I had my report last Tuesday in our Salesianity class for DB-CLAY, and I wanted to use the "Monthly Exercise for a Happy Death" as our concluding prayer. I headed to search the Google, only to find out that the prayer was not available. I had to copy the text in our novitiate prayer book.
This exercise has been a tradition during the time of Don Bosco and even up this moment in the Salesian seminaries.
I am making this available online for Bosconians and other individuals who may wish to use it to punctuate each month with such a healthy habit to prepare themselves to embrace 'eternity.'
(Prayer of Pope Benedict XIII)
O most merciful Jesus, by your agony and sweat of blood and by your death, deliver me, I beseech you, from an unprovided death.
O most kind Jesus, by your scourging and crowning with thorns, by your cross and your bitter passion, and by your goodness, I humbly beseech you not to let me die suddenly without the Holy Sacraments.
O most loving Jesus, my Lord and my God, by all your sufferings, by your precious blood and most sacred wounds, by those your last words uttered on the cross: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” and by those others: “Father, into your hands I commend my Spirit.” I beseech you to deliver me from a sudden death.
Your hands, O Redeemer, have entirely made and fashioned me. Grant me, I pray you, repentance from my sins and a happy death in your grace, so that I may love you with my whole heart, praise, and bless you from all eternity.
Litany for a Happy Death
O Lord Jesus, God of goodness and mercy, I come before you with a contrite and humble heart. To you I recommend my last hour and what awaits me after.
When my feet, no longer able to move, shall warn me that my journey in this world is drawing to an end: merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.
When my trembling hands shall no longer have the strength to clasp the crucifix, and against my will I am forced to let it fall upon my bed of suffering: merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.
When my face, pale and bathed in the sweat of death shall indicate that my end is near: merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.
When my ears, soon to be shut to the words of men, shall be opened to hear the irrevocable sentence which will determine my condition for all eternity: merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.
When I shall be overwhelmed by the anguish of death, and my spirit , troubled by the remembrance of my sins and the fear of your justice, shall struggle with the angel of darkness, who will strive to fill me with doubts concerning your pardon: merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.
When I shall shed my last tear, the sign of my dissolution, receive it as a sacrifice of expiation for my sins, and in that dreadful moment: merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.
When I shall have lost the use of all my senses, when the entire world shall have vanished from my sight, and when I shall groan in the anguish of my last agony and feel the sorrows of death: merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.
When my soul shall leave my body pale, cold, and lifeless, receive my death as a homage which Iay to your divine majesty and in that moment: merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.
When at length my soul shall appear before You and behold for the first time the immortal splendor of Your Majesty, reject me not from Your presence. Deign to receive it into the loving embrace of Your mercy, so that I may ever sing Your praise: merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.
Let us pray.
O God, in condemning us to die You have concealed from us the hour of our death . Help us to live daily in Your grace , so that we may be worthy of dying in Your holy love. This we beg of You through the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever. Amen.
Prayer to St. Joseph to Obtain a Happy Death
O glorious St. Joseph, blessed spouse of Mary, you merited to be the guardian of Jesus. While embracing Him affectionately, you enjoyed a foretaste of heaven. Obtain for me from God the pardon of my sins and the grace of imitating your virtues, so that I may always walk in the path that leads to heaven.
Through the singular grace that was granted you of having Jesus and Mary by your deathbed and of breathing forth your soul peacefully in their arms, I pray you to protect me from the enemies of my soul in the moment of my life. So that consoled by the hope of Paradise, I may expire pronouncing the most holy names of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Amen.
Prayers to obtain Plenary Indulgence
For the intentions of the Holy Father and to gain plenary indulgence. Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory Be…
For the one among us who will be the first to die. Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory be…
Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in pace. Amen.