Beads of Joy 08-02-11
The Feast of Portiuncula
©2011 James Dacey, Jr. SFO
Today is a most joyous day to celebrate, the Feast of Our Lady of the Angels of Portiuncula. Did you know that the word, “Portiuncula” means “little portion”. It was referring to the little piece of land that St Mary’s of the Angels Church was built, where most of the residents from Assisi would attend Mass. It was St. Francis of Assisi who led by God and our Lady desired to restore this sanctuary which was pretty much destroyed already. It was here that St. Francis truly began his Franciscan Order. I myself am a Secular Franciscan, many of you may have seen the movie, “Brother Sun, Sister Moon” a truly excellent visual on what St. Francis truly had to do to restore such a horribly destroyed church. God’s hand was certainly in all his work that in the end and throughout the process glorified God, even to this day.
There was one particular night that St. Francis went out to the chapel, when he arrived, it was there that he saw Jesus and our Lady surrounded by an enormous host of angels. St. Francis immediately laid prostrate on the ground, in reverence to our Lord’s presence. St. Francis desired to rebuild this marvelous beautiful blessed church. Jesus asked Francis to ask Him of any particular favor, and He did. St. Francis also even saw Mary kneel before our Lord repeating his request. It was then that our Lord said to St. Francis, “It is a great favor that you request, nevertheless it shall be granted to you. Go to my Vicar on earth, to whom I have given the power to bind and to loose, and ask him in My name to grant this indulgence." And so Francis went to Pope Honorius III, and made his request, which the Pope granted him. The only thing was that the indulgences could only be gained one day out of the year, August 2nd, which is the anniversary of the church’s dedication. Eventually the indulgences were attainable every day of the year. A basilica (Our Lady of the Angels Basilica in Assisi) was eventually built over the chapel and doing that, it preserved it in its original condition.
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 (during the eight days before or after);
-Participation in the Holy Mass and Eucharist.
-Visit to a Catholic Church, followed by PROFESSION OF FAITH, in order to reaffirm one's own Christian identity;
-Say the OUR FATHER, in order to reaffirm the dignity as child of God that one received in Baptism;
-A prayer for the Pope's intention, in order to reaffirm one's membership in the Church, of which the Roman Pontiff is the foundation and sign of visible unity.
Italian Bishops' Conference, Adult Catechism, n. 710
Sin not only destroys communion with God, but also compromises the interior state of persons and their relationship with other creatures. For a total repentance, it is not enough to be sorry and to receive the remission of faults. It is also necessary that reparation be made for the disorder provoked by sin, a disorder that usually continues after the sin. In this process of purification the penitent is not alone. The penitent participates in a mystery of solidarity, for which Christ and the Saints rejoice with one. God communicates to one the grace merited by others with the immense value of their existence, in order to effect one's reparation rapidly and effectively.
The Church has always exhorted the faithful to offer prayers, good works and sufferings for the conversion of sinners and for the repose of the faithful departed. During the first centuries, bishops reduced the duration and the severeness of public punishment, through the intercession of the witnesses of faith who survived tortures.
Progressively the consciousness grew that the power to bind and unbind, received from the Lord, included the faculty to free penitents from the residue left by already forgiven sins, by applying to them the merits of Christ and the Saints, in order to obtain the grace of a fervent charity. Priests grant this privilege to those who have the right interior disposition and have adhered to the prescribed norms. Participation in this penitential rite is a prerequisite to the concession of an indulgence. Italian Bishops' Conference, Adult Catechism, n. 710
Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr. SFO
Today we pray the Sorrowful Mysteries
1. Agony in the Garden
2. The Scourging at the Pillar
3. Crowing with Thorns
4. Carrying of the Cross
5. The Crucifixion of Jesus