The Hour of Grace
The 8th of December is an important day - the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. It is also the day on which in 1947 Our Blessed Mother gave us the Hour of Grace.
Our Lady said as follows: "It is my wish that every year, on 8th December, at noon, the HOUR OF GRACE FOR THE WORLD be celebrated. Many divine and bodily graces will be received through this devotion. Our Lord, my Divine Son Jesus, will send His overflowing mercy if good people will pray continuously for their sinful brother.... it is my wish that the HOUR OF GRACE FOR THE WORLD be made known and spread throughout the world. If anyone is unable to visit his church, yet will pray at home, he will also receive graces through me.... will find a secure heavenly ladder and receive protection and grace through my motherly heart."
Our Lady promised she will hear any prayer we make at this time.
THE REQUEST OF OUR BLESSED MOTHER FOR THE HOUR OF GRACE:
Day and time of the Hour of Grace: December 8th, Feast of the Immaculate Conception, to be started at 12:00 noon and continuing until 1:00 p.m. for one full hour of prayer.
During this hour, the person making the Hour of Grace either at home or at church must put away all distractions (do not answer the telephones, or answer any doors, or do anything but totally concentrate on your union with God during this special Hour of Grace).
Begin the Hour of Grace by praying three times the 51st Psalm with out-stretched arms. (Psalm 51 appears below).
The rest of the Hour of Grace may be spent in silent communication with God meditating upon the Passion of Jesus, saying the Holy Rosary, praising God in your own way, or by using favorite prayers, singing hymns, meditating upon other psalms, etc.
Please copy and distribute this message. Remember to pray for your country during this hour. The Blessed Virgin has requested that her important message be sent throughout the entire world. Please help her Mission: that all souls be drawn to God, and that Jesus will be loved in every heart. This is the perpetual song of her heart. Let it also be yours.
Have mercy on on me, God, in your goodness; in your abundant compassion blot out my offense.
Wash away all my guilt; from my sin cleanse me. For I know my offense; my sin is always before me. Against you alone have I sinned; I have done such evil in your sight that you are just in your sentence, blameless when you condemn. True, I was born guilty, a sinner, even as my mother conceived me. Still, you insist on sincerity of heart; in my innermost being teach me wisdom. Cleanse me with hyssop, that I may be pure; wash me, make me whiter than snow. Let me hear sounds of joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Turn away your face from my sins; blot out all my guilt. A clean heart create for me, God; renew in me a steadfast spirit. Do not drive me from your presence, nor take from me your holy spirit. Restore my joy in your salvation; sustain in me a willing spirit. I will teach the wicked your ways, that sinners may return to you. Rescue me from death, God, my saving God, that my tongue may praise your healing power. Lord, open my lips; my mouth will proclaim your praise. For you do not desire sacrifice; a burnt offering you would not accept. My sacrifice, God, is a broken spirit; God, do not spurn a broken, humbled heart. Make Zion prosper in your good pleasure; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Then you will be pleased with proper sacrifice, burnt offerings and holocausts; then bullocks will be offered on your altar.
Annunciation of the Lord (March 25, nine months before Christmas). What is the Immaculate Conception?
Conceived Without SinThe Immaculate Conception refers to the condition that the Blessed Virgin Mary was free from Original Sin from the very moment of her conception in the womb of her mother, Saint Anne. We celebrate the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary—her birth—on September 8; nine months before that is December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
The Development of the Doctrine of the Immaculate ConceptionFr. John Hardon, S.J., in his Modern Catholic Dictionary, notes that "Neither the Greek nor Latin Fathers explicitly taught the Immaculate Conception, but they professed it implicitly." It would take many centuries, though, for the Catholic Church to recognize the Immaculate Conception as a doctrine—as something which all Christians must believe—and many more before Pope Pius IX, on December 8, 1854, would declare it a dogma—that is, a doctrine that the Church teaches was revealed by God Himself.
The Declaration of the Dogma of the Immaculate ConceptionIn the Apostolic Constitution Ineffabilis Deus, Pope Pius IX wrote that "We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful."
As Father Hardon further writes, the Blessed Virgin's "freedom from sin was an unmerited gift of God or special grace, and an exception to the law, or privilege, which no other created person has received."
The Immaculate Conception Anticipates Christ's Redemption of All MankindAnother misconception people have is that Mary's Immaculate Conception was necessary to ensure that Original Sin would not be passed on to Christ. This has never been a part of the teaching on the Immaculate Conception; rather, the Immaculate Conception represents Christ's saving grace operating in Mary in anticipation of His redemption of man and in God's foreknowledge of Mary's acceptance of His Will for her.
In other words, the Immaculate Conception was not a precondition for Christ's act of redemption but the result of that act. It is the concrete expression of God's love for Mary, who gave herself fully, completely, and without hesitation to His service.
For more on the development of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, see the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.