Statutes of the Association of the Hour of Presence to the Heart of Jesus
The Guard of Honor of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
a) The Hour of Presence to the Heart of Jesus also known as the Guard of Honor of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is a universal, public Association of the Faithful.
b) The headquarters of the Association are located at the Monastery of the Visitation at Paray-le-Monial, France.
c) The Association is governed by these present Statutes and by the Code of Canon Law in force.
The Association of the Hour of Presence to the Heart of Jesus proposes to all of its members the devotion to the Heart of Christ.
The Association proposes to all of its Members the offering a continual worship of Glory, Love, and Reparation to the Heart of Jesus which has loved us to the point of being wounded visibly once by the lance on the tree of the Cross and wounded invisibly everyday by the neglect, ingratitude, and sin.
For this reason, the Association holds quite specifically as its end:
a) To consecrate its Members to the pierced Heart of Jesus, “The source from which we must drink in order to attain true knowledge of Jesus Christ and to experience more fully His love.” Benedict XVI, Letter of May 15, 2006 to the General Superior of the Society of Jesus.
b) To invite them to the duty of reparation to the Sacred Heart wounded for our sins.
c) To root their personal life of faith, together with their apostolic life and the performance of their professional activity in the love which consecrates and unites them to Jesus. This is precisely the meaning of the expression “devotion to the Sacred Heart”.
d) To invite them as well to a fraternal love which is more intense and is lived with greater awareness.
The perfect model given to the Members for their presence to Christ the Savior living among us is the heroic first “Guard of Honor:” Mary, John, and Mary Magdalen. Present at Calvary, and witnesses to the thrust of the lance, they offered to the Lord in the abandonment of His supreme Sacrifice the first fruits of the offering of love and reparation. The Association specifically proposes this form of worship to its Members, and the Church proposes it to all Christians. (cf. Collect of the Mass of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus)
For this reason, the Members choose one hour of the day called the “Hour of Presence” or the “Hour of Guard”. During this hour, they are especially attentive to Jesus Christ present in the tabernacle, and they offer Him the usual occupations of this hour without changing them. They unite this offering to His great Offering on the Cross, that of the Blood and Water which flowed from His pierced Heart and which is offered by all priests who celebrate the Mass at this same hour throughout the world.
Members may also choose to offer an additional (and optional) “Hour of Presence” called the “Hour of Mercy”. This hour would be offered for the intention of a certain soul, a certain family or social group, in the spirit of reparation or of supplication. To ensure the prayers of all the Members, they may recommend these intentions to the Center (Local, Diocesan, or National) which will enter the initials related to the intention on the Dial of Mercy.
1) The Members of the Hour of Presence to the Heart of Jesus profess a profound love and respect for the Holy Eucharist as a way of making present in the here and now the Sacrifice of Jesus for all humanity and the Sacrament of His Presence on earth.
2) For this reason, they will make an effort to participate frequently at Mass, sacramentally if possible, or at least spiritually, and to prepare themselves for it by means of regular recourse to the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
3) Adorers of the Holy Eucharist, they are advised as well to make frequent visits to the Blessed Sacrament and to make the monthly Holy Hour.
1) The liturgical feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus requested by Jesus Himself to St. Margaret Mary is the chief feast of the work.
Members are to celebrate this feast with fervor and great solemnity. They are to prepare for this feast, in as much as possible, by means of a novena or triduum during which they avail themselves of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
2) The secondary feasts are as follows:
a) The First Guard of Honor:
Our Lady of Sorrows, September 15
St. John, Apostle & Evangelist, December 27
St. Mary Magdalen, July 22
b) The Patrons of the Association:
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, the last Saturday of May
St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, March 19
St. Francis of Assisi, October 4
St. Francis de Sales, January 24
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, October 16
c) Members are equally to observe:
The feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
The feast of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary (day following the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus)
as well as the first Friday of every month.
1) On Good Friday, at around four in the afternoon, the presumed hour of the stroke of the lance, Members are to gather in spirit at the foot of the Cross. They do so in order to offer to the Heavenly Father the Blood and Water which flowed from the Wound of the Heart of Jesus for the intentions of Holy Mother Church.
2) The month of June, consecrated to the Heart of Jesus, is to be celebrated in public, if possible or at least in private by the Members.
3) In the places where the celebration of the First Fridays in the month is possible, it is desirable that it consist of a Mass which brings together the Members, at the end of which the monthly billets of the Association are to be distributed.
In order to belong to the Association, one must:
a) be admitted, by one of the following: the General Director, the Superior of the Monastery of the Visitation of Paray-le-Monial, or by one of the National or Local Directors, or by persons duly authorized.
b) be enrolled, first and last name, in the Register of the Association kept by those responsible at the Center.
c) observe faithfully the “Hour of Presence” one has chosen.
A certificate of admission is issued as soon as possible to each Member. This card is to be signed by the Member.
The names of the Members are enrolled in the Register; they may also be written around the Heart of Jesus on the Dial of the Association in the places where it is displayed.
None of the duties or obligations binds under pain of sin.
One ceases to be part of the Association either by resignation or by dismissal decided by the General, National or Diocesan Director after consultation with his Board for a just and grave reason especially in the cases and the manner provided for in the canon 316 of the Code of Canon Law without prejudice to the possibility of recourse to ecclesiastical authority according to the law. Dismissal and reasons therefore will be communicated in writing.
1) At the head of the Association a General Headquarters is established assisted by a Secretariat and approved by the General Director. At present, such Headquarters is located at the Monastery of the Visitation of Paray-le-Monial.
The General Board is composed of the General Director, the Superior of the Monastery of the Visitation of Paray-le-Monial, and the National Directors. Whenever the General Director needs advice or consent of the Board, he can either call a meeting or organize a consultation by correspondence given the geographical distances.
2) The General Board alone can validly establish a Diocesan or National Center, always with the written consent of the Bishop of the Diocese where the Center is established.
3) The Local Centers are comprised of groups of Associates related to a particular community (parish, chaplaincy, or religious community) and linked to the nearest Diocesan Center with the consent of the National or Diocesan Director.
4) The composition of a National Board must be approved by the General Board of the Association. The composition of a Diocesan Board must be approved by the National Board or, if one has not been established, by the General Board of the Association.
1) The General Director is responsible for linking the various Centers and fostering a continual stream of charity and prayer among the Associates. He looks after the drafting and distribution of the Handbook. He promotes information within and outside the Association by whatever means of communication is appropriate, including the possibility of circulating a newsletter. Whenever deemed necessary, the General Director will convene or consult in writing the National, or at least, the Diocesan Directors.
The General Director is a priest elected by the General Board and confirmed by the Pontifical Council for the Laity (Canon 317§1 CIC). He is elected for a six-year term and can be re-elected.
2) The National Directors are responsible for promoting the development and unity of the Association in the country concerned, and to foster communion with the other National Centers. The National Directors will report annually on the life of the Association in their respective countries to the General Director at the General Headquarters.
National Directors are appointed by the Bishop of the Diocese where the National Center is located, for a stated length of time, according to local norms and customs, at the suggestion of the National Board and after consultation with the General Board of the Association and with the agreement of their own local Ordinary. This is to be communicated to the General Board.
3) Diocesan Directors are responsible for initiating and promoting the opening of Local Centers within parishes and other Christian communities and to train and support Local Directors. They are periodically to organize and chair meetings of the leaders and members of the Association in their diocese.
Diocesan Directors are appointed by the Diocesan Bishop for a stated length of time according to local norms and customs, at the suggestion of the Diocesan Board and after consultation with the National Director of the Association.
4) The title of the Local Director is given to all pastors, rectors, chaplains and other persons who lead a local Center. Their primary responsibility is to inscribe the names of the new Associates in the Register and to chair and organize celebrations for the Association.
5) All Promoters (Zelators or Zelatrices) are in charge of small groups of Associates, and can be appointed by the Local Director, or by the Diocesan, National, or General Director.
6) All responsible persons (be they Directors or Promoters) receive from their Director a written certification or diploma of their mission.
1) On every First Friday of the month, a Mass is celebrated by the General Director for all living Associates and for those commended to the prayer of the Association.
On every second Friday of the month, a Mass is celebrated by the General Director for all deceased Associates. Likewise, the Mass may be celebrated under the same conditions by every National, Diocesan, or Local Director.
2) Furthermore, a Mass is offered for the repose of the soul of a Director or responsible person upon the announcement of his or her death.
A decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary, dated January 21, 2008 grants a plenary indulgence to Associates, under the ordinary conditions. (These would be Confession, Holy Communion, prayer for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff, and detachment from any sin, even venial.) In addition, they must promise or renew their promise, at least privately, to abide faithfully by the Statutes of the Association. This indulgence can be gained on the following days:
a) the day of enrollment;
b) the day of the first consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and on subsequent anniversaries when this consecration is renewed;
c) on the following feast days: the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Our Lord Jesus Christ the King of the Universe, the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, St. Joseph, St. John Apostle and Evangelist, St. Mary Magdalen, St. Francis de Sales, and St. Margaret Mary Alacoque.
This concession has perpetual force.
Activities of the Association are supported through donations by the Associates and the offerings of the Faithful. No dues or monies are ever requested of members. Free-will offerings are allocated to the functioning of the Association (offerings for Masses or intentions mentioned in Article 12, printing, and sundry expenses).
The General Director will appoint, with the agreement of the General Board, for a six-year term, two advisors for economic affairs. It is their responsibility to express their opinions regarding any patrimonial operation of importance and to approve annually the books of the administration. (Canon 1280).
The Association can be disbanded in conformity with the rules of Canon Law. Assets would then be transferred to a similar work in accordance with the decisions set forth by the Pontifical Council for the Laity.
The General Board of the Association can submit modifications of the Statutes for the approval of the Pontifical Council for the Laity.
PONTIFICIUM CONSILIUM PRO LAICIS
Vaticano, 27 October 2008
Stanislaw Cardinal Rylko, President