June is the month of the Sacred Heart. The feast this year is on the 19th. This is the day the Year of the Priest begins. How very appropriate!
A month ago, the Vatican announced a plenary indulgence can be gained on the Feast of the Sacred Heart, 19 June 2009 as the Year of the Priest begins.
PLENARY INDULGENCE FOR THE YEAR OF PRIESTS
VATICAN CITY, 12 MAY 2009 (VIS) – According to a decree made public today and signed by Cardinal James Francis Stafford and Bishop Gianfranco Girotti, O.F.M. Conv., respectively penitentiary major and regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary, Benedict XVI will grant priests and faithful Plenary Indulgence for the occasion of the Year for Priests, which is due to run from 19 June 2009 to 19 June 2010 and has been called in honour of St. Jean Marie Vianney.
The period will begin with the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, “a day of priestly sanctification”, says the text, when the Pope will celebrate Vespers before the relics of the saint, brought to Rome for the occasion by the bishop of the French diocese of Belley-Ars. The Year will end in St. Peter’s Square, in the presence of priests from all over the world “who will renew their faithfulness to Christ and their bonds of fraternity”.
The means to obtain the Plenary Indulgence are as follows:
(A) All truly penitent priests who, on any day, devotedly pray Lauds or Vespers before the Blessed Sacrament exposed to public adoration or in the tabernacle, and … offer themselves with a ready and generous heart for the celebration of the Sacraments, especially the Sacrament of Penance, will be granted Plenary Indulgence, which they can also apply to their deceased confreres, if in accordance with current norms they take Sacramental Confession and the Eucharist and pray in accordance with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff. Priests are furthermore granted Partial Indulgence, also applicable to deceased confreres, every time they devotedly recite the prayers duly approved to lead a saintly life and to carry out the duties entrusted to them.
(B) All truly penitent Christian faithful who, in church or oratory, devotedly attend Holy Mass and offer prayers to Jesus Christ, supreme and eternal Priest, for the priests of the Church, or perform any good work to sanctify and mould them to His Heart, are granted Plenary Indulgence, on the condition that they have expiated their sins through Sacramental Confession and prayed in accordance with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff. This may be done on the opening and closing days of the Year of Priests, on the 150th anniversary of the death of St. Jean Marie Vianney, on the first Thursday of the month, or on any other day established by the ordinaries of particular places for the good of the faithful.
The elderly, the sick and all those who for any legitimate reason are unable to leave their homes, may still obtain Plenary Indulgence if, with the soul completely removed from attachment to any form of sin and with the intention of observing, as soon as they can, the usual three conditions, “on the days concerned, they pray for the sanctification of priests and offer their sickness and suffering to God through Mary, Queen of the Apostles”.
Partial Indulgence is offered to all faithful each time they pray five Our Father, Ave Maria and Gloria Patri, or any other duly approved prayer “in honour of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to ask that priests maintain purity and sanctity of life”.
Many years ago, shortly after we moved here, we had our priest out to our home to bless it and for the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart. It has been 10 years and it is time to formally renew that Enthronement, I think. Ideally, we would do this on the feast of the Sacred Heart, but that may not be practical at this late date since I have not yet contacted our priest. I also think he may be out of town then, but another MSC priest will be covering for him while he is gone and I trust that he will be more than willing to come and do the enthronement renewal and blessing. And yes, I know that we do not, strictly speaking, need the priest to come and do it, but we want to have the priest come.
I haven’t called yet because I “was gonna” do it after I purchased a new image of the Sacred Heart for our home. I looked around for a new, larger image. My husband and I decided that of all of the images available, we like the Chambers image the best. (above) But I have not ordered yet. *sigh* I think I will do that today. The thing is, I have not found one in the size I want that is pre-framed in a way I like. The idea of getting a smaller one in a frame I don’t love is not appealing. I think I will buy the poster from a place like art.com and take it either to our Hobby Lobby or the local framing shop (they do truly lovely work there.)
We have actually not done a very good job at living the enthronement all of these years. There are recommended practices and devotions for those who do that we have not engaged in regularly. We acknowledge Christ as King, of course, but there is so much more that we can, and ought, to do. Catholic Culture has a thorough entry on the Enthronement, renewal, devotions and practices.
We have never renewed the consecration for special occasions. (DUH!) There is a list in the above mentioned article of some of the special occasions when it would be appropriate to do a renewal. Here is the list:
Special Occasions on Which the Family Should Renew the Act of Consecration (Long Form)
- Feast of the Sacred Heart; Christ the King.
- Anniversary of the Enthronement.
- Anniversary of parents and children.
- At births; after Baptism in the church consecrate the children to the Sacred Heart before the “throne.”
- At First Communion; prepare the children before the image of the Sacred Heart in the home. When they return from church, let them renew the act of consecration made for them by parents at birth.
- Before the departure from home of a member: to join army, convent, seminary, before marriage.
- On the return of an absent member of the family. On days of great family joys; in times of sorrow, sickness, and death
We have lived every one of those occasions (and probably many more) and to our shame, it did not occur to us to do the renewal. No time like the present, though, huh?!
Eternal Father, I offer the Sacred Heart of Jesus with all its love, all its sufferings of and all its merits:
First– To expiate all the sins I have committed this day and during all my life. (Glory Be)
Second– To purify the good I have done badly this day and during all my life. (Glory Be.)
Third– To supply for the good I ought to have done and I have neglected this day and during all my life. (Glory Be.)