The Franciscan feast of Our Lady of the Angels grants the faithful who devoutly visit a parish church on August 2 a plenary indulgence. Celebrated on the day when it is said that St. Peter's chains were removed, this indulgence is a remarkable demonstration of God Almighty's mercy in removing the chains of sin from those who devoutly and faithfully seek the gain the indulgence by completing its requirements.
Background on this Grace
Everyone knows how special the Church of The Portiuncula in Assisi was to St. Francis. It is there that he began his service to Christ and His Church. It is there that he was called to rebuild the Church. It is there that he made humble service, obedience, love, and dedication to Our Lord and Our Lady the cornerstones of his unique and inspiring life. It was even there that St. Clare, the spiritual daughter of St. Francis, received her call, lost her locks of hair to the scissors of Francis, and gained her place in the service of God and in the list of great saints.
It was during his time there during one of his many conversations with Jesus and Our Blessed Mother that Francis requested and received this indulgence as a measure and means of God's Divine Mercy and love for us. Upon receiving the approval of Our Lord, Francis took this cause the Pope Honorious III in who finally approved as well. While the benefits of this indulgence were not taken advantage of in the days of Francis given the difficult travel and poor roads, we are given a unique and fortunate opportunity to benefit today given easier transportation.
The Indulgence Itself
The magnitude of this indulgence is nothing less than the full remission of the punishments due to one's sins from the day of Baptism to the day one enters the church to perform the indulgence requirements!!
Conditions To Obtain The Plenary Indulgence of The Forgiveness of Assisi (For oneself or for a departed soul)
- Sacramental Confession to be in God's Grace
- Participation in the Holy Mass and Eucharist
- Visit to a Franciscan Church, followed by the Profession of Faith
- Say the Our Father
- A Prayer for the Pope
Indulgences as Gifts and Opportunities
Once again we see the beauty, majesty, magnitude, and Divine Mercy of God Almighty! All that Our Lord asks is that we humbly and contritely seek forgiveness, that we receive His Most Sacred Body in The Eucharist that we visit a Franciscan church and profess our faith, that we say The Our Father, and that we pray for the Pope. Despite those things on which we may not agree with the Pope, this indulgence provides us with the opportunity to declare our eternal loyalty to preserving the Faith and not abandoning our mission and duty to be soldiers for our God.
This Indulgence as Contrary to The New Order
Between the growing ignorance and disinterest in the beauty and power of indulgences and the spreading laxity and chaos in preserving the traditions and beliefs of our true Faith, it is obvious that this indulgence, like so many others perhaps lost or forgotten, stands as a reaffirmation and reminder of the Presence, Power, and Authority of Almighty God and the Divine Love and Mercy of Our Lord. Its history and connection to Our Lady and our beloved Saint Francis also provides an additional flavor of humility and obedience as well. All of this runs counter to The New Order's evil influence and corruptive effect on both our Faith and our practice of that Faith.
May we take advantage of this beautiful gift and the opportunities which it provides to approach our God in renewed contrite purity, love, appreciation, and loyalty!