THE DIVINE HANDS OF OUR SAVIOUR
Work of Zeal and Reparation
As a Private Devotion.
(Extracted from the book with this same title published in 1894, Nihil Obstat, Imprimatur.)
Let us help our Holy Father the Pope and all the Nations of the Earth by means of the Divine Hands of our Saviour.
“With Thy Arm Thou hast redeemed Thy people the children of Jacob and of Joseph.”
(Ps, lxxvi. 16)
“He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather together the lambs with his arm, and shall take them up in his bosom, and he himself shall
carry them that are with young.”
(Isaias, xl. 11)
“You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall
flourish like an herb, and the hand of the Lord shall be known to his servants, and he shall be angry with his enemies.”
(Isaias, lxvi. 14)
Feast of the Divine Hands of Jesus: II Ferial after the Feast of Corpus Christi.
Divine Hands of our Saviour, help us.
Pardon, my God, Pardon.
Approbations of the work of zeal and reparation, for the Divine Hands of our Saviour.
1st. His Eminence the Cardinal Donnet, Archbishop of Bordeaux, approved of the Litanies of the Divine Hands in 1865.
2nd. His Eminence the Cardinal Deschamps, Archbishop of Malines, also approved of the Litanies and of the other writings relating to the devotion.
3rd. Mgr. Fava, Bishop of Grenoble, says as follows: “Could we ever forget those Divine Hands, which opened but to give and to cure? O Sacred Hands, which are those of Divine Providence, pierced with nails for us and by us, pour into our souls forgiveness and charity.” (Vide Crusades of the Catholic Franks.)
4th. Many of our Holy Bishops have understood the advantages of this work, and have given their approbation.
5th. Their Lordships the Bishops of Reggio in Calabria, of Penne and Atri in the Abruzzi, have even attached indulgences to this devotion, saying: “Oh! would that from all parts of the world we could hear this invocation: ‘Divine Hands of Jesus, help us!’ ”
6th. Mgr. de Ségur deigned to bless this devotion, not yet made public, by saying: “It comes from God and leads to God; for everything which draws souls to our Blessed Lord, comes from God and tends towards God.”
“In our days the spirit of evil is enraged against children; having already obtained possession of
man in this century, he would secure the future also by godless schools. This alone is sufficient motive for the devotion to the Divine Hands, to save our children from such a misfortune.”
(M. l'Abbé Bion, Honorary Canon,
Sup. of the Institution of S. Romain,
Chateau Chinon, Nievre).
Promises for those devoted to the Divine Hands of our Saviour.
Jesus Christ said to this holy man: “Publish and let others proclaim that I will —
1. “Pour everlasting graces upon the souls of those who will pray to My Divine Hands.
2. “I will come to succour the dying who shall have prayed to My Divine Hands.
3. “I will convert the sinner for whom My Divine Hands have been besought.
4. “I will give temporal goods to the poor families who will pray to My Divine Hands.
5. “I will fortify and strengthen those who invoke My Divine Hands.
6. “I will cure the sick who invoke My Divine Hands.
7. “I will speedily deliver from Purgatory those souls who, whilst on earth, invoked My Divine Hands.
8. “I will deliver from all dangers those who invoke My Divine Hands.”
Litanies in honour of the Divine Hands of our Lord.
Approved by Cardinal Donnet, Archbishop of Bordeaux, in 1865, and Cardinal Deschamps, Archbishop of Malines.
Recite these Litanies with a contrite heart, deeply grieved at the sorrows of our Mother the Church.
Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, have mercy on us, and pardon our many sins. (3 times).
Divine Hands, deign to humble the enemies of the Church, and of our Holy Father the Pope. (3 times.)
Sacred Heart of Mary Immaculate and Mother of Grace, implore the Divine Hands of our Lord to humble the enemies of the Church and of our Holy Father the Pope. (3 times).
Saint Joseph, Spouse of our Blessed Lady, ask the Divine Hands of Our Saviour to humble the enemies of our Holy Father the Pope. (3 times).
that the Divine Hands of our Saviour may humble the enemies of the Holy Father.
Saint Joachim, Father of the Blessed Virgin,
Saint Anne, Mother of the Blessed Virgin,
Saint Michael the Archangel,
Ye four Great Angels, who in union with Saint Michael, Saint Gabriel, and Saint Raphael, surround the throne of the Most High,
Saint John the Baptist,
Saint Peter, (3 times with the response)
Saint John, beloved Disciple,
Saint Francis of Sales,
Saint Francis of Assissi,
Saint Anthony of Padua,
Saint Peter of Alcantara,
Saint Ignatius Loyola,
Saint Francis Xavier,
Saint J. Francis Regis,
Saint Vincent of Paul,
St. Theresa, (3 times with the response)
All ye Saints of God, ask the Holy Hands to humble the enemies of the Holy Father.
℣. Let Thy Hand be upon the man of Thy right
℟. And upon the son of man whom Thou hast confirmed for Thyself.
Almighty God! We most humbly beseech Thee to deliver us from the workers of iniquity, whilst we place all our confidence in the Divine Hands of our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy beloved Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.
[N.B. — The above Litanies may be said for any other intentions. It is sufficient to change the intention for which they have been offered.]
To be made with humility, fervour, and entire, confidence.
Divine Hands of our Saviour, help us.
Pardon, my God, Pardon.
Divine Hands of Our Saviour, help us, defend us, protect us.
Divine Hands of Our Saviour, humble the enemies of the Church.
Divine Hands of Our Saviour, send us many saints, great in word and work, for the conversion of mankind.
Divine Hands of Our Saviour, bless children, help the poor, cure the sick, have pity on the agonizing, convert sinners.
Divine Hands, deliver the souls in Purgatory who have most loved Thy interests upon Earth.
Historical and Doctrinal Notice concerning the Work of Help and Reparation in honour of the Divine Hands of our Saviour
An account of Father Pierre Campagne, S.J.
At Bordeaux, on the 30th May, 1864, Monday within the Octave of the Most Holy Sacrament, on the eve of the close of the month of Mary, at 3.45 a.m., I looked at the sky. The night had passed, but the weather was gloomy; still I saw the heavens to the north-west suddenly become red. Long rays of light formed in that direction, and were directed towards me. Almost immediately the sky cleared, and became serene; and there appeared two hands, with about half the arms, of an immense size, both marked with blood. The hands bore the Stigmata, and presented themselves under the “symbol” of assistance, that is, open. They were slightly bruised, and rather attenuated. Rays of a golden red colour emanated from the arms and bleeding hands, large at the base and tapering to a point, like a gigantic sword, which seemed to strike my very heart. At once alarmed and consoled, I burst into tears, and cried aloud, “Divine Hands of our Saviour, help us;” adding, as I sobbed, “Pardon, my God, Pardon.”
I solemnly affirm that this was the first time of my life, that my heart or my lips had invoked the Divine Hands of our Blessed Lord. I never thought of this devotion. I then said my Office, and afterwards offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, during which celebration our Lord spoke to me, between the two consecrations, in an interior but sensible manner. The voice appeared to proceed from the Sacred Host, and sweetly struck my spirit, my heart, and my senses. “My Son,” it said, “exhort the Fathers in the Faith to institute a Feast and an Office in honour of My Divine Hands, invoking them frequently in these words ‘Divine Hands of our Saviour, help us.’ ” After the second elevation of the Chalice, at the words “Omnis honor et gloria,” our Saviour said again, “My son, I wish for a Feast in honour of my Divine Hands.”
The same day I began to write, almost from the dictation of our Lord, a complete Office, with a Mass, in honour of the Divine Hands of our Saviour. I finished in the month of June, 1864, and sent it at once to the Very Rev. Father B–––, praying him to forward it to his Holiness Pius IX., during the course of the month, if he judged it right.
From that time, and especially since December, 1866, I have from time to time implored the Father-General to call me to Rome, in order to commend to his Holiness Pius IX. what appears on the page above, but it would appear that our Lord's time had not come.
I must say that I did not make known to the Very Rev. Father-General all the things which occurred in December, 1866. I should have told him viva voce in Rome, but the state of affairs in Rome prevented my trusting so grave a matter to the post. Above all, I felt that the manuscripts demanded explanation, perhaps even the seal of an oath. I rejoice to declare that I would sign them with my heart's blood, if ever it were pierced by the sword of one of the enemies of the Holy Church, and with my last sigh, had I time to dip my finger in the blood, I would write on the nearest stone, “This is true.” — The most unworthy Father P. Campagne, S. J.
“Divine Hands of our Saviour help us.”
Observations. — 1st. Perhaps it is important to state that my room faced north, and not east; I, therefore, easily saw the sky in the north-west.
2nd. That during the month of May, 1864, I preached every evening in one of the parish churches of the town.
3rd. That in 1865 I preached every evening of the same month in the sanctuary of Notre Dâme de Talme, served by the Rev. Oblate Fathers, that in 1866, during the same month, I was employed in another parish of the same town every Sunday and several evenings of the week, it not being the custom to preach every evening in that parish.
That the same happened in 1866. I had also preached the Lent at Lunel.
Since then I have preached, three Lents, at Cette, at Millan, and at Caux, besides giving many missions in the year 1873.
Since that time, measures have been taken in order to obtain the Church's sanction for the public worship of those Divine Hands of Our Saviour. Let us hope that we shall soon hear her voice solemnly invoking the Divine Hands of Our Redeemer to raise the world from the ruins which have accumulated since 1864.
1. From 1864 to 1879, and from 1879 to 1893, I have written to His Holiness, Our Holy Father the Pope to obtain the favour of going to Rome, in order to explain to him this work of help and reparation in honour of the Divine Hands of Our Saviour.
From 1864 to 1879, and from 1879 to 1893, I have prayed and caused to be prayed (as a private worship) to the Divine Hands of Our Saviour to fend off from us the chastisements which are still menacing us, and which are soon going to burst upon us. 1st. Upon us if we do not pray to the Divine Hands of Our Saviour, and 2ndly. On The Holy Church Our Mother if we do not soon obtain the proclamation of the public worship of these same Divine Hands.
From 1864 to 1879, I wrote often to Rome to announce these misfortunes. In 1879, after I received the letter of the Very Rev. Father B–––. I wrote my answer the same day announcing the coming chastisements, as the help of the Divine Hands of Our Saviour was refused, and several chastisements happened before the year was over, and that is why at the Congress of the 3rd July, 1882, after several of my letters to His Holiness, our Holy Father the Pope Leon XIII, after having enumerated the evils caused by the hands of men cried out “May it please Our Lord to send us soon His helping Hand, and to heal these evils.”
From the 30th of May, 1864, I have never exceeded, nor allowed to be exceeded the limits of private worship in honour of the Divine Hands; the public worship should be proclaimed by our Holy Father the Pope, and I should certainly obtain it if I might only go to Rome. Again after a quarter of a century I beg permission to make this journey with this only object which is of the greatest importance.
2. There is nothing against either Faith, or morals in this action. The worship of the Divine Hands of Our Lord is advantageous to both Faith, and Morals. 1st. To Faith by the remembrance of miracles performed by the Divine Hands of Our Saviour. The Divinity was manifested by these miracles, and S. Augustine said that in the multiplication of the loaves and fishes in the desert that the power lay in the Hands of Christ. (Treatise 24, of S. John.) Remark that it was in 1864 that the Rènan blasphemies sounded through the world. 2nd. Advantageous to Morals by the prayer of help and reparation by the remembrance of the disorders caused by the hands of man which have been already enumerated, and which especially exists in the Pontifical States to make one feel the double necessity of incessantly calling upon the Divine Hands of Our Saviour, to help us and pardon us, and to undertake works which may restore us socially, and bring us self-respect and especially to work for the complete liberty of action in the Holy Church which the Pope needs.
3. The devotion of the Divine Hands is not a new one; to convince oneself of this we have only to refer to S. Augustine, S. Bernard, S. Gertrude, S. Theresa, and this is why whilst we are waiting for the Pope to proclaim the public worship the private worship, has been encouraged by so many Holy Bishops and Cardinals, who have indulgenced it, and the little prayer. The Abbé Bion has been a great propagator of this devotion, but has always kept within bounds of private worship whilst awaiting the public proclamation.
Progress of the Devotion of the Divine Hands of our Saviour, from 1864 to 1873.
There is no doubt that many souls have been attracted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by this devotion. At first Litanies were composed, in which the Divine Hands of our Saviour were implored, through the intercession of all the Saints, to deign to humble the enemies of his Holiness the Pope. These Litanies were at first disseminated in manuscript, from the year 1864; but, later on, were printed and approved by, his Eminence Cardinal Donnet, Archbishop of Bordeaux, and his Vicar- General, L'Abbé Fontenan.
2nd Part of this Devotion.
1st. It was again at Bordeaux, that, on the 8th of December, 1866, at 6 a.m. in the same room which I had occupied on May 30th, 1864, that as I was about to make my Meditation, I recited the Little Hours, standing before the statue of the Immaculate Conception, which was on my mantelpiece. An invisible power turned me towards a large “Heart of Jesus,” which hung above my prie-dieu. It was a great red heart (padded) with a crown of real thorns encircling it, and golden rays. This Heart had been presented to me after a mission, which I had preached during the whole of May, 1863, at Aubusson (Creuse). My crucifix was on the prie-dieu.
I then saw actually, and with my own eyes, a person, dressed in a white habit, with a very small cape of the same material and which reached only to the elbow. A black cord round the neck, supported a crucifix, which rested on the breast, a black girdle round the waist, from which hung a black rosary, and sandals on his feet. He held a Breviary in his hand. He was standing half turned towards the great Heart. The prie-dieu was in front of the Immaculate Conception, near to which I was standing, about three yards distant from the prie-dieu. I recognized the features of that man — it was myself. Although astonished, I was not alarmed; and a voice, which appeared to proceed from the great Heart, slowly made these words heard by me: “Yes, it is yourself, my son. Go to Rome and establish the Order of the Divine Hands of our Saviour; through which my heart shall be more perfectly known, loved, served, and adored.” That was all. The personage vanished, and I prepared at once to go and say my Mass.
After Mass, and during my thanksgiving, I said to my Lord, “How shall this be? I am a Jesuit.” And I heard an interior voice which said, “My son, you shall do that, being a Jesuit.” I then saw a vast room, plain, but well-lighted, with no ornament but a crucifix, which I saw before me at a distance of about eighteen yards. Two men, dressed like the one I had seen before Mass, were at my right hand, in about the third part of the chamber (sic). At the right of these men was a group of others, dressed like the first, in white, only their heads were covered with large black hats and holding workmen's tools in their hands, such as a hatchet, a hammer, or a pick-axe. A group of little boys were a few paces from them, and these children seemed to be very modest. At my left in the same room were three groups of women, in three different costumes. Those who were at my left hand were dressed in white, with large black veils, which covered the head, and fell very low on every side. They had a black girdle, from which hung a black rosary. These women were kneeling in an attitude of adoration. Those who were beyond them, on their left, stood. They had a cap, resembling those worn by the little Sisters, lightly covered with a veil, which rested on their shoulders. They wore a black cloak which covered them entirely, only it was not quite so long as their ash-coloured dress. Before them was a group of little girls, very pale and wretched-looking. The women of the third group, who stood almost under the right hand of the crucifix, had neither veil nor cloak. The cap which covered their head was also almost identical with those of the Little Sisters of the Poor. Their dresses were ash-coloured, and had the shape of a sack. They also wore a handkerchief (fichu) of the same colour on their shoulders. Their girdles and rosary were black, and sick people were at their side. That was the room and its occupants; and then the same voice said, “That is the whole Order of the Divine Hands of our Saviour.” They went thus—twelve and twelve. There are the Brothers of the Order for Orphan Boys, the Nursing Sisters under the Crucifix for the Sick, Sisters for Orphan Girls, and the Sisters of the Adoration. This is all. I do not think it occupied more than five minutes, but all was impressed on my mind as though it had lasted a long time. I had never thought of such a work until December 8th, 1866. I have never said one word of it to his Paternity the Very Reverend Father B–––, fearing to be too precipitate. Nor until the year 1873 did I speak of the triumph of the Holy Church over her enemies, to his Holiness Pius IX., to some exalted personages, and to the Very Reverend Father-General.
These were the words I addressed to our Saviour: —
1st. “But, my God, You sent Your Apostles forth, two and two.” — Answer: “The times are changed; there is no more the same fervour; and then Christians were less numerous.” “Oh, no!” I exclaimed; “no longer the same fervour as in A.D. 30, when conversions were so numerous.”
2nd. “But, my God, why these costumes of white — these sandals, arid these black girdles and rosaries?” — Answer: “Purity, obedience, constancy, strength, poverty, and mortification.”
4th. “But these sandals, my God? during winter, and in the cold countries, these Fathers will be distressed by the cold, whilst they are in the confessional.” — Answer: “They will take precautions in winter, and in cold countries.”
5th. “But to provide for twelve Apostles in a Mission?” I asked, and this reply was made me. “They will desire great mortifications, both as regards their food, and their lodging. But people will quarrel for the honour of giving them hospitality.”
In regard of the Brothers of the Order of the Divine Hands
1st. "But my God, this costume is not very sensible for working in the fields!” — Reply: “Be at rest; the Brothers will know how to arrange it, so as to work freely.”
2nd. “But must they retain their hats on their heads? That seems impolite, to me.” — Answer: “Soldiers, under arms, retain their hats.”
3rd. “The Fathers had no hats.” — Answer: “They will have one out of doors.”
About the female religious, I proposed these Questions.
1st. “What will you with the women, who were at my left, Lord?” — Answer: “I require them for hospitals, to guard orphans, and as Adorers.”
2nd. “But you have these already, Lord,” and I received this reply: “I wish for these Religious of my Divine Hands, for the conversion of Infidels.”
3rd. “How so?” I asked. — Answer: “Sick Infidels shall be converted, and free thinking orphans brought up shall be rescued from their ways.”
4th. “But the Sisters of the Adoration?” — “It is thus that the sisters of the second and third groups will take rest, when they are sick: and all the sisters are to form one, and the same order; so that the Sisters Adorers are not fixed as such.”
5th. “But the sisters of the second and third categories are not dressed alike?” — Answer: “They are not different; only in the house, when occupied with the sick, the nursing-sisters lay aside the veil and mantle.”
6th. “Shall the Sisters of the third Category always wear the veil and mantle?” — Answer: “They will wear the veil in-doors; but not the mantle.”
7th. “But why this mantle for out-of-doors?” — Reply: “They are dead to the world.”
8th. “The women of the third Category, will then, my God, be in hospitals and in private houses?” — “Yes, my son; in the houses of the poor as well as of the rich.”
9th. “But I saw no crucifix on the breast of these women.” — “They shall have them both at the neck and on the breast, but hidden. They shall shew them to no one, not even the sick; for these, they shall ask for a crucifix in whatever house they may be.”
10th. “But both the Fathers and Brothers have them on the breast, and very visible.” — Answer: “That is different. They must often make use of them in their missions and amongst the orphans.”
11th. “These religious women had no books in their hands. Is that because they shall have no choir, nor even recite the Office of the Blessed Virgin?” — Answer: “No, on account of their employments; but they may recite it privately.”
12th. “But shall the Fathers and Brothers also have no choir?” — Reply: “No, on account of their occupations.” At length our Lord said, “Go; that is enough for to-day.” I therefore returned to my room.
Third Division of the Auxiliary Work of the “Divine Hands of Our Saviour.”
Eight days after this, being the octave day of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, after having made my visit to the Blessed Sacrament, I wrote the Constitutions, of which the following articles would amply suffice to commence the work.
Constitutions of the “Order of the Divine Hands of our Saviour.”
1st. The Fathers and Brothers of the Order are not to occupy themselves in any way with the affairs, either spiritual or temporal, of the Sisters of the Order; unless it is to be useful to them, as any strangers might be.
2nd. The Superior General of the Fathers and Brothers of the Order of the Divine Hands of our Saviour shall be chosen for life by the Superiors of all the houses of the Fathers; or, at least, by the Superiors of the different provinces, and of the houses of the Fathers and Brothers. The latter shall have a Father Superior in their houses. The Superiors of the provinces shall change the subjects in houses of their provinces respectively, when they judge it conducive to the greater glory of God.
3rd. The (female) superior general of the Order of the Divine Hands for women shall be chosen for life, by all the superiors of the different houses of the religious women of the Order, or at least by the superiors of the different provinces. The Superior General shall name the superiors of the different provinces and different houses. The superiors of provinces shall change the subjects of the houses of their respective provinces as they shall judge useful for the greater glory of God.
4th. As to temporal possessions, the different houses shall be entirely independent of each other; but all the provinces and different houses shall rejoice to aid those which need help. Charity and the development of the Order render this a strict duty.
5th. The Superior General of the Fathers and Brothers shall always live at Rome.
6th. The Superior General of the Sisters of the Order shall also live always at Rome, near the Church of the Janiculum. (It is not I who fixed this abode. I do not know Rome. It was our Saviour who told me.)
7th. Every member of the Order must vow to go instantly, without consideration, wherever our holy Father the Pope shall send them — even were it into the midst of the most unhealthy climate. (I only write what our Lord said to me.)
8th. Brothers who know no trade, shall be employed in the temporal service of the Fathers.
9th. The Sisters from love of poverty, mortification, and humility, shall endeavour to dispense with the assistance of lay-sisters. This, however, shall not prevent their employing servants, when it is necessary.
10th. All the Members of the Order shall remind themselves each day that they are instituted, 1st. To make the Divine Hands of our Saviour known, loved and implored (prayed) in order that the Sacred Heart may be better known, loved, praised, and adored — for this Order is to lead the world to this Heart (already we have, in fact, since the Litanies of the Divine Hands of our Saviour have been used, as also the various practices of the Auxiliary work of the Divine Hands of our Saviour, we have had the happiness to see many souls attracted to the Sacred Heart). 2nd. For the triumph of the Holy See, for which all the Members of the Order shall be ready to sacrifice their life at any instant, in order to humiliate, or convert all the enemies of the Holy Roman Church, and our Holy Father the Pope, for as it will be to the end of the world, there are always souls to be introduced to the Sacred Heart, enemies of the Holy Church, the Papacy, to humiliate, convert; it is necessary continually to pray to the Divine Hands of our Saviour — even to the end of time.
11th. In order to develop their zeal, their perfection, the Members of the Order of the Divine Hands of our Saviour, shall meditate every morning on the Crucifix; and every evening on our Saviour Jesus Christ, the source of Charity in the holy Eucharist. Each shall, also, recall every day, the thought of death, of judgment, of hell; whether they exert themselves sufficiently to prevent souls falling into hell, this shall be a point in their examination each day. Every day also, all the Members of the Order shall recite a third part of the Rosary, in honour of the Blessed Virgin, for our holy Father the Pope, the conversion of sinners, the extirpation of heretics; they shall pray likewise for those on that day in their agony, the deliverance of the souls in Purgatory, for all the needs of the Order of the Divine Hands of our Saviour. They shall have the same intentions, for all their Holy Sacrifices of the Mass, their Communions, all other practices of piety, all their occupations. As for corporal mortifications, none beyond those imposed by Holy Church shall ordinarily be practised, that on account of the mortifications which they will meet with in the works of the Order, Each can, however, undertake from love to our Saviour, any that may be approved by authority.
12th. Each day also, in order to augment their merits, and to encourage themselves they shall say these words— “This is for your greater glory, O my God,” — these: “He who can die, is never feeble.” — Many times during the course of the day, they shall remind themselves of these words of our Lord, to Abram, “Noli timere, Abram, ego protector tuus sum, et merces tua magna nimis.” “Fear not, Abraham, I am thy protector, and thy reward exceeding great, too great,” and those of our Saviour Jesus Christ, after his Sermon on the Mount. “Gaudate et exultate, quoniam merces vestra, copiosa est in cælis.” (S. Matthew, v., 12.) “Rejoice, and shout for joy, for great is your reward in heaven.”
13th. Every week all the Priests of the Order of the “Divine Hands of our Saviour” will offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and all the other Members will hear Mass and recite the Rosary for the deceased Members of the Order. On the death of any Member, the Priests residing in the province of the deceased will offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and the Brothers and Sisters will receive Holy Communion for the repose of his or her soul, applying also to the same end the plenary indulgence attached to the recital of the prayer, “O good and most sweet Jesus!” Every week also the Priests of the Order will offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and the other Members of the Order will hear Mass and recite the Rosary for the Founders and Benefactors, both living and dead, of the divers houses of the Order. The Brothers and Sisters of the Order of the Divine Hands of our Saviour will receive Holy Communion at least once a week, and will go to confession every week. The Fathers will go to Confession twice a week, so as to purify themselves more and more, to fulfil more perfectly their holy and divine ministry.
14th. As to the resources of the Order, they are (1) in the Divine Hands of our Saviour, Which multiplied the loaves. “Potestas enim erat in Manibus Christi,” says St. Augustine when speaking of this miracle (24th Treatise of S. John), “The Power was in the Hands of Christ.” (2) In the devotedness of the Members of the Order.
15th. The Members of the Order will live solely by alms, and the Priest will never take money for any reason whatever save under the title of alms for the wants of the house, or of divers houses of the Order, remembering the words of our Lord, “Gratis accepisti, gratis date” (S. Matthew, x. 8), “You have received gratuitously, give gratuitously.” Any inheritance falling to the lot of a Member of the Order shall be employed for the benefit of the House in which the heir happens to be at the time, or for the founding of new Houses.
16th. As regards the founding of Houses of the Order, this will always concern the Superior-General for male religious, and the Superioress-General for female; and it will be necessary to have the requisite number of subjects for the work; they must never be overworked.
17th. The Houses of the Fathers of the Divine Hands of our Saviour must, if possible, consist of eighteen Fathers, so that the twelve Apostles together may, without ceasing, pursue their Apostolic journeys. I say, “without ceasing,” because everywhere — in towns as in boroughs, and at all times — in summer as in winter, their passage through these places will do much good, and lead many souls back to our Lord. They will, every year, make ten days' retreat in silence and solitude, removed from all ministry with souls for the time being, from July 21st to 31st, Feast of St. Ignatius.
18th. In all large towns the Twelve Apostles of the Divine Hands of our Saviour shall never minister to two parishes at once. After each sermon the twelve Fathers will go to the Confessional. In the evening they will preach to the men only, and after this sermon will again go to the Confessional or in a corner of the church, to hear the men's confessions only. The names of the Fathers will be written on the Confessionals or at whatever place set apart in the Church for the purpose of confession. There will always be at least a board with a “grille,” or grating, to separate Confessor from penitent.
As regards the faculties: — Every year, between Easter and the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity, in memory of the words of Our Lord, “Data est mihi potestas in cælo et in terra . . . .” (S. Matt, xxviii. 18 ;) and of these, “Sicut misit me Pater et ego mitto vos . . . .” (S. John xx. 21.) The Superior-General of the Divine Hands of Our Saviour will very humbly beg our Holy Father the Pope to grant to all the Priests of the Order all possible faculties for the greater good of souls.
19th. As to charity, prudence, exterior modesty, silence, and cleanliness, the members of the Order will observe the ordinary rules of religious communities on these points; and to enable them to easily put these virtues into practice, they will often say these words, “God sees us! God hears us!”
20th. All the members of the Order will read, or hear read, these twenty articles every Saturday, and will never allow one single word to be changed; for that purpose they will place them under the protection of the Immaculate Conception.
Divine Hands of Our Saviour, succour us!
Divine Hands of Our Saviour, deign to humble the enemies of Holy Church and of our Holy Father the Pope!
Divine Hands of Our Saviour, deign to send a very large number of great saints, powerful in word and work for the conversion of nations!
Divine Hands of Our Saviour, convert all sinners, take them unto Your Sacred Heart, deliver the souls in Purgatory, especially those who have most loved our Holy Father the Pope!
Divine hands of Our Saviour, bless the children, succour the poor, cure the sick and receive the souls of those in their last agony.
Divine Hands of Our Saviour, succour us, protect us, defend us, lead us!
All this being known, we can, it seems to me, apply to the auxiliary work of the Divine Hands of Our Saviour, these words of Mgneur. de Ségur: “Any undertaking which leads souls to Our Lord Jesus Christ, comes from God and leads to God.”
Praised be Our Lord Jesus Christ!
Pierre Campagne, S.J.
Castres, July 28th, 1873.
Here is a note dated March 12th, 1867. I have not yet made it known : —
After eleven in the morning I was in the domestic Chapel of the Residence of Toulouse, Rue des Fleurs; Our Lord said to me: — “Pray well, that prayers and mortifications be offered up so that those with whom rests the decision about the auxiliary work of My Divine Hands may act just as they would wish to have done at the hour of death. Let nine days be spent in observing every point of the rule; in saying no unnecessary word, giving no unnecessary look, taking no unnecessary steps, not dwelling on a single thought useless for eternity. And if after these nine days, so passed they can say in the presence of the Crucifix and here, of My life, wholly given up for the triumph of the Holy See, ‘Yes, we declare it! Illusion!’ Then believe it; but this will not happen; suffer still!” “Yes, O Jesus,” this was my sole reply, “Yes, O Jesus!” I went up to my room, to write down this rule of perfection dictated by Our Lord to guide the decision to be passed on the auxiliary work of His Divine Hands.
This, Reverend Father, is what I have to make known to his Holiness Pius IX, desirous of nothing save to obey, suffer and save souls despite my great unworthiness.
Castres, July 28th, 1873.
Observations. — Our Lord had often said to me, before that time, and has also said since: “To pray to the Divine Hands will be the means of salvation during the persecutions of Holy Church, before her great glorification on earth and full triumph in Heaven.” The auxiliary work of the Divine Hands of Our Saviour is therefore for all time, to the end of the world.
On May 5th, 1869, I wrote to his Holiness Pius IX. that the end to be attained by the auxiliary work of the Divine Hands, was the triumph of Holy Church over her enemies, and the promoting the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The tender and divine Heart of Jesus must be manifested by the manifestation of His Divine Hands, which He made use of to succour the unhappy or the weak. I begged his Holiness to summon me to Rome so as to explain all to him, in person.
I had previously written to beg his Holiness to grant 300 days' indulgence to the ejaculation “Divine Hands of Our Saviour!” and a plenary indulgence once a month to those who had said it daily and would receive Holy Communion for the end proposed by the auxiliary work of the Divine Hands of Our Saviour.
Previous again to this, in June, 1864, I had written to apprise his Holiness of the event which took place on May 30th, 1864, and of the office written as if by divine dictation; but as I have heard this year 1873, my letters never reached his Holiness.
Until I can see the Holy Father, we may rejoice to see the Divine Hands of Our Saviour driving souls to seek refuge in the Sacred Heart, in His Holy Mother, and in the saints — to whose shrines crowds flock in pilgrimage. But humiliations are still needful and always will be, so that men throw themselves into the Sacred Heart in as great numbers as possible: the very sight of the whip makes children good; but after receiving a taste of it, they throw themselves with greater contrition still on the hearts of their mother, father or friends. This accounts for the pilgrim-ages to the Most Holy Virgin, to the Sacred Heart, to S. Joseph, to S. Labré, etc. Let us, then, always pray to the Divine Hands of Our Saviour, by all the saints of the litanies which Our Lord has given me, for the humiliation of the enemies of Our Holy Father the Pope, and by the exercises of piety designated in the practice of the devotion to the Divine Hands, in the form of association; for the number of those who go to the Sacred Heart and to the Most Holy Virgin is still very small, when compared to the millions who remain enemies of Our Lord Jesus and of His Holy Church!
Let us pray, then, to the Divine Hands of Our Saviour, let us spread this devotion, let us form sections, as the pages on the practice of this devotion, indicate; and let us often exclaim:
“Divine Hands of Our Saviour, succour us!”
I.— THE WORK OF THE HANDS.
Though we might have doubted as to the necessity of undertaking this little work, such hesitation is no longer possible now that it is so near its completion.
The title may appear strange at first sight, but it has been suggested by an eminent religious, who strongly advised the immediate publication of this article, as an incentive to the devotion of the faithful.
A recent apparition of our Lord seemed to prescribe to the world this devotion to His Divine Hands.
When our first parents lived in the garden of Paradise, innocent and happy; when Eve, bright and beautiful, received the daily homage of the created world, her guilty hands were raised to pluck the forbidden fruit, so fatal to mankind; and from that moment manual labour was imposed on fallen man; the hands were condemned to expiate the crime which they had committed: slaves of the body, henceforth they knew no rest, until the coming of Christ.
The Infant Jesus! Here at least the Innocent and Divine Hands should be exempt from the common law of labour, consequent on sin. No! His love for us willed otherwise. From His tenderest years, those Little Hands had grasped the rough tools of an artisan, thus sanctifying the workman's daily toil, and sweetening the hard-ships of man's fallen state. The Human Hands of Jesus heralded the work of His public life by that of expiation in an obscure and hidden life. Labour preceded miracles. Such was the honour paid by Christ to manual work. We have seen what an important part the Divine Hands play in His public life. They are raised to bless and cure. Again in the Passion the hands resume their former task: they are stretched out to embrace that wood, carved of yore, in the house of Nazareth; and this wood is the Cross, the instrument of death and salvation, the instrument of supreme and Divine labour. Christ supports and carries it, before extending His Hands to receive the nails. The Cross is raised, bearing its precious weight. During those long hours of patient agony, do the Divine Hands bear the Body of the Martyr-God. Here, then, was the last labour of that Love which was unconquerable and infinite even in death. Jesus dies; but His Hands remain at their post, sustaining the lifeless remains of the Redeemer, until the moment when the weeping disciples take the place of the cruel executioners, and, in tears, take away the Divine Body. The virginal hands of Mary at last are allowed to hold her beloved Son once more, whilst she whispers as she bends over His bleeding Wounds, the Alleluia of Inspired Sorrow. But what have they not done since that time, those Divine Hands, always extended towards suffering humanity, to console; towards guilty humanity, to forgive; never tiring, the faithful instruments of grace and forgiveness!
Like her Son, Mary ever shews herself with extended hands. After a celebrated apparition, a happy convert once said, with emotion: “Her hands speak.” Yes, truly; and their sweet language surpasses the eloquence of the most illustrious preachers; they reveal, in the most ineffable way, the beauties of heaven.
“What hast Thou said, O good Master? ‘Ask and you shall receive.’ Your Hands preach to us unbounded confidence. ‘They are as a tower,’ says Holy Scripture, ‘filled with precious stones and gold,’ and it was Your will they should remain pierced, to necessitate the effusion of graces which Your love reserved to supply our poverty.” It was thus the Cardinal Desprez, Archb. of Toulouse, expressed himself, in a pastoral letter of the 17th of June, 1889.
What more is there to say after such a sublime exclamation of a holy priest, in a transport of love at the sight of so many miracles performed by the Divine Hands! Alas! we are not in heaven. The world, so full of jarring tumults, reminds us that our sojourn on Mount Tabor must be of short duration. Look around, and see the actual work of human hands in our present century. How many are employed in the Master's service? Only a few! And even that small number is impeded by guilty hands, the instruments of Satan, who profane the Crucifixes in the presence of innocent children, persecute religious communities and drive them into exile, whilst the most revolting sacrileges are perpetrated against the Blessed Sacrament in our very midst.
Again, there are hands that lie idle, while there is work to be done. To these may be applied the words of an eminent preacher: “They undo the work of God the Life Giver. The very name by which they are designated, serves to condemn them; ‘Fainéant.’ ” How many people are there in our day who seem rather to vegetate than live; who neither think nor work; whose days are passed in a kind of torpid state; who may be likened to the lizard lying in the sun, rather than to rational beings endowed with intellectual faculties! There they remain until the rays of the Divine Sun of Justice shall reveal to their awakening souls all that they might have done.
“Our society lies sick,” writes our eloquent correspondent. “O Divine Hands of Jesus, come to its aid! There are some who would stay his hands, and prevent them from acting: O Divine Hands of Jesus, deliver the Sovereign Pontiff and Thy Church from the hands of their enemies!”
The Devotion to the Hands of Jesus is the lever which will raise the world. Whenever a striking event takes place, Christians have but one significant word to explain it: “The Finger of God is here.” This is why we bow down before the mysterious decrees of Providence. Let us bless these chastisements, and accept them joyfully as so many graces: these trials purify humanity, in order to conduct souls to heaven by the Hands of Jesus.
II.— OBJECT OF THIS WORSHIP.
1st. — To safeguard our belief in the Divinity of Christ.
2nd. — To defend the rights of the Church and the liberties of the Holy See.
3rd. — As a powerful and efficacious protection against communism and socialism, and against all subversion of order in civil societies.
It is, in a word, the salvation of the Church, of the nation, of families and individuals.
In the midst of the calamities which oppress us, we ought to implore the help of the Divine Hands of Our Blessed Lord, who with them has performed so many miracles to manifest His Divinity and the overwhelming love of His tender Heart.
The following are instances cited in the Gospel, by which the power of those Sacred Hands is manifested:
They touch the leper, and immediately he is cleansed. (S. Matt, viii., 3.)
S. Peter walks on the water, is afraid, and begins to sink, when Jesus stretches forth His Hand, and the Apostle is safe. (Matt, xiv., 31.)
Jesus touches the eyes of the two blind men, and immediately they see. (Matt, xx., 34.)
Jesus touches the hand of S. Peter's mother-in-law, and instantly the fever leaves her. (Matt, viii., 15.)
Jesus imposes His Hands on the woman bowed together with a spirit of infirmity, and immediately she is made straight. (Luke xiii., 13.)
All they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them to Him, but He, laying Hands on them healed them. (Luke iv., 40.)
Jesus entering into the house where the damsel was, and taking her by the hand, commanded her to arise, and immediately she rose up and walked. (Mark v., 41.)
And Jesus came near and touched the bier of the Widow's son of Nain, and he that was dead sat up, and He gave him to his mother. (Luke vii., 14)
And they brought Him young children that He might touch them, and Jesus, laying His Hands on them, blessed them. (Mark x., 16.)
The Divine Hands of Jesus multiplied the loaves in the desert (Matt, xv., 36), and S. Augustine explains how he did it in these words: “The power was in the Hands of Christ.” (24 Treatise on S. John.)
This devotion to the Divine Hands once established, its practice in times of trial and calamity will cleanse all spiritual leprosy, give sight to the blind, still the tempest of the soul, calm the fever of passion, strengthen the weak, and finally, by humbling the enemies of the Church, dispel the clouds which obscure her, and thus restore peace, for God's greater glory and the salvation of souls.
III.— REASONS WHY OUR LORD SHOULD WISH THIS DEVOTION TO BECOME BY AUTHORITY PUBLIC IN THE CHURCH.
1. Because the Divine Hands as well as the Sacred Heart should be distinguished from the other parts of the Sacred Humanity, on account of —
Their importance in the human organism. — Aristotle says the hand is the organ of organs. Deprived of hands a man would be excluded from following a profession in society. When we pray with arms extended in the form of a cross, as if to bring down heaven upon earth, we owe it to our Creator, who has given us our hands and arms, to work for His glory and the good of souls.
Their significance. — The Hands of Jesus are the instruments of His charity and the symbol of His active zeal. The Hands of Jesus performed many acts of charity. They were extended to bless, raised to heal and to cleanse, put forth to multiply the loaves in the desert; for, as S. Augustine says: “Power was in the Hands of Christ.” (24 Treatise, S. John.) With His Hands Christ washed the feet of His disciples on the eve of His Passion, and distributed the eucharistic bread.
Their share in the Redemption. — Extended, transfixed, fastened to the cross, they were the instruments of reparation to the offended majesty of God, for the crimes committed by the hands of wicked men. They gave us the crucifix, the source of so much consolation.
Ah! who can ever sufficiently praise the marvels wrought by those Divine Hands? Can our lips refuse to repeat with S. Bernard: “O Jesus, take me to Thy Arms. Most Holy Hands, I embrace you. May Thy Sacred Hands, O Jesus, defend and support me in the hour of peril”? (Prayer to the Hands of Christ.)
2. Our Lord wills this devotion in memory of His Divine Humanity, especially in these days when his Divinity is Denied, and to excite souls to love His Sacred Heart, by recalling the many acts of charity performed by these Divine Hands.
3. Again our Lord wills this devotion in order to bring back souls to His Eternal Father; “for all that draws men to Jesus Christ comes from God and leads to God.” (Mg. de Ségur).
4. He desires this devotion for the safety and dignity of His Church and her Head upon Earth. This is the point upon which the religious chiefly dwells and repeats incessantly since 30th May, 1864.
5. Finally our Lord wills this devotion to repair the many evils caused by the hands of men. Let us again remind ourselves of the crimes daily committed — servile work on days consecrated to God's worship, duels, unjust wars, murders, sins of injustice, of sensuality, corruption of morals by literature, by painting, and by sculpture; in a word, innumerable are the weapons which are used against God and his Church whilst Catholics look on with arms crossed, without a thought of reparation!
Ah, most Holy Hands of Our Redeemer, help us! Pardon my God! Pardon! O Jesus! put forth Thy Hands to save, purify, and raise us above the things of earth.
At the sight of so many evils caused by the hands of men, let us exclaim with our Holy Father Leo XIII.: “May it please our Lord to extend His Hand to us, and remedy the miseries which surround us.” (Consistory 3rd July, 1882.) With one heart and one soul, let us cry, with great confidence and humility: “Divine Hands of Jesus, help us! Pardon my God! Pardon!”
May Jesus Christ be everywhere praised by the public worship of His Divine Hands, subsisting in the person of the Word, and therefore to be adored with the same supreme worship. Let us be inflamed with love for our Lord Jesus Christ, whose Divine Hands have performed so many marvels. Let us invoke them during Mass, in our Communions and visits to the Blessed Sacrament, when making the way of the Cross, frequently repeating: “Divine Hands of Our Saviour, help us! Pardon, my God! Pardon!”
IV.— LET US AGAIN REMIND OURSELVES OF THE PROMISES MADE BY OUR BLESSED LORD IN THE MOST HOLY SACRAMENT (1867).
“Proclaim to all men the innumerable graces I have prepared for those who honour My Divine Hands.
“I will strengthen those who invoke My Divine Hands.
“I will cure many sufferers who invoke My Divine Hands.
“I will succour the agonizing who have invoked My Divine Hands.
“I will quickly deliver from Purgatory the souls who during life invoked My Divine Hands.
“I will convert sinners for whom the help of My Divine Hands has been invoked.
“I will bestow temporal goods on poor families who have invoked My Divine Hands.
“I will deliver from all danger those who have invoked My Divine Hands.”
Source: The Divine Hands of our Saviour, Work of Zeal and Reparation, As a Private Devotion, 1894, Nihil Obstat, Imprimatur.
“Behold the Lord God shall come with strength, and his arm shall rule: behold his reward is with him
and his work is before him.”
(Isaias, xl. 10)
the Lord is high, and looketh on the low: and the high he knoweth afar off. If I shall walk in the midst of tribulation, thou wilt quicken me: and thou hast stretched forth thy hand against the wrath of my enemies: and thy right hand hath saved me. The Lord
will repay for me: thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever: O despise not the works of thy hands.”
(Ps, cxxxvii. 6-8)
The nature, piety, and lawfulness of the worship of the Divine Hands.
(Extracted from the Office of the Divine Hands)
The nature of all devotion, as of every feast, springs from its object and end. The Object is that which is honoured, either as a whole, or as forming a part of a whole, and therefore worthy of the same honour.
The End is that which those who honour propose to themselves: in this case it is the glory of God.
There is a double object in this feast. One Sensible: the material Hands of our Divine Lord; the other Spiritual: all the works of the active zeal and mercy of the same God our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
The End is to encourage the faithful to have recourse to these Divine Hands in all their necessities, personal as well as general, and particularly for the intentions of our Holy Mother the Church.
What shall I say of the piety and lawfulness of this worship?
The worship of the Divine Hands only proposes that which is right and just, 1st, in the Sensible object, the material Hands of Jesus Christ, as subsisting in the person of the Word, intimately united to Him, and, therefore, adorable with the same latristic worship as the Word.
In the Spiritual object we adore the omnipotent zeal and mercy of Jesus Christ, whose Divine Hands multiplied the loaves in the desert, healed the sick, raised the dead to life, blessed children, performed many other good works.
Thus the End is holy and pious.
Again, this devotion is the completion of the worship of the Sacred Heart; for the reasons which forbid the latter devotion condemn the former also; and because the benefits created by the Divine Hands, such as the multiplication of the loaves, the raising from the dead, and many others, flowed out from the loving, tender Heart of Jesus. Thus the Divine Hands are the symbol of the active zeal, and at the same time of the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.
No one can say that a new devotion is being proposed. New as to the form and pious practices which it inculcates, but no more new in reality than is the devotion to the Sacred Heart, with regard to the dogma upon which it rests, viz.: that the Humanity of Christ is worthy of adoration in each of its separate parts, on account of its hypostatic union with the Word. What then is to prevent the introduction of new practices of piety, since new feasts may be instituted? This devotion is not, indeed, merely founded on the apparition of the Divine Hands in the heavens, with the sacred stigmata, the Arms furrowed with streams of blood, and rays of light flowing towards the heart of the beholder. This heavenly vision was seen in the north-west of the Heavens, at an early hour, on Monday, 30th of May, 1864, within the octave of Corpus Christi.
Neither is it founded by the distinct words of Christ addressed to the man himself, with the order to institute a feast in honour of His Divine Hands. This is not the foundation upon which the devotion rests, because such a revelation might have been rejected by those who had not seen or heard it. But the true foundation is the same as that upon which the devotion to the Sacred Heart rests, upon the Catholic doctrine of adoration due to the Sacred Humanity of Christ. It must not be said either that this devotion is a useless one, as there are many others which remind us of the Divine Hands, such as the Five Wounds, the Sacred Nails, etc., for no pious practices can be considered superfluous, which animate us to the love and worship of our Lord Jesus Christ, especially in these days when His Divinity is so often denied.
Finally, it cannot be said that all these devotions above mentioned have the same end; for the feast of the Five Wounds tends directly towards the worship of the Wounds of Jesus Christ as the symbol of the sufferings which He endured for us in five different parts of His Body, so that the faithful in recalling the memory of those sufferings may be inflamed with the love of Christ.
The feast of the Lance and Nails tends directly to honour even the instruments which inflicted the sufferings of Christ in the five different parts of His Body. Neither is the devotion to the Sacred Heart identical with that of the Divine Hands, as the former tends directly towards the adoration of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, as seat and symbol of the intimate love of our Divine Lord for us, thus drawing us to a return of love and deepest gratitude for such a benefit.
But the feast of the Divine Hands tends directly to the worship of the Holy Hands of Christ as symbol of His active zeal and mercy manifested in the many good works which He performed when on earth, multiplication of the loaves, etc., so that the faithful may be urged on to have recourse to these Divine Hands in all their necessities.
Finally, let it be understood that we do not separate the Hands of Christ from His Body, even mentally.
Ah! if all men knew the efficacy of this devotion, they would adopt it for the greater glory of God and that of our Holy Mother the Church. Amen.
Source: The Divine Hands of our Saviour, Work of Zeal and Reparation, As a Private Devotion, 1894, Nihil Obstat, Imprimatur.
Divine Hands of Our Saviour, humble the enemies of the Church.
Divine Hands of our Saviour, help us.
Pardon, my God, Pardon.