The first hour of agony and the first word

From 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Forgive them because they don’t know what they do

Preparation Before Each Hour

O my Lord Jesus Christ, prostrate in your divine presence, I implore your most loving heart to allow me to enter into the sorrowful meditation of the twenty-four hours of your passion, in which, for love of us you wanted to suffer so much in your adorable body and in your most holy soul, even to death on the cross. O give me help, grace, love, profound compassion, and understanding of your sufferings as I now meditate this Hour.

For those hours which I cannot meditate, I offer you the will I have to meditate them; and I propose to meditate them with my intention during all the hours in which I must dedicate myself to my duties, or sleep.

Accept, O merciful Lord, my loving intention, and let it be beneficial for me and for all, as if I effectively and in a saintly way accomplished what I desire to do.

I give You thanks, O my Jesus. I thank You for calling me to union with You in prayer. To please You, I take your thoughts, your tongue, and your Heart. I want to pray with them. I want to fuse myself in your Will and in your Love. I extend my arms to embrace You, I rest my head on your Heart— and I begin….

The first word:
“Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing!”

My crucified Jesus, I see you on the cross as on your throne of triumph in the act of overcoming everything and all hearts, and of drawing them so much to yourself that everyone feels your superhuman power. Nature, horrified by such a misdeed, prostrates itself before you, and is waiting in silence for a word from you to give you homage and to make your dominion be recognized. The weeping sun withdraws its light, unable to bear the sight of such pains. Hell feels terror and is waiting silently. So, all is silent. Your transfixed mother and your faithful ones are all mute and petrified at the terribly painful sight of your torn and dislocated humanity, and are silently waiting for a word from you. Your humanity itself, which lies in an ocean of pains amid the atrocious spasms of the agony, is silent, so that it is feared that from one breath to the next you may die.

What else? The wicked Jews and the cruel executioners themselves, who, until a short while ago were insulting you, mocking you and calling you impostor and evil­doer, and the very thieves who were blaspheming you, all fall silent and are struck dumb. They are filled with remorse. And if they try to utter you some insult, it dies on their lips. But penetrating into your interior, I see that love surges, suffocating you, and you cannot contain it. Forced by your love which torments you more than the pains themselves, with a strong and moving voice, you speak as the God you are. You raise your dying eyes to heaven and exclaim:

“Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing!”

And again you enclose yourself in silence, immersed in unheard­of pains.

Crucified Jesus, is so much love possible? Yes, after so many pains and insults, your first word is forgiveness, and you excuse us before the Father of so many sins. Yes, you make this word descend into every heart after sinning, and you are the first to offer forgiveness. But how many reject it, and do not accept it! Your love then becomes frenetic because you are yearning to give pardon and the kiss of peace to everyone! As it hears your words, hell trembles and recognizes you as God. Astonished, nature and everyone recognize your divinity and your inextinguishable love, and silently wait to see how far it goes. It is not only your voice, but also your blood and your wounds that cry to every heart after sinning:

“Come into my arms, for I forgive you. And the seal of forgiveness is at the price of my blood!”

O my gentle Jesus, repeat this word again to every sinner in the world. Implore mercy for everyone. Apply the infinite merits of your most precious blood to them. O good Jesus, continue to appease the divine justice for everyone; and give grace to those who are in need of forgiving others, but do not feel the strength to do it. My adorable, crucified Jesus, in these three hours of bitter agony, you want to give fulfillment to everything. While you are on the cross in silence, I see that in your interior you want to satisfy the Father in everything. You thank him for everyone, satisfy for everyone, ask forgiveness for everyone. You plead for the grace that no one ever offend you again. And to obtain this from the Father, you review your entire life from the first instant of your conception to your last breath. My Jesus, unending love, together with you, your inconsolable mother, Saint John and the pious women, let me also review your whole life. My dear Jesus, I thank you for so many thorns that have pierced your adorable head, for the drops of blood shed from it, for the blows you have received on it and for the hair they have torn from it.

I thank you for all the good you have done and have obtained for everyone, for the lights and good inspirations you have given us, and for all the times you have forgiven all our sins of thought, arrogance, pride and self-esteem. O my Jesus, I ask forgiveness in everyone’s name, for all the times we have crowned you with thorns, for all the drops of blood we have made you shed from your most sacred head, and for all the times we have not corresponded to your inspirations. For all these pains you have suffered, O good Jesus, I pray you to obtain the grace for us never to commit sins of thought again.

Furthermore, I intend to offer you everything you have suffered in your most holy head to give you all the glory that creatures would have given you if they had made good use of their intelligence.

Laudate Dominum omnes gentes, laudate Eum omnes populi. Quoniam confirmata est super nos misericordia Ejus, et veritas Domini manet in aeternum. Gloria Patri….

O my Jesus, I adore your most holy eyes. I thank you for all the tears and drops of blood they have shed, for the cruel pricks of the thorns, for all the times you were despised, and for the insults and ridicule sustained throughout your passion. I ask forgiveness for all those who make use of their sight to offend you and to outrage you. By the pains you have suffered in your most sacred eyes, I pray you to grant us the grace that no one offend you again with evil gazes. I also intend to offer you everything that you yourself suffered in your most holy eyes, to give you all the glory creatures would have given you if their eyes had been fixed only on heaven, on the divinity and on you, O my Jesus. I adore your most holy ears. I thank you for all that you suffered while on Calvary, when the executioners deafened them with shouts and sneers. I ask your forgiveness in everyone’s name, for all the evil conversations that creatures listen to. I pray you to open the ears of all men to the eternal truths and to the voices of grace, and that no one will offend you again with his sense of hearing. I also intend to offer you everything you have suffered in your most holy sense of hearing, to give you all the glory that creatures would have given you if they had made holy use of this sense. O my Jesus, I adore and kiss your most holy face. I thank you for everything you have suffered from the spit, the slaps and the insults, and for all the times you let yourself be trampled by your enemies.

I ask forgiveness in everyone’s name, for all the times creatures dared to offend you. For these slaps and for this spit, I pray that your divinity may be recognized, praised and glorified by everyone. Indeed, O my Jesus, I intend to go around the whole world myself, from east to west and from north to south, to unite the voices of all creatures and change them into as many more acts of praise, love and adoration. O my Jesus, I even intend to bring the heart of all creatures to you, so that you may infuse into everyone light, truth, love and compassion for your divine person. And while you will forgive everyone, I pray you not to permit anyone to offend you again, even at the cost of my blood, if this were possible.

Finally, I intend to offer you everything you have suffered in your most holy face, to give you all the glory that creatures would have given you if no one had dared to offend you. I adore your most holy mouth, and I thank you for your first little whimperings, for all the milk you nursed, for all the words you said, for the burning kisses you gave your most holy mother, for the food you ate, for the bitterness of the gall, for the burning thirst you suffered on the cross and for the prayers you raised to the Father. I ask you to forgive all the murmurings, the evil and worldly conversations and all the blasphemies uttered by creatures. I want to offer You your holy teachings in reparation for their bad conversations. I want to offer You the mortification of your sense of taste in reparation for their acts of gluttony, your absorption into prayer in reparation for our scattered and inattentive ones. Furthermore, I want to join our mouth to yours, in reparation for all the ways that they offend You with the misuse of their tongues. I intend to offer you everything you have suffered in your most holy mouth, to give you all the glory that creatures would have given you if no one had dared to offend you with his sense of taste and with the abuse of his tongue.

O Jesus, I adore your neck and thank you for the admirable patience with which you allowed yourself to be tied up, for the perfect detachment from all created things that you teach us. I ask forgiveness for the offenses you receive from those creatures who are attached to the pleasures of this world, and I beg you to implore for everyone detachment from earthly things and a perfect uniformity with your Will.

I offer your most pure Conception in reparation for those who conceive in guilt; I offer your imprisonment in your Mother’s womb for those who do care for the strictness of your Will; I offer your life for those who allow their children to be dead to Grace instead of giving them new life through holy Baptism; and for all infanticides. I offer your childhood and everything you suffered in childhood, for those who do not permit innocent children to know You, praise You and love You, that all of them may indeed know You and love You. I offer your hidden life in reparation for family discord, for the hypocrisy of so many who though appearing to love You, interiorly offend You.

And I offer your life in the desert in reparation for the acts of disobedience to the Church, for the contempt shown to fasting, to the precepts and the Sacraments. I offer your public life in reparation should there be Priests who do not fulfill their ministry with honest intentions, for the preaching and the Sacraments given in a self-interested spirit, full of self-love and self-esteem, and also in reparation for all the offenses that you receive from government authorities. I offer your faithfulness to repair for our lack of it, your perfect submission to your Father for our failure to correspond to Grace, your thanks in reparation for all the times that we failed to thank You for your innumerable benefits.

O Jesus, I thank you for everything; and in everyone’s name, I raise up to you the hymn of an eternal and infinite thanksgiving. O my Jesus, I intend to offer you everything you have suffered in your most holy person, to give you all the glory that all creatures would have given you if they had conformed their life to yours. I thank you, O Jesus, for everything you have suffered in your most holy back, for all the lashes received, for all the wounds you permitted on your most sacred body, and for all the drops of blood you shed. In everyone’s name, I ask forgiveness for all the times they have offended you with illicit and evil pleasures, and by the love of comfort.

I offer you your painful scourging to make reparation for all the sins committed with all the senses, for the love of one’s own tastes, sensible pleasures, self-ego, and all the natural satisfactions. I also intend to offer you everything you have suffered on your back, to give you all the glory that creatures would have given you if in everything they had sought to please you alone and to take refuge in the shadow of your divine protection. O Jesus, I kiss your left foot. I thank you for all the steps you took during your mortal life, and for all the times you tired your poor members to go in search of souls to bring to your heart. O my Jesus, for this, I offer you all my actions, steps and movements, with the intention of making reparation to you for everything and for everyone. O my Jesus, I offer You all my steps, actions, and movements in reparation for everything and for everyone.

I ask you to forgive those who do not act with the right intention. I join my actions to yours, to divinize them. United to all the works you did with your most holy humanity, I offer them to you to give you all the glory creatures would have given you if they had worked in a holy way and with the right intention.

O my Jesus, I kiss your right foot, and I thank you for everything you have suffered and do continue to suffer for me, especially in this hour in which you are hanging on the cross. I thank you for the agonizing work that the nails are doing in your wounds, which are torn ever more under the weight of your most sacred body. I ask you to forgive all the rebellions and disobediences committed by creatures. I offer you the pains of your most holy feet in reparation for these offenses, and to give you all the glory that creatures would have given you if they had been subject to you in everything.

O my Jesus, I kiss your most holy left hand. I thank you for all that you have suffered for me, and for all the times you have calmed the divine justice by satisfying for everyone. I ask your forgiveness for whenever I failed to offer myself to give You satisfaction and all the glory that the creatures would have given You. I offer to You everything that You did in your mortal life with the movements of this left hand.

I kiss your right hand, and I thank you for all the good you have done and continue to do for everyone. In a special way, I thank you for the works of creation, redemption and sanctification. In everyone’s name, I ask you to forgive us all the times we were ungrateful for everything you have given us, and for so many works we did without the right intention. In reparation for all these offenses, and to give you all the glory that creatures would have given you if they had corresponded to all these benefits, I intend to offer you all the perfection and holiness of your works.

O my Jesus, I kiss your Most Sacred Heart, and I thank you for everything you have suffered, desired and zealously done for the love of everyone and for each in particular. I ask you to forgive so many evil desires and bad affections and tendencies. O Jesus, forgive so many who prefer the love of creatures to your love. To give you all the glory that they have denied you, I offer you everything that your most adorable heart has done and continues to do.

Reflections and Practices.

Jesus is lifted on the Cross and remains suspended above the earth. And do we try to live detached from the world, from creatures, and from everything that is worldly? Everything should converge to form the Cross on which we extend ourselves and remain suspended, like Jesus, distancing ourselves from everything that belongs to earth so that others will not become attached to us. And so we shall take Jesus’ place; and if the creatures want to give us nails and torments, we shall enclose them in our hearts and will have them accept part of our cross. Should circumstances, convenience, or the permission of the Divine Will place us almost in contact with the false taste of earthly things, we must reject them all. As long as we do not enjoy them, we shall not come down from the Cross, but will remain on guard so that our heart may partake only and always of the Cross of Jesus. My suffering Jesus has no bed except the Cross and no comfort except his Wounds and the insults He receives. Is our love for Jesus so strong that we find our rest in sufferings? Praying, suffering, and everything we do should be enclosed in Jesus’ Wounds to feel their touch, and immersed in his Blood, seeking no other comfort except his pain. And if creatures comfort us, we must take it as a comfort given to us by the Lord, not by a creature, so that our heart may always be a stranger to everything, though still grateful to those who comfort us in a holy way. Then Jesus’ Wounds will be ours and his Blood will be continually at work in us to adorn us. Accordingly, we will draw whatever graces we desire for ourselves as well as for the salvation of souls.

Having the deposit of Jesus’ Blood in our hearts, if we are guilty of some shortcoming, we will beg Jesus that He not permit us to be stained in his presence, but cleanse us with his Blood and keep us with Him. Were we to feel weak, we would then implore Jesus to let our souls have a sip of his Blood to regain our strength. This adorable Blood shall be like a continuous current between Jesus and ourselves, leading us to always agree with Him.

My sweet Jesus prays for his executioners; indeed, He even excuses them. Do we make Jesus’ prayer our own to continually excuse sinners before the Father and implore mercy on their behalf, even for those who have offended us? While we pray, work, and walk, we should also not forget the poor souls who are about to take their last breath. Let us bring them Jesus’ prayers and kisses for help and comfort. With our hands, let us support their souls and place them in the arms of Jesus.

Let us be with them in our heart, talking about the love with which Jesus awaits them in the Heavenly Fatherland. In brief, we shall be like a smile in the midst of their bitterness, and will endeavor to make them fly to Jesus. We shall tell Jesus: “My lovable Jesus, I send you the fruit of your Blood and of your love. Do not reject these souls, but for love of Yourself do receive them all in the Heavenly Fatherland. ”

My Jesus, from your Wounds I wish to draw strength to repeat your own Life in me. In this manner, I will be able to pray and obtain for everyone the good that You Yourself have done.

Thanksgiving after each hour

My Beloved Jesus, You have called me to this Hour of your Passion to keep You company—and I have come. I seem to have heard you, anguished and sorrowful, praying, making reparation and suffering. With the most loving, eloquent voices you were pleading for the salvation of souls. I tried to follow You in everything. Now, I owe You my heartfelt “Thank You” and “I bless You.”

Yes, O Jesus, I repeat my “Thank You” thousands and thousands of times. I bless You for all that You have done and suffered for me and for everyone. I thank You and I bless You for every drop of Blood You shed. I thank You for every breath, for every heartbeat, and for every step. I thank You for every word, glance, affliction, and outrage that You had to endure. In everything, O my Jesus, I intend to give You my “Thank You” and “I bless You.” O my Jesus, let my soul send forth a continuous flow of thanksgiving and blessings to You—to draw down upon all of us the abundant flow of your blessings and graces. Please, O Jesus, press me to your Heart, and with your most holy hands seal every particle of my being with your “I bless you”, so that nothing other than a continuous hymn to You may come from me.

So I leave my being within Yours, to follow you in all you do; better still, you will be so alive in me that I will leave my thoughts in you to defend you from your enemies, my breaths as a faithful companion, my heartbeat to recall my “I love you,” and to give you the love that the others refuse to give you; I will give you the drops of my blood to atone and make up the honor and regard that your enemies deny you with their insults and offenses. I will leave my entire being as a guard.

My dear love, while I must go about my duties, I will remain in your heart. I am afraid to leave It. Is it not true that You will keep me here? Our heartbeats will continually touch so that You will give me life, love, and close and inseparable union with You.

Jesus, if You see that I am about to run from You at times, let your heartbeat hasten in mine. Let your hands press me closer to your Heart; let your eyes look at me and pierce me with rays of fire so that I may feel your presence and immediately return to union with You.

O my Jesus, be on guard so that I may not exhaust You. I beg You to watch over me. O give me a kiss, embrace me, and bless me! Give me your most holy hands so that I can do all that I must do united with You! My Jesus, give me the kiss of Divine Love, embrace me and bless me; I will kiss your intoxicating Heart, and take my rest in You.

From 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

The 24 Hours of the Passion

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