Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Start of the Pauline Year

Pauline Year

The Vatican's St. Paul Outside the Walls


Special Indulgences are conceded to faithful on the occasion of the 2000th anniversary of the birth of St Paul the Apostle

In the imminence of the liturgical Solemnity of the Princes of the Apostles, motivated by pastoral solicitude the Supreme Pontiff intends to provide promptly for spiritual treasures to be granted to the faithful for their sanctification, so that on this pious and happy occasion, from First Vespers of the Solemnity mentioned, they may renew and reinforce with even greater fervour intentions of supernatural salvation, principally in honour of the Apostle to the Gentiles, the 2000th anniversary of whose birth on earth is now approaching.

The gift of Indulgences which the Roman Pontiff offers to the universal Church, truly smoothes the way to attaining a supreme degree of inner purification which, while honouring the Blessed Apostle Paul, exalts the supernatural life in the hearts of the faithful and gently encourages them to do good deeds.

Therefore, this Apostolic Penitentiary, to which the Holy Father has entrusted the task of the preparation and compilation of the Decree on the granting and obtaining of Indulgences that will be valid for the duration of the Pauline Year, benevolently bestows with this Decree issued in conformity with the desire of the August Pontiff, the following graces listed:

I. Each and every truly repentant individual member of the Christian faithful, duly absolved through the Sacrament of Reconciliation and restored with Holy Communion, who devoutly makes a pilgrimage to the Papal Basilica of St Paul on the Ostian Way and who prays for the Supreme Pontiff's intentions, will be granted the Plenary Indulgence from temporal punishment for his/her sins, once sacramental forgiveness and pardon for any shortcomings has been obtained.

The Christian faithful may benefit from the Plenary Indulgence both for themselves and for the deceased, as many times as they fulfil the required conditions but without prejudice to the norm stipulating that the Plenary Indulgence may be obtained only once a day.

In order that the prayer raised on this holy visit may lead and invite the souls of the faithful to venerate more intensely the memory of St Paul, the following has been established: the faithful, in addition to raising their own supplications before the altar of the Most Blessed Sacrament, each one according to his own devotion, must go to the altar of the Confessio and devoutly recite the Our Father and the Creed, adding pious invocations in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Paul. And may this devotion always be closely united to the memory of the Prince of the Apostles, St Peter.

II. The Christian faithful of the various local Churches, having fulfilled the required conditions (sacramental Confession, Eucharistic Communion, prayers for the Supreme Pontiff's intentions) and in a spirit of total detachment from any inclination to sin, may benefit from the Plenary Indulgence if they take part devoutly in a sacred function or in a pious public exercise in honour of the Apostle to the Gentiles; on the days of the solemn opening and closure of the Pauline Year, in all the sacred places; on other days specified by the local Ordinary, in holy places dedicated to St Paul and, for the convenience of the faithful, in other places designated by the same Ordinary.

III. Lastly, the faithful prevented by illness or another legitimate and important cause, always in a spirit of detachment from any inclination to sin, with the intention of fulfilling the usual conditions as soon as possible, will also be able to obtain the Plenary Indulgence, as long as they spiritually join in a Jubilee celebration in honour of St Paul, offering their prayers and sufferings to God for Christian unity.

In order that the faithful may more easily share in these heavenly favours, may the priests approved by the competent ecclesiastical authority for hearing confessions prepare promptly and generously to receive them.

This Decree is effective for the whole of the Pauline Year. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary.

Given in Rome, at the Offices of the Apostolic Penitentiary, 10 May, in the Year of the Incarnation of the Lord 2008, on the eve of Pentecost.

Cardinal James Francis Stafford
Major Penitentiary

Fr Gianfranco Girotti, O.F.M. Conv.
Titular Bishop of Meta Regent
Source Women of Faith and Family

Friday, June 27, 2008

Feast Day of Our Lady of Japan

Japanese Madonna and Child
Thanks to Micki of Holy Card for Your Inspiration for the reminder.

In honor of Joey's birth country, we ask for the intercession of our Lady of Japan for the unborn children in Japan and all over the world.

Picture source and to view a gallery of Japanese Madonnas

Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help

OLOPHAlthough, other interpretations can be applied to the numerous symbols in this icon, the following explanation is the one I learned. I hope you find it as moving as I did the first time I heard it. Although I prefer oil paintings by the great masters to icons, this is one icon I truly love.
This Byzantine icon is replete with numerous symbols.

Look at the picture.

Frightened by the vision of two angels showing him the instruments of Passion, the Christ Child has run to His Mother, almost losing, in His haste, one of the tiny sandals.

Mary holds Him in her arms reassuringly, lovingly. But notice her eyes. They look not at Jesus but at us. How better could the artist express Our Lady's interest in our lives and spiritual growth?

Christ's little hands are pressed into Mary's as a reminder to us that just as on earth He placed Himself entirely in her hands for protection, so now in heaven He places each of us in her tender loving care.

There are also the following Greek initials: for "Jesus Christ", for "Mother of God", for "St. Gabriel the Arch Angel" who is depicted holding the cross and nails, and for "St. Michael the Arch Angel" who is depicted holding the lance and gall-sop of Christ's Passion.

There is a star on Our Lady's veil symbolizing that she is the Star of the Sea who leads us to the safe port of heaven. Mary's left hand is supporting Christ possessively. She is His Mother. It is a comforting hand for everyone who asks for her intercession. Her mouth is small for silent recollection. She speaks little. She wears a red tunic, the color worn by virgins at the time of Christ, and a dark blue mantle, the colors worn by mothers in Palestine.

The entire background is golden, symbolic of heaven. Christ's Hands, palms turned down into His Mother's, indicate that He has chosen for the graces of redemption to be in her keeping.
Source - Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish Church

Fine Art Friday - Nursing Madonna and Child

According to Cath News
Vatican art critics want to see more images of Mary breastfeeding the baby Jesus as a sign that God "truly became flesh".

The Daily Mail quotes an article in L'Osservatore Romano as declaring that it is time to undo four centuries of Church disapproval of traditional representations of Mary as an earthy, fleshy mother doting on her newborn son.
Therefore, this week's Fine Art Friday will showcase works of art of the Nursing Madonna by famous artists.

Some photo sources

Maria Lactans
Maria Lactans - Andrea Solari

MC Icon
MC Guido Reni
Madonna and Child - Guido Reni

MC unknown
Unknown Artist of the Ferrarese School

MC Artmesia
Madonna and Child - Artemisia Gentileschi

MC Davinci
Madonna Litta - Leonardo da Vinci

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Holy Father Prefers Holy Communion on the Tongue

Holy Communion on TonguePhoto Source


In interview published in the Wednesday edition of L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Benedict’s new Master of Pontifical Liturgical Celebrations, Monsignor Guido Marini, says he believes that people receiving Communion kneeling and on the tongue will become common practice at the Vatican...

"...It could also be noted that the (Pope's) preference for such form of distribution which, without taking anything away from the other one, better highlights the truth of the real presence in the Eucharist, helps the devotion of the faithful, and introduces more easily to the sense of mystery. Aspects which, in our times, pastorally speaking, it is urgent to highlight and recover."

Feast Day - St. Josemaria Escrivá

St. Josemaria Escriva

After Mass this morning an Opus Dei member reminded us that it was their founder's feast day.

The following prayer is on the Holy Card she shared with us.
O God, through the mediation of Mary our Mother, you granted your priest St. Josemaría countless graces, choosing him as a most faithful instrument to found Opus Dei, a way of sanctification in daily work and in the fulfillment of the Christian's ordinary duties. Grant that I too may learn to turn all the circumstances and events of my life into occasions of loving You and serving the Church, the Pope and all souls with joy and simplicity, lighting up the pathways of this earth with faith and love. Deign to grant me, through the intercession of St. Josemaría, the favor of ... (make your request). Amen.

Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory be to the Father.

The holy card can be found here

Check out Escriva Works for his writings.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Saintly Quote - The Sacrifice of the Mass

Padre Pio
"If you want to assist at Holy Mas with devotion and fruitfully, keep company with the Sorrowful Virgin at the foot of the Cross on Calvary."
- St. Padre Pio, Cap.

Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist

Birth of John the Baptist
Artist Jacopo Pontormo

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Catholic Mass - He Sends Out into the World

Another beautiful video by Steve Silvia. Thanks for sharing Steve!