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longer resist without guilt. Father Claude la Colombiere, of the Society of Jesus, coming providentially to Paroy, she determined to open herself fully to him. This holy man, whose eminent sanctity and excellent writings still preserve his memory fresh in the minds of the faithful, full of the spirit of God, not content with hearing from her mouth all that had passed as above mentioned, obliged her moreover to deliver in writing a circumstantial account of the revelation she had received and so long concealed, concerning this devotion to the sacred heart. We have in the foregoing chapter quoted and explained it. “He was too well acquainted with the eminent sanctity of his penitent to doubt her sincerity, and he considered the concluding injunction as an order of Jesus Christ, obliging him to use all his endeavours to promote the design. But his absence from France, his infirmities, and the shortness of his remaining existence, prevented his making any considerable progress at the time. But we shall soon see that he was an instrument in the hands of Providence even after his death.”
“In 1720, when Provence was afflicted with the plague, and saw its most flourishing cities fall a prey to the scourge ; when a general consternation pervaded the whole kingdom, God inspiring the suffering victims with a hope of safety from a devout address to his sacred heart, they had recourse to it to appease the vengeance of offended Heaven. One town followed another in adopting the means of delivery. Bishops and magistrates consecrated their respective people to the sacred heart, and engaged themselves by oath to celebrate the feast annually to the end of time. It may be said with truth, that God employed this visitation as a means to promote the glory
of his sacred heart, which was the fruit of it. Happy they
who wait not for the scourge, but apply to this amiable heart
in order to prevent the punishment which their sins have
deserved "–Pages 64, 65.
“OBJECTION.—If the church approves a feast in honour of the divine heart of Jesus Christ, why not approve of other feasts to honour every part of his sacred body ? Why a particular feast in honour of his divine heart P Moreover, the feasts are already so numerous in the church, that it seems improper to multiply them; new offices interrupt those which the church has formerly instituted.
“As this objection has made great impression on many who have taken no pains to examine it, I have thought it necessary to mention it in a separate article, and to show the weakness of it.
“The numerous confraternities who celebrate the feast of the Sacred Heart with great solemnity, the number of bishops who have approved them, the number of briefs of indulgences granted to them by the holy see, are a great proof that the above objection has nothing solid. It is of little purpose to dispute whether the feast of the sacred heart deserves to be approved. In a point of this nature, a great part of the church, authorised by so many bishops and the holy see, cannot mistake; for which reason, the objection which opposes the institution of this feast can make no impression on a faithful and devout soul.”—Pages 115, 116.
LETTERS PATENT OF AGGREGATION.
We Brother FRANCIs of S. REGINALD, Prior of the venerable Arch-confraternity of the sacred heart of JEsus at RoME,
To our beloved in Christ, the associates in the sacred heart of Jesus, the faithful of either ser, who are any ways British subjects, or descended from them, wheresoever they dwell; greeting in our Lord.
Whereas his holiness of pious memory, Clement the XII. has by sundry decrees, viz. by one of the 7th of March, 1732, another of the 28th of February, ditto, and a third of the 12th of June, 1736, granted many favours and privileges to our arch-confraternity of the sacred heart; and among the rest has empowered it to unite and associate to itself any particular confraternity of the sacred heart, extant any where out of Rome, and to impart to it all and every indulgence, grant, or release of the canonical penance due to sins, that has at any time been heretofore granted to this our arch-confraternity by his said holiness.
And whereas a confraternity of the sacred heart, erected in the church or domestic chapel of the English fathers of the society of Jesus at Bruges, has applied to us, through its solicitor in Rome, Signor Joseph Monionelli, in order to obtain leave to be thus associated to ours, and to share in all its privileges and grants: we have thought fit, considering the many good works of piety, penance and charity performed in that confraternity at Bruges, (which as to all essentials is modelled upon the same plan as ours) to unite and associate to it our arch-confraternity, pursuant to the power given us for this purpose by the holy see; and we grant to it and its members all the indulgences and particular favours mentioned in the Popes' briefs, still keeping within the terms of the decree of Clement VIII. which directs such associations and communications of spiritual treasures. Moreover, besides the indulgence and special favours set down in the above-mentioned papal grant, we impart to the said confraternity a share in all the masses, prayers, mortifications, pilgrimages, and other good works performed throughout the whole world by the several religious orders of Benedictins, Bernardins, Dominicans, Franciscans, Carmelites, Theatins, and Fathers of the Society of Jesus, pursuant to the power we have received thereunto from the superiors of the said orders; as may be seen in the authentic deeds belonging to our arch-confraternity, and lodged in our archives. For the proof whereof we have caused the present deed, signed by our own hand, to be underwritten and published by the secretary of our arch-confraternity, and to be sealed with the seal thereof. Given at Rome, in the usual place of our congregation, the 30th of January 1767, in the 9th year of his present holiness Clement the XIIIth's pontificate, formerly our fellow associate, and now our most liberal father and protector. Br. Francis of St. Reginald, Prior. Br. Philip of St. Joseph of Callassantio, Secretary. Registered, book the first, page 63, No. 38.
THE APPROBATION of THE BISHOP of BRUGES.
We permit the publishing of these letters of aggregation, still with due regard to be paid to the decree of Clement the VIII. Quaecumque à sede Apostolica, and we approve of the choice made by the associates, of the Friday after the Octave of Corpus Christi, for the principal feast of the association, in
order to gain the plenary indulgence, and of the first Sunday in Advent, thesecond Sunday after the Epiphany, the third after Easter, and the first Sunday of October, to gain the indulgence of seven years, and of so many quarantines, or forty days.
Given at Bruges, in our episcopal Palace, the 20th
A petition that British Subjects might partake of the advantages of this institution, though remote from and unable to attend in the chapels appointed for the Association.
The president, and the members of the confraternity of the most holy heart of Jesus, instituted for the subjects of Great Britain, of both sexes, in the chapel of the English seminary at Bruges, in Flanders, and associated to the arch-confraternity of the same title erected in the church of St. Theodore, at Rome, prostrate themselves at your Holiness's feet, and dutifully represent the signal advantages arising from the said confraternity in the increase of spiritual fervour among the faithful, and desirous to transmit these religious fruits to the latest posterity, humbly supplicate your Holiness to grant, that the members of the said confraternity of both sexes, who are not at liberty to visit the aforesaid chapel on the days appointed for obtaining the indulgences granted to the confraternity, may obtain all and every one of them, as if they had personally attended, provided they perform all the other good works prescribed for obtaining the said indulgences.