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October 4, 2012

Plenary indulgence announced for the Year of Faith. Make sure you take part often in this act of mercy from the Church!

- The Holy See announced Oct. 5 that Pope Benedict XVI has granted a plenary indulgence for the Year of Faith, which will last from Oct. 11, 2012 to Nov. 24, 2013.

The decree announcing the indulgence was signed Sept. 14 by Cardinal Manuel de Castro, Major Penitentiary, and Bishop Kryzsztof Nykiel, Regent, of the Apostolic Penitentiary. The penitentiary is the part of the Roman Curia responsible for indulgences and governing the sacrament of confession.

One plenary indulgence per day may be gained by an individual, which they can use for themselves or apply to a soul in purgatory. The indulgence remits the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven.
During the Year of Faith, there are four means of gaining an indulgence.
Click for entire story
The Pope also requested the faithful for Prayer at the start of his pilgrimage to Loreto October 4th. The pope said he was following in the footsteps of Bl. John XXIII, who entrusted Vatican II to Our Lady at the Shrine of Loreto on October 4th, in 1962!

Benedict XVI's pilgrimage to Loreto marks the 50th anniversary of that journey and the opening of the Council. The Pope asked everyone in Wednesday's General Audience to join his prayers "entrusting to the Mother of God the main ecclesial events we are preparing to experience: the Year of Faith, and the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization."

Below are excerpts taken from his Homily given at the shrine....
Click for entire text of the Pope's Homily....

Blessed John XXIII's 
Act of entrustment of 
Vatican Council II

"On October 4, 1962, Blessed John XXIII also came as a pilgrim to this Shrine to entrust to the Virgin Mary the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, due to begin a week later. On that occasion, with deep filial devotion to the Mother of God, he addressed her in these words: “Again today, and in the name of the entire episcopate, "I ask you, sweetest Mother, as Help of Bishops, to intercede for me as Bishop of Rome and for all the bishops of the world, to obtain for us the grace to enter the Council Hall of Saint Peter’s Basilica, as the Apostles and the first disciples of Jesus entered the Upper Room: with one heart, one heartbeat of love for Christ and for souls, with one purpose only, to live and to sacrifice ourselves for the salvation of individuals and peoples. Thus, by your maternal intercession, in the years and the centuries to come, may it be said that the grace of God prepared, accompanied and crowned the twenty-first Ecumenical Council, filling all the children of the holy Church with a new fervor, a new impulse to generosity, and a renewed firmness of purpose” (AAS 54 [1962], 727).

Benedict XVI continues:
"Fifty years later, having been called by divine Providence to succeed that unforgettable Pope to the See of Peter, I too have come on pilgrimage to entrust to the Mother of God two important ecclesial initiatives: the Year of Faith, which will begin in a week, on 11 October, on the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, and the Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which I have convened this October with the theme “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith”.

 "We must return to God, so that man 
may return to being man" Pope Benedict XVI

This Shrine of Loretto, built around Mary's earthly home, preserves the memory of the moment when an angel of Lord came to Mary with     the great announcement of the Incarnation, and she gave her reply. This home is a physical, tangible witness to the greatest event in our history, the Incarnation; the Word became flesh and Mary, the handmaid of the Lord, is the privileged channel through which God came to dwell among us!"
Here at Loreto fifty years ago, Blessed John XXIII issued an invitation to contemplate this mystery, to “reflect on that union of heaven and earth, which is the purpose of the Incarnation and Redemption”, and he went on to affirm that the aim of the Council itself was to spread ever wider the beneficent impact of the Incarnation and Redemption on all spheres of life (cf. AAS 54 [1962], 724). This invitation resounds today with particular urgency. In the present crisis affecting not only the economy but also many sectors of society, the Incarnation of the Son of God speaks to us of how important man is to God, and God to man. Without God, man ultimately chooses selfishness over solidarity and love, material things over values, having over being. We must return to God, so that man may return to being man.

With God, even in difficult times or moments of crisis, there is always a horizon of hope: the Incarnation tells us that we are never alone, that God has come to humanity and that he accompanies us!
Dear brothers and sisters, on this pilgrimage in the footsteps of Blessed John XXIII – and which comes, providentially, on the day in which the Church remembers Saint Francis of Assisi, a veritable “living Gospel” – I wish to entrust to the Most Holy Mother of God all the difficulties affecting our world as it seeks serenity and peace, the problems of the many families who look anxiously to the future, the aspirations of young people at the start of their lives, the suffering of those awaiting signs or decisions of solidarity and love. I also wish to place in the hands of the Mother of God this special time of grace for the Church, now opening up before us. Mother of the “yes”, you who heard Jesus, speak to us of him; tell us of your journey, that we may follow him on the path of faith; help us to proclaim him, that each person may welcome him and become the dwelling place of God. Amen! Click for entire text of the Pope's Homily....


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