plenary indulgence, which
all the faithful may obtain, who, after having confessed their sins with contrition, and received the Holy Communion, shall devoutly recite it before an image or representation of Christ crucified.
Behold, O kind and most sweet Jesus, I cast myself upon my knees in thy sight, and with the most fervent desire of my soul I pray and beseech thee that thou wouldst impress upon my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope, and charity, with true repentance for my sins, and a firm desire of amendment, whilst with deep affection and grief of soul I ponder within myself, and mentally contemplate thy five most precious wounds; having before my eyes that which David spake in prophecy : “ They pierced my hands and my feet; they have numbered all my bones.”
An Agnus Dei (so called from the image of the Lamb of God impressed on the face of it) is made of virgin wax, balsam, and chrism, blessed according to the form prescribed in the Roman Ritual..
The Pope consecrates the Agnus Dei the first year of his pontificate, and afterwards every seventh year, on Saturday before low Sunday, with many solemn ceremonies and devout prayers.
The use of the Agnus Dei is very ancient. Pope Leo III. made a present of one to the Emperor Charlemagne, who received it as a treasure sent from heaven, and reverenced it with a singular piety and devotion.
A Prayer to be daily said by those who carry about them
an Agnus Dei. O my Lord Jesus Christ, the true Lamb who taketh away the sins of the world; by thy mercy, which is infinite, pardon my iniquities, and, by thy sacred Passion, preserve me this day from all sin and evil. I carry about me this holy Agnus in thine honour, as a preservative against mine own weakness, and as an incentive to the practice of that meekness, humility, and innocence which thou hast taught us. I offer myself up to thee as an entire oblation, and in memory of that sacrifice of love which thou didst offer for me on the cross, and in satisfaction for my sins. Accept this obla. tion, I beseech thee, O my God; and may it be acceptable to thee in the odour of sweetness. Amen.
The Devotion of the “ Quarant' ore," or
Forty Hours' Prayer.
This devotion continues for forty hours, in memory of the forty hours during which the body of our Lord remained in the sepulchre. It was begun at Milan in 1534, and was introduced into Rome by St. Philip Neri in 1548, and sanctioned by Pope Clement VIII., who issued a solemn Bull respecting it, November 25th, 1592.
This devotion owes its origin to Father Joseph, a Capuchin friar at Milan. In the year 1534, the city of Milan was suffering all the miseries attendant on war, and was reduced almost to despair, when Father Joseph called upon the citizens to raise their eyes from the miseries around them, and look up to heaven for succour, assuring them, on the part of God, that if they would give themselves to fervent prayer for forty hours, their city and their country would be liberated from the devastations of their enemies. The citizens obeyed the call. The Forty Hours' Prayer commenced in the Cathedral, and was taken up by the other churches of the city in rotation. The people meanwhile attended with fervour at the appointed prayers, and approached with great devotion the sacraments of penance and holy communion. Heaven did not delay to fulfil the assurance given by the pious servant of God; for in a short time the Emperor Charles V., and Francis king of France, were seen at the gate of Milan arranging the articles of peace.
To promote this devotion, Pope Clement XIII. granted a plenary indulgence to all such as, confessing their sins and receiving the holy communion, should visit any church or chapel where this devotion was being performed
To gain this indulgence it is required, (1) to visit the Blessed Sacrament once each day during the three days of exposition; and (2) to receive the holy communion on one of the three days; but not necessarily in the same church or chapel in which the Blessed Sacrament is exposed.
Pope Paul V. also granted an indulgence of ten years and ten quadragenæ for every visit made to the Blessed Sacrament thus exposed.
These indulgences are applicable to the souls in purgatory.
The forms of prayers used in this devotion are, the Litany of the Saints, Collects, &c., as given p. 619; to which may be added the Litany of the Blessed Virgin, the Miserere psalm, and the Te Deum.
Visit to the Most Holy
An Act of Adoration to the Most Holy Trinity. I most humbly adore thee, O uncreated Father, and thee, O only-begotten Son, and thee, O Holy Ghost the Paraclete, one almighty, everlasting and unchangeable God, Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. I acknowledge in thee a true and ineffable Trinity of persons, a true and indivisible Unity of substance. I glorify thee, O ever-serene effulgent Trinity, one only Deity, my most compassionate Lord, my sweetest hope, my dearest light, my most desired repose, my joy, my life, and all my good. To thy most merciful goodness I commend my soul and body; to thy most sacred Majesty I wholly devote myself, and to thy divine will resign and yield myself eternally. All honour and glory be to thee for ever and ever. Amen.
O heavenly Father, O most forgiving Father, O Lord God, have mercy upon me a wretched sinner, have mercy upon all men. In fullest reparation, expiation, and satisfaction for all my iniquities and negligences, and for the sins of the whole world, and perfectly to supply the deficiency of my good works and merits, I offer to thee thy beloved Son, Christ Jesus, in union with that sovereign charity with which thou didst send him to us, and didst give him to us as our Saviour. I offer his transcendent virtues, and all that he did and suffered for us. I offer his labours, sorrows, torments, and most precious blood. I offer the merits of the most blessed Virgin Mary, and of all thy Saints. Assist me, I beseech thee, O most merciful Father, through the