Night Of Love by John M. Haffert
As we said in the previous chapter, some all-night vigils are especially interesting. Some have "made history."
If some excitement isn't generated by the organizers during the night, Our Lord Himself comes into action almost as tangibly as the night He came out of the monstrance and showed His flaming Heart to Saint Margaret Mary.
One would go a long way to match the excitement felt by the first all night vigil in Russia; on the Russian feast of the Assumption in 1965. Among the forty who went to Russia to spend a night in prayer, were several Anglicans, including an Anglican minister. The need for prayers for Russia proved a greater ecumenical bond than any dialogue.
Then there was the vigil on the border of Poland in May of 1966, millennium of Christianity in Poland when the Communist government had refused a visa for the Pope and for the vigilers. But a group from England and another from America met "by accident" in neighboring Czechoslovakia, found a church on the border, and shared a vigil with the local people which made news around the world.
Little miracles have come to be expected by vigilers as recounted by Henrietta Bower in her history of the vigils in England (Click Here For the Henrietta Bower Vigil Program).
Special feasts are often the occasion of unusually interesting vigils, as when the first Friday or Saturday coincides with New Year's day, or falls on the 6th and 7th of the month to honor God, the Father (a vigil Our Father requested), or on the Feasts of the Sacred Hearts (the Friday and Saturday after the octave of Corpus Christi).
Special occasions and special places make for special vigils.
One of those special occasions took place in Rome on the occasion of the jubilee of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima in 1972. On that night an amazing prophecy was fulfilled.
On April 2, 1927, the saintly bishop Prohaszka died. He was the founder of a large community of sisters whose mother-house, later confiscated under the communist regime, remains the city hall of Buda (the other "half" of Budapest).
A few days after his death, the bishop appeared to one of the nuns (Sister Athanasia Pekar) and told her: "You are to witness that I am your father." He told her that as a sign: "You will receive this two Hearts Scapular (and he showed her a brown scapular with a picture of the Sacred Hearts on the front) in Rome, during the night, from a Bishop."
Even though Sister Athanasia could not doubt her senses, this prophecy seemed nothing short of ridiculous. She was of the Byzantine rite without the scapular devotion. What would she ever be doing in Rome? And how could it be that during the night a bishop would enroll her in a "two Hearts Scapular"...something which at that time had never been heard of anywhere in the world?
But forty five years later, Sister Athanasia (who was the last of her community to escape from the Communists and make her way to America) without any advance planning was at the all night vigil in Rome in 1972. And after midnight the Bishop of Fatima himself enrolled Sister Athanasia in the brown Scapular on which was a picture of the Sacred Hearts, exactly as it had been shown to her in a vision forty five years before.
Consecration To The Sacred Hearts
We mention this because an important part of the vigils is a renewed consecration to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary through the Scapular of which Sister Lucia of Fatima said:
"It is our sign of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary," and at Pellevoisin Our Lady called the Scapular "My livery and that of My Son." (The full story, which is recommended reading at vigils, will be found in the book Her Glorious Title.)
Every vigil is a thrilling experience. Every vigil is with Jesus truly present in His Sacrament of Love. Every vigil is truly a night of love. That is why vigils ought to continue to gain in force.
In September of 1965, just before the convening of the last session of the Ecumenical Council, the U.S.A. Center of the Blue Army of Our Lady and the Reparation Society promoted all night vigils across the United States in which eighty-eight dioceses joined with a special vigil held in the Vatican Pavilion, at the New York World Fair.
Mrs. Henrietta Bower, who could be called the "foundress" of the English vigil movement, came over from London. A priest came directly from just participating in a vigil in Russia. The Bishop of Fatima came from Portugal. The Pilgrim Virgin was there. It gave great impetus to the vigil movement in America, with five consecutive vigils held from that first Friday-first Saturday night of September, to the vigil of New Years day, for the triumph of the Council and world peace.
That was a special vigil because of its special purpose and special participants. Any any vigil can be made similarly "special."
Some vigils in some churches may seem uneventful. There might perhaps be some dull and even soporific talks during the night. But there is something special about the night itself...a night "aside" with Jesus (as with the three apostles in the garden) and with Our Lady. This night of love is a response in depth to both Sacred Hearts.
Our Lord had asked for the first Saturday Communion of Reparation. And Our Lady asked for the first Saturday devotion, promising to "Keep us company" as we meditated on the mysteries of the Rosary, went to Confession, received Communion, all in a spirit of reparation.
Two Great Promises
Indeed, if there is any one principle reason for the "wonder" of the vigil, it is the promises of Their Sacred Hearts. And the vigil facilitates the obtaining of those promises, the first of which is an unconditional promise of salvation. The second is the promise of the personal assistance of Our Lady at the hour of our death "with all the graces and aid necessary."
The first is a promise of dying in the State of Grace. The second is the promise of a happy death. And we fulfill ALL the conditions during a vigil: the two Communions of Reparation, Confession, meditation on the mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of reparation to the Sacred Hearts.
Many are drawn by the promises, but it is LOVE which brings us back again and again. It is love which makes the night of love what it is.
One of the priests who was always very much in demand to speak at our vigils was the Reverend Walter Ciszek, S.J., Author of With God In Russia and He Leadeth Me, a spiritual classic. His cause for canonization is under way. He said:
"It is a blessing that the vigil movement is spreading. People who devote themselves to the vigils are those ready for sacrifice. Sacrifice always brings results. In good time the Lord will act, hearing the faithful prayers offered Him the work you are promoting is so essential. The Blessed Sacrament adored by people, praying in a group, depriving themselves of sleep, is pleasing to God. After my first talk to the vigil members, I became a member in spirit. Several times a day, I pray for you and your group and for the movement. I believe in this movement, so necessary in our times."
During One Night You Could Save 1000 Souls
Tremendous Benefit For Our Priests Who Have Become Involved
Making Reparation For Sin Can Save The World
Nights of Love make history
Special Days of the Two Hearts
The Lord Made A Worldwide Call
Suggested Vigil Programs and Guidelines
First Words at Lourdes
All Night Vigil Meditations On The Rosary
Joyful Mysteries For All Night Vigil
Sorrowful Mysteries For All Night Vigil
Glorious Mysteries For All Night Vigil
Alternative Programs For All Night Vigil
Additional Suggestions For First Friday/Saturday Reparation Vigil Services
Night Of Love by John M. Haffert
Please Join Us For First Friday/Saturday All Night Prayer Vigil

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