- Thursday, 02 August 2012 06:47
The spiritual tradition of the Franciscans is connecting the with the good work of the sainted founder, Saint Francis, who as you know, fixed three chapels: the third was called the Portiuncula (the Little Portion), dedicated to Saint Mary of the Angels. As you can see, the chapel sits in a large basilica in Assisi. The friars have been at the Portiuncula since early thirteen century. SaintClare made her vows following Palm Sunday in 1212 and where Francis died on 3 October 1226.
For centuries the Church, at the request of Francis, has attached a spiritual favor in the form of indulgence, a
grant remission of sins to all who came there. It used to be given only at the Portiuncula but now the privilege extends beyond the Portiuncula especially those administered by Franciscans, throughout the world, to others churches as well.
The Church teaches that a plenary indulgence is a powerful tool for works of mercy and weapon in the living of the Christian life, that is, in our spiritual warfare. A plenary indulgence is the remission of the effects of sin, through the merits of Jesus Christ and the saints, through the Church, of all temporal punishment due to sin already forgiven through the reception of the sacrament of Confession.
To obtain the Portiuncula plenary indulgence, a person must visit the Chapel of Our Lady of the Angels at Assisi, or a Franciscan church or chapel, or even one’s parish church, with the intention of honoring Our Lady of the Angels. The recites the Creed and prays the Our Father for the Pope’s designated intentions (see the monthly papal prayer intentions). Key is going to Confession (“free of attachment to venial and mortal sin). One can make a confession and receive Holy Communion 8 days before or after.
- Saturday, 16 June 2012 08:36
My heart will rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, who has been bountiful with me.
With Mother Church we pray,
O God, who has prepared a fit dwelling place for the Holy Spirit in the Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, graciously grant that through her intercession we may be a worthy temple of your glory.
The solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is directly followed by the memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the supreme human vessel of the Holy Spirit. In days following the feast of Pentecost the Church offers us an opportunity to dedicate our lives once again to the love and work of Divine Providence today. As we move through summer and then into the autumn we need a focus and the Hearts of Jesus and Mary are just the focus we need.
If you read the Litany to the Immaculate Heart of Mary you notice the characteristics the Church believes are part of Mary’s witness to Divine Providence, and which ought to be a part of our lives, too. The Litany keeps the recognition of the Mystery alive; it awakens within us our destiny in Christ. Therefore, what is said of Mary ought to be said of us (with God’s grace, of course). Let me note a few of the characteristcs that we ought to have: a heart like God’s, a heart united to Jesus’, an instrument of the Holy Spirit, a sanctuary of the Blessed Trinity, a tabernacle of the Incarnation, etc. Find the Litany of the Immaculate Heart and meditate on it today. It will be a invitation to conversion.
In August, the month dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, we’ll return to a way of living in the purity of intention and love found in Mary.
- Thursday, 31 May 2012 13:09
The Word of God is not a literary expression, but is the indication of an event, it is always a fact: the Word of God is Christ. His word starts from the promise of an event. The figure of the Virgin is completely filled with memory, the word of her people, stretching completely toward the meaning of these events (the Angel’s announcement, Elizabeth’s greeting). This is why Elizabeth used the highest form of address: ‘Blessed is she who believed in the fulfillment of the Word of the Lord.’
Monsignor Luigi Giussani
- Tuesday, 27 March 2012 06:19
A rose among thorns. Well, almost. Man and woman
always want to give an expression of love and affection to another. In the
course of history you will notice the gifts of love’s sentiment and reality
given to God, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints. Visit a shrine where
healings are reported and you’ll notice tokens of gratitude: lockets, flowers, chalices, artwork, and the like. One beautiful gift of
love was given by Pope Benedict Monday evening to the Virgen de la Caridad de
Cobre in Cuba: a golden rose. The papal gift of a golden rose dates back to the
middle ages when a pope held a golden rose in a procession on Laetare Sunday,
the fourth Sunday of Lent. It was Pope Eugene III who called the rose a sign of
Christ’s passion: the gold symbolizing the resurrection and the thorns the
Over time the golden rose was given to Church dignitaries thus
expanding the meaning: a personal honor and a reminder: do not forget the
responsibilities and duties that come with being a Christian. Beyond the human
honor given to royalty, the rose was given to abbeys and sanctuaries of the
Virgin Mary. Pope John Paul II gave a few these roses to shrines and Pope
Benedict XVI is fond of the custom and so he’s given roses to Altötting, Mariazell,
Fatima, Aparecida, USA and now to Cuba.
- Monday, 26 March 2012 06:07
The mystery of the annunciation to Mary is not just a
mystery of silence. It is above and beyond all that a mystery of grace.
feel compelled to ask ourselves: Why did Christ really want to be born of a
virgin? It was certainly possible for him to have been born of a normal
marriage. That would not have affected his divine Sonship, which was not
dependent on his virgin birth and could equally well have been combined with
another kind of birth. There is no question here of a downgrading of marriage
or of the marriage relationship; nor is it a question of better safeguarding
the divine Sonship. Why then?
We find the answer when we open the Old Testament
and see that the mystery of Mary is prepared for at every important stage in
salvation history. It begins with Sarah, the mother of Isaac, who had been
barren, but when she was well on in years and had lost the power of giving life,
became, by the power of God, the mother of Isaac and so of the chosen people.
process continues with Anna, the mother of Samuel, who was likewise barren, but
eventually gave birth; with the mother of Samson, or again with Elizabeth, the
mother of John the Baptizer. The meaning of all these events is the same: that
salvation comes, not from human beings and their powers, but solely from
God–from an act of his grace.
Co-Workers of the Truth Meditations
for Every Day of the Year (1992), 99-100.