Tuesday, March 14, 2017



Photo: R. Massaro (c) 2017 Spirit Singing Our Lady of Lebanon Shrine North Jackson, Ohio

Many parishes throughout the world publish our Holy Father, Pope Francis' prayer intentions for the month in their bulletin or announce them during the Prayers of the Faithful at Mass on Sunday.  We should take seriously our obligation to pray for our Holy Father. 

There are many opportunities to gain a partial or plenary indulgence when we include prayers for the intentions of the Holy Father. For instance, each time you make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament, one can gain a partial or plenary indulgence. If you spend at least one half hour in adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, you can gain the indulgence. There are a few other conditions to gain the indulgence besides praying for the Holy Father. One must go to the sacrament of Confession and be detached from sin. Please visit Fr. John Zuhlsdorf's (Fr. Z) blog to find out more about this holy practice:

Why should we care about gaining indulgences? Because it is an act of mercy on behalf of Christ, through the Church, to help the souls of the living and the dead. Remember, the souls in Purgatory cannot pray for themselves, we must pray for them. Obtaining indulgences for them is an act of mercy.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints.

Click here to read more about indulgences from the Catechism

Did the line from above strike you as it did me?  "...through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption..." 

I must say, I think this is one of the most beautiful statements in Catholic teaching I have ever read! By the authority of Jesus Christ, the Catholic Church is the minister of redemption!

Our Lady, Mother of the Church, desires all to be saved. She is united to Christ, her Son, in this desire. This is why she has been sent from God on mission in many approved apparitions.

At Lourdes, she said to St. Bernadette: "Penance, penance, penance. Pray for the conversion of sinners."  

At Fatima, she told the children, "Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and pray for them."

In the year 1214, Our Lady appeared to St. Dominic and presented to him the Rosary. She told him, "Therefore if you want to reach these hardened souls and win them over to God, preach my Psalter.”

One can gain a plenary indulgence by reciting the Rosary in church, with your family, or in a spiritual group setting.

Our Lady came from heaven to present to us her prayer petitions. In her apparitions, she has the same message: "Repent! Pray for the conversion of sinners."  Let us console the Immaculate and Sorrowful Heart of Our Lady by responding to her requests. 

Each month, when you hear the new prayer intentions of the Holy Father, remember the intentions of Our Lady.  Her intention never changes: "Pray for the conversion of sinners."

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

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