Circle of Prayer - Secrets of the Rosary 34
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Page 34 - THIRD DECADE - The surpassing merit of the holy Rosary as a meditation on the life and passion of our Lord Jesus Christ

Thirtieth Rose

If privileges, graces and indulgences of a confraternity make God alone it valuable to us, then that of the Rosary is the one to be most recommended, since it is the most favoured and enriched with indulgences, and ever since its inception there has hardly been a pope who has not opened the treasures of the Church to enrich it with further privileges. And since example is more persuasive than words and favours, the Holy Fathers have found that there was no better way to show their high regard for this holy Confraternity than to join it themselves.

Here is a short summary of the indulgences which they wholeheartedly granted to the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary, and which were confirmed again by our Holy Father Pope Innocent XI on 31st July 1679, and received and made public by the Archbishop of Paris on 25th September of the same year:

  • Members may gain a plenary indulgence on the day of joining the Confraternity;
  • A plenary indulgence at the hour of death;
  • For each rosary of five decades recited: ten years and ten quarantines;
  • Each time that members say the holy names of Jesus and Mary devoutly: seven days' indulgence;
  • For those who assist with devotion at the procession of the holy Rosary: seven years and seven quarantines of indulgence;
  • Members who have made a good confession and are genuinely sorry for their sins may gain a plenary indulgence on certain days by visiting the Rosary Chapel in the church where the Confraternity is established. This may be gained on the first Sunday of every month, and on the feasts of our Lord and our Lady;
  • To those who assist at the Salve Regina: a hundred days' indulgence;
  • To those who openly wear the rosary out of devotion and to set a good example: a hundred days' indulgence;
  • Sick members who are unable to go to church may gain a plenary indulgence by going to confession and Communion and by saying that day the whole Rosary, or at least five decades;
  • The Sovereign Pontiffs have shown their generosity towards members of the Rosary Confraternity by allowing them to gain the indulgences attached to the Stations of the Cross by visiting five altars in the church where the Rosary Confraternity is established, and by saying the Our Father and Hail Mary five times before each altar, for the well-being of the Church. If there are only one or two altars in the Confraternity church, they should say the Our Father and Hail Mary twenty-five times before one of them.
This is a wonderful favour granted to Confraternity members, for in the Station Churches in Rome plenary indulgences can be obtained, souls can be delivered from purgatory, and many other important remissions can be gained. and these are available to members without trouble, without expense, and without leaving their own country. And even if the Confraternity is not established in the place where the members live, they can gain the very same indulgences by visiting five altars in any church. This concession was granted by Leo X.

The Sacred Congregation of Indulgences drew up a list of certain definite days on which those outside the city of Rome could gain the indulgences of the Stations of Rome. The Holy Father approved this list on March 7th, 1678, and commanded that it be strictly observed. These indulgences can be gained on the following days:

All the Sundays of Advent; each of the three Ember Days; Christmas Eve, and the Masses of midnight, of the Dawn and of the Day; the feasts of St. Stephen, St. John the Evangelist, the Holy Innocents, the Circumcision and the Epiphany; the Sundays of Septuagesima, Sexagesima, Quinquagesima, and every day from Ash Wednesday to Low Sunday inclusively; each of the three Rogation days; Ascension; the vigil of Pentecost, and every day of its octave; and the three days of the September Ember Days.

Dear brothers and sisters of the Confraternity, there are numerous other indulgences which you can gain. If you want to know about them, read the complete list of indulgences which have been granted to the members of the Confraternity. You will see there the names of the popes, the year in which they granted the indulgence, and many other particulars which I have not been able to include in this little summary.

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