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At the audience of his Holiness, Feb. 23d, 1768.
Our Holy Father Pope Clement XIII. is graciously pleased to grant the prayer of the petition, and enacts, that such members of the confraternity as have it not in their power to visit the aforesaid chapel on the days appointed for obtaining the indulgences granted to the same, may have the benefit of all and every one of them, provided they perform all the other religious duties prescribed on that occasion; and his Holiness was pleased to order, that this his concession should be at all times considered as valid without the expedition of a brief.
Dated, Rome, from the office of the Secretary of the holy Congregation of Indulgences. CARDINAL CALANI, Prefect. Borgia, Secretary of the sacred Congregation of Indulgences. —Page 188—195.
THE DEVOTION TO THE SACRED HEART OF MARY.
As the adorable heart of Jesus was formed in the chaste womb of the blessed Virgin, and of her blood and substance, so we cannot in a more proper and agreeable manner show our devotion to the sacred heart of the Son, than by dedicating some part of the said devotion to the ever pure heart of the Mother. For you have two hearts here united in the most strict alliance and tender conformity of sentiments, so that it is not in nature to please the one without making yourself agreeable to the other, and acceptable to both. Go then, devout client, go to the heart of Jesus, but let your way be through the heart of Mary. The sword of grief which pierced her soul, opens you a passage: enter by the wound love has made; advance to the heart of Jesus, and rest there even to death itself. Presume not to separate and divide two objects so intimately one, or united together, but ask redress in all your exigencies from the heart of Jesus, and ask this redress through the heart of Mary. This form and method of worship is the doctrine and the very spirit of God's church: it is what she teaches us in the unanimous voice and practice of the faithful, who will by no means that Jesus and Mary should be separated from each other in our prayers, praises, and affections. This consideration has engaged the sovereign pontiffs and head pastors of the church to give the self-same sanction to the pious practices instituted in honour of the sacred heart of Mary, as they give to those of the adorable heart of Jesus, both within their proper limits. They both have equally their feasts and solemnities, both their associations, and those too equally enriched with the treasures of the church, under the liberal dispensation of its governors. Many are the pious and virtuous souls who have drawn most signal fruit and advantages from these devotions.—Page 198–200.
A NOVENA, OR NINE DAYs’ DEvoTION To THE EveR-BLESSED
Having, out of devotion, lighted up a wax candle, either in your private oratory or in the church, recite each day the following prayer. The intent is for the obtaining some particular favour. “Incomparable Virgin chosen by the ever adorable Trinity, from all eternity, to be the most pure mother of Jesus, allow thy servant to remind thee of that ineffable joy thou receivedst in the instant of the most sacred incarnation of our divine Lord, and during the nine months thou carriedst him in thy most chaste bowels. O ! that I could but renew, or if possible increase this thy joy by the fervor of my prayers; at least, most tender Mother of the afflicted grant me, under the present pressure, those maternal consolations and that peculiar protection, thou hast promised to such as shall devoutly commemorate this ineffable joy. Relying on thy sacred word, and trusting in thy promises, I humbly entreat thee to obtain from Jesus Christ, thy dearly beloved Son, my request.”
Having specifted it, say,
“May this light I burn before thy image, stand as a memorial of the lively confidence I repose in thy bounty. May it consume in honour of that inflamed and supernatural love and joy with which thy sacred heart was replenished during the abode of thy blessed Son in thy womb: in veneration of which I offer to thee the sentiments of my heart, and the following salutations.”
Say nine Hail Marys, and then the folloning Prayers.
“Mother of my God most merciful! to thee I offer these Hail Marys : they are so many brilliant jewels in the diadem of thy accidental glory, which will remain increasing to the end of the world. I beseech thee, Comforter of the afflicted
by the joy thou receivedst in the nine months of thy pregnancy, to comfort my afflicted heart, and to obtain for me, from thy Son, a favourable answer to the petition I make to thy compassionate mercy and benevolence. To this effect I offer to thee all the good works that have ever been performed in the confraternities of thy sacred heart, and other associations in thy honour. I most humbly entreat thee, on this consideration, and for the love of the sacred heart of Jesus, with which thy own was ever so inflamed, to hear my humble suit and grant my request. Amen.”—Page 208–211.
“A nobleman, who for sixty years of his life past had never had access to the sacraments, and who had given loose to the passions of his body and mind, and abandoned himself to the slavery of his spiritual enemy, fell sick, and was in the utmost danger of death. Hopes of salvation he had none, and so desperate was his case, that he would not give ear to the salutary advice of his director, or admit into his mind the thoughts of reconciling himself to his Creator, by means of the sacrament of penance. Nevertheless, in the midst of the excesses of so profligate a life, he had never entirely lost sight of some small devotion and regard to the ever blessed Mother of God. Jesus Christ, who manifests the riches of his mercy particularly to such as cast a favourable eye towards her, raised in him so great a compunction for his sins, that, entering into himself, and in the utmost contrition of his heart, he three several
times in the same day made a general confession of his whole life, received the holy eucharist, and the sixth day after died in all peace and quiet of mind, and with the sentiments of joy which flow from a well-grounded confidence in the mercies and bounty of our suffering Redeemer and his sacred passion. In effect, our blessed Saviour revealed, soon after his death, to the holy St. Bridget, that the said penitent died in a state of grace, was a blessed soul, and owed his happiness in great measure to the tender affectionate compassion which he had ever found and nourished in his heart, so often as he heard others speak of the sacred dolours of our blessed Lady, or happened to entertain the memory of them in his mind.”—
An Angelical Evercise in Honour of our Blessed Lady.
Whosoever is devoted to this exercise in honour of the blessed Virgin Mary, in reading over every point, may meditate upon it for the space of one Hail Mary or more, and by God's grace, he will in a short time find himself greatly increase in love towards that blessed Queen of Heaven; and at the hour of death will, by so pious a mother, be received as her dearest child. Nor can such a one, according to St. Anselm and St. Bernard, possibly perish, but shall find life everlasting, and taste of the joys of eternal bliss".-Page 275,276.
* A specimen of this Angelical Exercise will be found in Letter VI. It is a kind of dialogue between the Virgin and her worshipper; the language used by the former is often ludicrous, and now and then anything but delicate. She always illustrates her advice by the example of saints; and in one in