Besides the Rosary, another example which falls under the "toties quoties" stipulations - or "as often as one can" is the Way of the Cross. If one has a contrite heart and has received Holy Communion on the same day or within a month after having performed the pious Stations of the Cross in a church, then one can gain a Plenary Indulgence according to Raccolta 194. Of course, All Souls Day is a special day and when one visits a church or chapel or cemetery on November 2 or on the Sunday immediately following this feast and specifically prays for the Church Suffering - the poor souls in Purgatory - with the recitation of six Our Fathers, six Hail Mary's and six Glory Be's for the intentions of the Holy Father, and has met the same obligations of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and received the Holy Eucharist at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, then one will receive a Plenary Indulgence per Raccolta 590. Partaking in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass can garner one a Plenary Indulgence according to Raccolta 173 in which "The faithful who make an offering and have the sacrifice of the Mass said in reparation for the insults offered by mankind to the most Holy Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist may gain a plenary indulgence on the usual conditions." Additional prayers we can say each day that will help us gain a Plenary Indulgence are the Prayer before a Crucifix which brings a Plenary Indulgence of ten years if recited after Communion according to Raccolta 201. The Prayer to Christ the King brings a Plenary Indulgence as well on the usual conditions once daily per Raccolta 232. Raccolta article 638 states that the Act of Resignation to the Divine Will prayer brings an indulgence of seven years and a Plenary Indulgence at the hour of death for those who say this prayer on any day chosen after Holy Communion and Confession. There are numerous prayers in which, by reciting and fulfilling the requirements asked, we can gain indulgences, mostly Partial Indulgences on a daily basis. These prayers range from the Sign of the Cross to the Angeles. We will publish all of these important prayers this coming year periodically in our PRAYERS & DEVOTION section each day with the appropriate indulgence that can be gained. Most of these prayers can be found in approved prayer books and old missals. Also, most Partial Indulgences for prayers said can be translated into Plenary Indulgences if meeting the requisites of reciting them continuously for a month on the usual conditions.
In addition to prayers, holy objects or sacramentals that have been blessed and used for prayerful purposes can serve as vehicles for indulgences such as Rosaries as mentioned above as well as Crucifixes, medals, statues, images, etc. provided they are made of strong material and not flimsy or breakable. All the family may use the same Rosary or crucifix or wear the same medal periodically and gain the indulgences attached. In addition, more than one indulgence may be attached to the same Rosary or crucifix. But care must be taken to realize that one and the same prayer will not necessarily avail one to be able to gain all the indulgences attached, unless it is expressly declared. That is why the stipulations in the Raccolta are so important. One of the biggest problems is finding a copy of this book. There are no copies of this material, to our knowledge, on the net and that is sad. Two reasons could be that the last published edition was in 1898 during the pontificate of Pope Leo XIII and the fact that one must receive permission to publish or post the entire Raccolta from the Sacred Congregation of Indulgences and Holy Relics and that is very difficult to do, even though the Roman Congregation has published an English version adapted for the faithful. Quite possibly because these have not been in circulation for many to read or even be exposed to, the concept of indulgences had all but disappeared among the faithful. Hopefully, now, a century after the production of the last edition of the Raccolta the Congregation will loosen its restrictions and allow a copy to be perused on the web, possibly at the Vatican's own official site. It would be helpful to all Catholics.
Before wrapping up this installment it is vital to reiterate that one cannot gain indulgences for another living person. Only the souls in Purgatory can gain from the indulgences applicable to them. Even though an indulgence is granted for the living or the dead, the only living person who can gain it is the person who is performing the pious practice faithfully with the intentions outlined in the Raccolta. The Pope alone can grant indulgences directly applicable to the poor souls in Purgatory. The Church grants indulgences for the dead through intercessory prayer for the departed souls. We do not know how much temporal punishment is remitted by any indulgence. That is for God to determine and the only time we'll know is when we meet Him face to face in the Final Judgment and discover how many souls we were able to help through our dedication to indulgences for the souls in Purgatory. We must take care not to fall into the fault of pride in thinking we have freed a particular soul from Purgatory through our performance of requirements for Plenary Indulgences. That is presumption. At the same time we cannot be discouraged but rather must have the confidence that our prayers are meriting great graces for those souls most in need as God deigns. We are merely His instruments. In the next installment we will talk about the Indulgences the Holy Father is providing for Jubilee 2000 in his Papal Bull Incarnationis Mysterium.
There’s nothing sweeter, I think than a little innocent baby. There’s nothing less threatening and dependent, lovable and approachable.
I think God chose to come to us as a baby, because He wanted to be approachable. In a Divine sense, He wanted to show us that He “needed” us, needed our love and care for Him. Now we all know that God really doesn’t “need” anything else to be happy, except Himself. But because He is so Good, He is All-love, He is so generous, He wanted to share Himself with us and what better way for us to come to Him without fear and with love than for us to see Him as a baby?
Also, very essential to our growth in the spiritual life is for us to believe that GOD LOVES US. Many human beings walk around feeling very unloved by anyone. Perhaps that has its roots in their childhood or a broken relationship of some kind. Such spirits can “whither” with time. Such persons can so easily grow bitter, negative, pessimistic, lonely - all of which can get worse with time.
But what happens to a person who really feels loved by someone? Their hearts are renewed! They soar! They feel like they can conquer the world! When we know we are loved, we are given new LIFE!
That’s another reason why Jesus came to earth as a Baby. That God should leave His Heaven, His Kingdom, His “Glory” and become a defenseless, helpless, dependent baby displays a Divine love which we shall never totally fathom on this earth.
Jesus entered into this world in great poverty. What did He have in the way of material things? A cold cave, the warm breath of animals (as well as their odor), some hay? Did He come in this manner to show us that the spiritual world is far more important than the material one? I think so!
As a young Sister, I remember reading in Scripture: "With desolation is the whole land made desolate because there is no one who considers in his heart."
In other words, to take time to meditate, consider, think about various aspects of our Faith is a must. Not to meditate on the truths of our Faith leaves a soul “desolate” and hopeless.
It is my prayer that sometime during this Christmas Season, you can take TIME to truly MEDITATE on God’s love for you as revealed in His Birth, to think about the temporalness of earthly things, the shortness of this life, the expanse of eternity. To spend eternity with the One Who loves us beyond our ability to understand - that’s what Heaven is!
Let’s begin here - on earth - with God’s help to consider and BELIEVE that God loves US. We can’t say we’ve deserved it. We’re just so BLESSED to have a God that is so Good.
Happy New Year everyone! God loves you!
The Vatican places the works of Charles Maurras, A Catholic French Fascist on the forbidden list of the Index.
Pope John XXII, 196th successor of Peter and second of the Avignon Popes in exile, issued his pontifical decree Sancta Romania which ordered the Franciscan Spiritualists to obey their superiors and accept the legitimacy of storing provisions even though the latter felt their founder Saint Francis of Assisi had never intended them to own anything. This decree angered their leader Michael of Cesena and prompted the Spiritualists to become bitter enemies of the French pontiff by aligning with his enemy Louis IV.
Death of Pope Innocent IX, 230th successor of Peter who was born in Bologna. He was elected on November 3rd and died less than two months later on this date. During that short span he succeeded in limiting the effects of a terrible plague and fought bandits and various internal factions with a certain degree of success. He undoubtedly would have left a lasting mark on Church history had he not contracted a chill and died of pneumonia.
Death of Saint Melania the Younger, daughter of a Roman Senator who endowed and founded monasteries for men and women in Numidia and the Holy Land. She is widely venerated by Latin Catholics in Constantinople and Jerusalem.
Birth of Alfonso de Borgia in Jativa, Spain. He would go on to become a cardinal priest and the 209th successor of Peter on April 8, 1455 as Pope Callistus III He would be responsible for the growth of Christianity in Scandinavia. It would be this Spanish-born pontiff who would order the ringing of the bells at midday each day, establishing the tradition of the Angeles and it was Callistus III who would institute the Feast of the Transfiguration.
Birth of Henri Guise, French duke and leader of the Catholic League.
Pope Pius XI releases his fourteenth encyclical Rappresentanti in terra on Christian education which would be published several months later with minor alterations to the Latin text Divini illius magistri.
Pope Pius XI publishes his sixteenth encyclical Casti connubii on Christian marriage and the dangers of mixed marriages.
Birth of Rodrigo de Borgia at Jativa, nephew of Cardinal Alfonso de Borgia, bishop of Valencia and the future Pope Callistus III. Rodrigo would follow in his uncle's footsteps, becoming a cardinal and the notorious Pope Alexander VI who would bed and marry Lucretia Borgia and cause scandal universally within the Church during his eleven year pontificate. It was his papacy that triggered the beginning rumblings of the Protestant rebellion.
Death of Jacques Cartier, French explorer who, with the blessings of Pope Paul III, founded the French Empire in America and Canada, bringing the faith to that region where it is still strong because of the Jesuit missionaries who traveled with him up the St. Lawrence River.
Pope John Paul II publicly prays for an end to martial law in his native Poland and supports the solidarity movement that would take form under his friend Lech Walesa. Less than a decade later the iron curtain would topple, largely through the efforts of this great Polish Pope.
Election of Pope John II as 56th successor of Peter. This Roman-born pontiff would serve for slightly over two years and would become the first Pope to change his name since Mercurius, his birth name, was the name of a pagan god. Through an edict of Atalaric the Pope would be recognized as the head of the bishops of the whole world.
Death of Pope Saint Felix I, 26th successor of Peter. He died a martyr at the hands of the Roman Emperor Aurelian and his successor Pope Saint Eutychian would commemorate his death on his tomb, a practice originated by Felix.
Death of Saint Genevieve virgin and mystic of Paris who tended to the poor during the occupation of the city by Chilideric and the Franks. She was successful in interceding on behalf of the people and through her intercessory prayers and example, Paris was spared of attacks from the dreaded Huns as well as plagues, epidemics and other catastrophes.
Saint Joan of Arc is handed over to the court of Bishop Pierre Cauchon and charged with heresy and witchcraft because of her mystical visions she received from God. Five months later, on May 30th she would be burned at the stake and not absolved until Pope Callistus III would find her innocent in 1456.
Pope Leo X publishes his Papal Bull Decet Romanum pontificem, condemning Martin Luther and officially excommunicating the Augustinian monk for burning Leo's previous bull Exsurge Domine.
Pope John XXIII hands Cuban ruler Fidel Castro the bell, book and candle for his refusal to heed the teachings of the Church or allow the people to worship, and for his embracing atheistic communism.