How to Bind Your Family to Heaven Without Using Duct Tape


You think I’m kidding?

Sometimes as a parent you look back with regret at a childhood gone by because you finally understand how deeply some poor choices you made affected your child, but it is too late to change it. You try to do better, only to realize that as the child enters young adulthood the more you try to hang on, the more you have to let go, and all your trembling in fear at what lays ahead in the Big Bad World doesn’t stop time. You know said child is at a point in life where the only way said child will learn some lessons – some really tough lessons – is to let said child experience the natural consequences of said child’s choices for said child’s self. What do you do?

Ground her until she’s 30? Sit on her? Duct tape her butt to the sofa until she listens?

You think I’m kidding? Wait until you’ve got a fearless young adult staring at you blankly as you lecture mightily, only to tap her foot until you’re finished and walk away with a shrug because you’re so freaky and boring, and can’t just just be a normal person and chit-chat about fun stuff. I’ve come to regard this exasperation as the “painting-the-porch-while-the-house-is-burning” syndrome. How do you have pretty small talk when she’s about to burn her life away? Ah, but I digress.

During a particularly difficult time in our family, the advice in the self-help book Get Out of My Life, but First Could You Drive Me & Cheryl to the Mall: A Parent’s Guide to the New Teenager wasn’t really working for us, and I wanted to pray more. I also wanted a way to teach our smaller children about the prayers of the Rosary. I was having difficulty completing the whole prayer each day (“said child” stuff), and to make it worse, trying to weave “Stop hitting your sister!” in between Hail Mary’s was causing my prayers to sound more like screeching. Then one day, like a little flower from Heaven, I found a prayer card in my bag after I made a purchase at a Catholic gift shop. It was the following devotion, and I showed it to my husband. Take a look, particularly the fifth grace.


Devotion to the Drops of Blood

Lost by our Lord Jesus Christ
on His Way to Calvary

St. Elizabeth, Queen of Hungary, with St. Matilda and St. Bridget, wishing to know something of the Passion of Jesus Christ, offered fervent and special prayers, upon which Our Lord revealed to them:

To all the faithful who shall recite for 3 years, each day, 2 “Our Fathers”, 2 “Hail Marys” and 2 “Glory Bes”, in honor of the drops of Blood I lost, I will concede the following 5 graces:

1st – The plenary indulgence and remittance of your sins.
2nd – You will be free from the pains of Purgatory.
3rd – If you die before completing the said 3 years, for you it will be the same as if you had completed them.
4th – It will be upon your death the same as if you had shed all your blood for the Holy Faith.
5th – I will descend from Heaven to take your soul and that of your relatives, until the fourth generation.

Blessed by His Holiness Pope Leo XIII in Rome, April 5, 1890.

Please keep this prayer card with others that you say daily to remind you to recite these prayers.
Please record the date you started:

Mo   Day  Year


If you search around the internet for this devotion you will find some controversy about it. Traditional websites feature it, other websites question the veracity of the promises since it is a private revelation. Here I was, a convert mom trying, learning, and loving all the things Catholic, the unity, the One-Body, and I had no idea that there was discord among traditionalists and liberals. To a newcomer it looks about as smart as slapping your own face with your own hand. Anyway, I just knew that Catholics are supposed to be one family, and likewise my own family needed to be whole too. I asked my husband (a cradle-Catholic) about it and he answered with his typical manly wisdom.

“Just pray, honey.”

Together we began the devotion on July 7, 2009, and we told the children that we are praying for our family to always be together, and I explained about the devotion’s meaning and history. Now, I don’t fully understand what indulgences are; I can’t fully grasp what Purgatory will be; I won’t ever figure out how it’s possible for four generations of my family to be bound to Heaven like that, but I trust that this prayer will bear many fruits. God’s perfect, loving and merciful will be done.

Guess what? We have already been blessed because our family has developed a habit of prayer for the salvation of souls and we will continue it even after the three year mark, July 7, 2012. In fact, any time I feel anxious about my children, or any brother or sister in Christ, I take a few minutes to say an extra set of these six prayers. Sometimes I pray them throughout the day. I pray for Christian unity.

Further, three years is a significant portion of a small child’s life, and hopefully this firmly formed family habit will carry into our children’s adulthood. Conceivably it could carry on into the next four generations, and even beyond. Christians are people of faith, hope, and prayer. We don’t need to have all the answers; we need to pray, trust, love, and keep on working hard every day even if life seems difficult. There is an intense peace in that. In the interim “said child” has also matured into a pretty cool young adult who is just amazed at how much wiser Mom has gotten in only three years – and I don’t even consider using duct tape to get her to listen now.

Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven. Matthew 18:18

50 Replies to “How to Bind Your Family to Heaven Without Using Duct Tape”

  1. Wonderful Stacy! Thank you for sharing this devotion! I think that devotions and novenas really do help, children and adults alike, to develop a strong and steady prayer life.

  2. Isn’t that the most consoling prayer?! So nice to run across someone else who is excited about it. The Devotion to The Seven Sorrows of Mary has a similar promise with regard to family peace and happiness in heaven.

  3. Stacy, your (elsewhere published) article about “said child” was very moving to me, especially since I see much of what you describe (business with other priorities) affecting my own children…and one little one in particular. I’ve seen a look on her face that makes me know in my heart that I’m wasting something very precious that I’ve been given. The only difference between you and me is that I don’t neglect her for work, but for the computer (this is very difficult for me to admit and “speak aloud”.) It is a real battle for me (dare I say an addiction?) and one that causes me to fear for my future with “said child” in particular. I pray for the grace to own up to this fault daily and to correct my ways now, so that I may love her as she deserves before I lose the short time I’ve been allotted.

    Your prayers here are a great encouragement that even small things, when done faithfully with my children, can overcome my many failings.

    Thank you for sharing your story, both the difficulties and the victory. The victory is that much sweeter for the difficulties that came before.

  4. Stacy, thank you so much for sharing this. I have never heard of this devotion, but I will be looking it up. It’s amazing how things just work out when we stop worrying and trying to fix them and just pray.

  5. Thanks Stacy – I hadn’t heard of this devotion before! ( which is something I love about our faith – there’s so much depth) And for those of us currently in AGONY over ‘said child’ syndrome this offers a much needed breath of peace. Thanks for the encouragement (and I’ll take more if you have it!!! )

  6. I started this a little over a year ago. What date, I can’t say, because for me if I started keeping track of dates then I know as sure as sin that I’d get distracted and forget a day, and/or worry about “did I forget this day”, etc. So I’ve just made it part of my daily routine and figure I’ll pray it for the rest of my life. I figure at some point I’ll have gotten 3 straight years in; and if not then I’ve got promise 3 to console me.

  7. Praying to any saint for intercessory help is a good thing. Jesus wants us to do that & he esp wants us to pray to his mother. In addition to your stated devotion, you may also want to do some fasting. It makes the praying more efficacious.

    Besides the rosary, you may also want to pray novenas to St Joseph, or the Sacred Heart. I have found praying to Padre Pio does wonders. He was a miracle worker on earth & hasn’t stop since. Yet, I personally have a “soft spot” for St Joseph who has also helped me.

    Your daughter will turn around & your prayers will help. Remember St Monica—–20+ yrs.

    A little side note: Being a student at Holy Apostles, I suggest, if you haven’t done it already, that you “pick the brains” of those friendly clergy & laity theologians on issues you have some trouble understanding ie, indulgences & purgatory. Try the Registrar or the moral theologian Dominican, esp if you took any of their classes.

  8. Oh, my gosh, Stacy! I think St. Monica has answered my novena with this devotion. Thank you so much for bringing it up. I’ll need this!

    And thank you, St. Monica!!! 😀

  9. I love this devotion…i found it many years ago in the “Pieta Prayer Book” (A very powerful pocketsize book of miraculous prayers and novenas) is found in the Pieta Prayer Book in ” A TRUE LETTER OF OUR SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST,CONSECRATING THE DROPS OF BLOOD WHICH OUR LORD JESUS LOST ON HIS WAY TO CALVARY” Jesus explains to St Elizabeth,Queen of Hungary, with St Matilda and St Bridget about this and in detail what he endured and how many times he was beaten and how many drops of his Precious Blood he lost. Also additional blessings you will receive just by having this Letter with you and in your home….GOD BLESS YOU!! and your precious family and readers…!

  10. I love this devotion…i found it many years ago in the “Pieta Prayer Book” (A very powerful pocketsize book of miraculous prayers and novenas) is found in the Pieta Prayer Book in ” A TRUE LETTER OF OUR SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST,CONSECRATING THE DROPS OF BLOOD WHICH OUR LORD JESUS LOST ON HIS WAY TO CALVARY” Jesus explains to St Elizabeth,Queen of Hungary, with St Matilda and St Bridget about this and in detail what he endured and how many times he was beaten and how many drops of his Precious Blood he lost. Also additional blessings you will receive just by having this Letter with you and in your home….GOD BLESS YOU!! and your precious family and readers…!

  11. As someone who has a special devotion to St. Monica and her errant son, St. Augustine, this really spoke to me. My special, unduct-taped child has grown into a man and has learned some things on his own but he has quite a way to go. I pray, daily, that his life is long so that he may have plenty of time to become the saint that I know he is capable of becoming. In the meanwhile I have had to learn to ‘let go, and let God’, because this mother’s hands-on approach has come with some regrets. Jesus I trust in YOU!

  12. Thank you for posting! I wasn’t aware of this devotion, but it is worth showing my husband and considering. We too tried the rosary rather unsuccessfully. With a 6 year old, a 16 month old, and one of the way I’m glad for an alternative. The rosary, while beautiful, can be difficult for children with a lot of energy. My eldest will pray it on his own when he isnt jumping up and down. 🙂

  13. Thank you for this. My family life is kind of a turmole now. My grandaughter who I have devoted the last 30 years for and for whom I given my entire life’s savings for to make her life with her her family easier. Last January she had to have $5,000.00 as a down payment for a used car because her car was so bad and couldn’t make it through the winter with the promise that I would get the money back in one month when they got their tax refund. As usual when the time came to pay back she just had to many bills to pay ect.ect. In April my checking account which had a balance of $.89 and she knows the account number. She did a force pay for a $540.00 elect. bill. They called me 3 days later and I tried to call and tex her and then her and her husband both. No reply from either. The woman at the bank said “when they get back”. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to get them in trouble. Called my son who is her father and he told me they and all 7 children were on a Disney cruise. I am not speaking to her because if I do she will do this again. I have been putting up with this for 13 years. I am a widow on Social Security and had a tornado hit my house last year and was without elect. in my house except for kitchen and laundry room for 6 months. The $5,000.00 I was saving to have my house rewired. I do love and worry about them and will say these prayers without fail. Thank you again

  14. Praise the Lord! I have been trying to pray that prayer, but forget to do it all the time. So I figure, it would be something I would need to pray for the rest of time here.

  15. I am in my second use of this devotion..

    I invite you to check blog site below

    Known to the bishop in the area where sanctuary house is located

  16. Brings tears to my eyes, thank you for sharing.
    To know I can offer my prayers and truly impact my children and generations forth is a blessing beyond blessings.
    I mean I know all of my other prayers have gravity but to have this so clearly defined is a blessing.
    I believe it was St. Monfort who shared our rosary prayers can deliver a family to heaven and from hell, but this Devotion to the Drops of Blood goes beyond ensuring multiple generations these fantastic graces.
    God Bless you Stacy for sharing and following the spirit through.
    Praise be to Jesus and Mary forever!

    (I am new on this path, a protestant on the path of conversion since August 2010 hoping to begin classes this fall to join The Church. Pray for me and my family if you get a moment 🙂

  17. Thank you Stacy I Started today. thank you so much for the powerful info May Jesus and Mary be with you always God bless you

  18. When I saw the devotion was to the drops of blood lost by Our Lord on the way of the cross, tears came to my eyes because I had never considered those drops of blood marking the way. And I just want to say that these kinds of devotions, though often scoffed at by those in our Church who think they are too sophisticated for such piety; these devotions if followed faithfully and with simple sincerity, reap astounding fruits for those of us who are at a loss of what to do about problems that overwhelm us; those of us who look around for help but find none (as was mentioned in the article above about a topical self-help book); those of us who have no where else to turn except to the promises of Christ. Lucky us, and too bad for those sophisticated scoffers! I once heard that the Catholic Church is at its core one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread. So, thanks for tip!

  19. Hi. I have been saying this devotion for years! Thank you for sharing. I found it like Theresa in the Pieta prayer book , which I carry everywhere with me ( & keep one at home) due to the promises in the book ( the letter) plus certain prayers I say at 3 each day. As well as many more.
    In this book as well are the 15 St. Bridget Prayers ( to be said for 1 year) to honour our Lords wounds during His passion.
    So many promise attached to this prayer as well.

    Thank you for spreading this wonderful prayer!

  20. I am weeping, nursing a cup of coffee after banishing my 10 year old daughter to her room, Again. I cannot go into details, but I will copy this and cling to it and trust you and your husband’s referral (Is that a Catholic way to say it? We’re converts.). Thank God I’m sitting here now.

  21. Not to take away from any of this, but please, folks, don’t forget the Rosary. The promises of the Rosary are sanctioned by holy mother church. Indeed, the Rosary is the highest indulgenced prayer of the Church. “You will obtain ALL you ask of me by the recitation of the holy Rosary” and “I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the Rosary.” It’s like the Rosary by itself encompasses all the graces of all other devotions. Think about it.

  22. thank you for sharing. i been praying this for more than 4 yrs already but the thing is i never completed it. i always forgot and always have to go back again and not giving up..i hope jesus is not going to give up on me too..i hope that i can really finish the 3 yrs if not i will keep going until i die…

  23. I started praying the devotion (2 Our Fathers, 2 Hail Marys and 2 Glory Bes) years ago after I found it in a book entitled, “The Life and Revelation of St. Gertrude the Great” (Tan Books). It seems Our Lord conveyed the same message to her about the efficacy of saying these prayers.

    If He conveyed the message to four saints who lived at different periods and locations in Europe, it would seem that He’s serious about it.

  24. How about the prayer given to St Gertrude the Great which releases 1000 souls from Purgatory each time it is said :

    Eternal Father, I offer Thee the most Precious Blood of Thy Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in union with all the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, For sinners in the universal Church, for those in my home and within my family. Amen
    Say it many times a day !

  25. I have a daughter, named Laura Bardsley, she is very stuborn, and says she does not believe in God. She is 25 years old. Iam going to start this devotion for my 6 grown childern, and 10 brothers and sisters. We were all raised Catholic. Please everyone keep us in your prayers. God bless!!

  26. I was really pleased with your article and the prayer to the Blood of Jesus which I started today. It came just in time as I was praying for my grandchildren.

  27. Lela, I am sorry for what you are going through with your granddaughter. “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth is the ingratitude of a child.” I strongly suggest that you speak to a good priest about your situation. I would not presume to give you advice, but it may well be that a priest would advise you to change your bank account so that it could not be accessed without your permission. I have said a prayer that you will receive the help you need. God bless.

  28. Seems a lot of us are fans of the Pieta book here.

    To the author, Stacy, if you don’t have it, might I suggest purchasing one? This brilliant little prayer book is full of all sorts of goodies. I keep at least five on-hand at all times. One for the car, one for my purse, one for my nightstand, one for my son’s room and one for my husband’s car.

    Best things EVER, and as other readers have said, this devotion is in there, too. 🙂

    What a great entry. Blessings! My prayers are with you and your little ones (even your “not-so-little” little ones.) <3

  29. Thank you for sharing this prayer.
    I will be starting today, my family needs these prayers. Will also ask for all Christian families.

  30. Thank you everyone for the comments! We are literally at the end of a very BIG move to New York and as I’m unpacking box after box in our new (100 year old converted lodge in the mountains) home, I am so blessed to read these comments. I thank God for Christian community!

    I will definitely get a copy of that prayer book, Pieta.

    And I wanted to second what Hirduin said about the Rosary. Beginning this little devotion led me to a deeper devotion to the Rosary and please take that wise advice to let it do the same for you. The Rosary – lessons from Mary.

    Please know you are all in my prayers and thank you for yours. I love our big family in Christ! 🙂 God bless.

  31. As a mother of ten who constantly worries about how I am NOT doing right by them, and for whom prayer had become very difficult lately, thank you for this post. It gives great hope.

  32. Lovely prayer. Prayer works wonders. Having just finished round 12 in a spiritual battle with one said defiant/disobedient/rebellious child who just graduated from high school- I can tell you parents- don’t ever stop Praying. The Rosary, the Divine Chaplet of Mercy and Adoration
    have carried us through some very dark times and very rough water. Our good Lord and Blessed Virgin Mary always hear us and come to our aide. Praise God!

  33. The prayer from St Gertrude to release 1000 souls from purgatory that KTF posted (thank you KTF) it is also in the Pieta Prayer book and once i read that prayer on a prayer card and it said on the prayer card to ask “ALL GOD’S ANGELS TO PRAY THIS PRAYER WITH YOU WHEN YOU SAY IT”…it is so beautiful…WE Praise and Thank you GOD OUR MOST LOVING FATHER for all these powerful prayers and devotions..In Jesus Holy name we Pray and Praise..!!

  34. I wonder about this. I thought the only way you could avoid purgatory was to be free from the stain of sin at the hour of your death. If you are not then purgatory is a blessing because nothing impure can enter heaven. So how does this work? Does it guarantee I am pure when I die? Not sure. But if it was really approved by Pope Leo XIII that should mean it is legit.

    1. Made the 3 years. Just kept going. I do see huge growth in myself and my family. I pray this so often now. Every time I have a few minutes or need a few minutes to centre my heart on God.

  35. Stacy you are a recent convert, guess what try and read the Diary of St Faustina, that’s where I had my conversion. I thought I was a catholic but found out after reading this book I was a “dead” catholic. I can mail you one, email me your address and I will send it to you (free). You can even randomly open a page and use it as your family sharing after prayer time. I wish “all” catholics all over the world read this book. Thank you and God Bless.

    To all – please stay with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament daily and pray your Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet, here you will also earn indulgence by doing so.

  36. hey don’t laugh- but teenagers are really into duct tape these days. they are making flowers etc out of it ! they now have ‘designer duct tape’ in various designs like zebra, tie dye etc, my niece went crazy when i surprised her with a few rolls. but she’s a good girl. zoe is an obedient, unusual child. i pray for her everyday. she also loved the rosaries i sent her. try giving your kids their own religious statue of Mary or Jesus or a saint. kids like to decorate their own ‘ bedroom shrines ‘ . pretty soon they’ll pray on their own. maybe they’ll make a duct tape rose for Our Blessed Mother? God bless you & good mothers everywhere!
    mare in boston

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