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Hopeless? Turn to Saint Philomena

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One of the most popular saints among Catholics is Saint Philomena, patroness of impossible causes.  As Saint John Vianney said: “To Saint Philomena God refuses nothing.”   Or as Pope Gregory XVI said:  “Whatever you ask from her, she will obtain for you”.

Her shrine in Italy at Mugnano de Cardinale, Avellino, is a short distance from Naples.  Churches around the world will honor her on her Feast Day August 11th.

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Confused about the Great Pardon of Assisi?

August 1 & 2 are the dates to obtain a plenary indulgence through the Great Pardon of Assisi. 

If you are confused about how to obtain the Great Pardon of Assisi, you are not alone.  We have been confused ourselves, and finally want to let you know the real story.

There have been some mis-leading posts and emails as to how one can get the plenary indulgence as a result of the Great Pardon of Assisi….not their fault, because, as we said….there is a lot of confusion.

 

We want to give you the exact details:

The great pardon of Assisi cannot be obtained at just any parish church, as some websites have reported.  It is confusing, but after a great deal of research we have the actual conditions here.  Taken directly from the Saint Anthony Shrine in Cincinnati, Ohio, here is the straight scoop:

However, it is now possible to receive the indulgence at all the parish churches in Assisi…….and at all Franciscan churches throughout the world, when meeting the conditions of Communion, Confession and praying for the Pope’s intentions“.

Our guess is that if there is no Franciscan church in your area, then you cannot receive the Great Pardon of Assisi.  If we find out differently we will let you know.

Please help spread the word so that those wishing to get the Great Pardon of Assisi will know where to go.

To learn about the Great Pardon of Assisi, check out our page here.

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August 1st & 2nd The Great Pardon of Assisi

About the Great Pardon of Assisi:

From the evening of August 1st until sundown on August 2nd each year, you may take part in the Great Pardon of Assisi.

Origin of the Great Pardon of Assisi:

When Jesus and the Virgin Mary appeared to Saint Francis in the year 1216 in the tiny Portuincula (the chapel he built) Jesus asked Francis what he wanted for the salvation of souls. Francis humbly replied that he would like to obtain a plenary indulgence (elimination of temporal punishment due to sin) for all those who entered the Portuincula. who were truly contrite and had confessed their sins.

Up to this point in history there were only three such places to receive a plenary indulgence:  the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, or the shrine of Saint James the Great in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.  Such journeys were beyond the reach of most people in Italy, where Saint Francis was, and that is why he made that specific request.

Jesus granted him this wish but stipulated he should first present his request to the Pope.  He obtained approval from Pope Honorius III in 1216 and this came to be known as the Portuincula Indulgence, or the Great Pardon of Assisi. 

 

You can obtain the Plenary Indulgence of Assisi by doing the following:

If you happen to be in Assisi on August 1st or 2nd,  you can also earn this pardon for yourself or for any departed.

It is now possible to receive the indulgence at any church in Assisi as well as all Franciscan churches throughout the world when you meet the conditions as shown below.

There is some confusion…so be careful what you read on some websites.  Some have stated your local parish church, that is not correct….it is actually any church in Assisi or any Franciscan church worldwide.

The conditions to obtain the Plenary Indulgence of the Forgiveness of Assisi, as it is properly called, are as follows:

 1.  Sacramental Confession within 8 days either before or after visiting the Portuincuca or any Franciscan Church in Assisi or anywhere else in the world.

2.  Participation in Holy Mass and Eucharist.

3.  Recitation of the Apostles Creed, Our Father, and a prayer for the Holy Father’s intention.

The Portiuncula or Tiny Portion inside the Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels AssisiThe Portuincula is now inside the Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels at the foot of the town of Assisi.

Almost all tours stop here either on the way to Assisi or upon leaving.  The Basilica is immense and the Portuincula is actually inside the Basilica.  As you can see here, it is quite small but open to visitors.

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Fliers in the U.S.A. face new ID requirements in October 2020

Nothing can ruin a trip more than being denied boarding at the airport….absolutely nothing.  For U.S. travelers, you need to take a look at your driver’s license. Does it have a star in the upper right corner?  Most do not…unless they have been issued fairly recently.  Of course if you are traveling internationally you most likely have a passport, so that is not a problem.  But if you are on a domestic flight, new rules require that driver’s licenses be REAL ID compliant (meaning that they are more secure than the old style).  This rule goes into effect October 2020……which is not that far away!

Real id photo
Photo courtesy N.Y. State Dept of Motor Vehicles

Your license will be accepted if it has a star in the upper right hand corner.  If not, be sure to have an alternate form of I.D. available such as a passport; a trusted traveler card, or a border ID card.  If your license is due for renewal before that date, almost every state will be in compliance (a few have gotten extensions, so check with your state).

Our advice is to get a passport….even if you are not planning to travel overseas right now, they are good for 5 years, and universally accepted.  Then, if you have a sudden opportunity to travel out of the country, then that is one less thing for you to worry about.

While we are on the subject, here are a few other passport tips.

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June 14-23: Feast of Corpus Christi in Spello, Italy

The Feast of Corpus Christi is celebrated around the world, but most especially here in Spello, Italy.  It lasts a whole week….in 2019 it will be from June 14 to 23.

Events during the whole week include: the Competition of Hand embroidery “Flowering Windows, Balconies and Alleys“, the competition of Flower Cake Design “Cakes in Bloom”, the floriculture exhibition market of “Spello in Bloom”, night tours of the citizen art sites “InfiorArt”.

Throughout the event it is open the Museum of Infiorate, you can see the beautiful flowered balconies and corners of the city and you can eat at the “Tavern of Infioratori”, menu based on flowers.

Preparing the streets for the celebration of The Feast of Corpus Christi in Spello, Italy
Preparing the streets for the celebration of The Feast of Corpus Christi in Spello, Italy

The townspeople work throught the previous day an in to the evening, then the highlight comes on Sunday, the Feast of Corpus Christi:  the streets are covered with a carpet of polychrome and perfumed of 70 infiorate by the religious theme, ready for the passage of the Sacred procession led by the Bishop.

You can check out our webpage on Spello here.

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Father Augustus Tolton moves one step closer to Sainthood

 

Augustus Tolton from slave to priest by Dcn Harold Burke-Sivers
Get this great book by Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers

A former slave, he obtained his freedom and was baptized and reared Catholic.  He went on to study formally in Rome and was ordained on Easter Sunday of 1886 at the Basilica of St. John Lateran, thereby becoming the first native born Black Catholic priest in the U.S.

Although he wanted to become a missionary in Africa, he was sent back to the U.S., and so in a way he did become a missionary……but not in the way he had planned (God does like to ruin our plans, doesn’t He?).

Assigned to a parish in Quincy, Illinois, where his dynamic preaching he attracted worshippers from all parts of the city, both black and white.  He overcame many obstacles in his priesthood….most notably from some of his fellow priests, who were jealous of his popularity.

With the promulgation of the decree of heroic virtue, Servant of God Augustus Tolton is granted the title “Venerable”.

The next stage in the “causes” would be beatification, where he would be proclaimed “Blessed”, followed ultimately by canonization, when he will hopefully be Saint Augustus Tolton.

You can read more about him and where to find his grave here.

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FRANCE (Paris) Annual Paris to Chartres Pilgrimage

The Paris-Chartres Pilgrimage occurs every year on the Feast of Pentecost in early summer, and is a multi-generational, multi-national gathering of Catholics who draw closer to God through the centuries-old act of pilgrimage.

The walk is roughly 62 miles over 3 days—beginning at daybreak on the Saturday before Pentecost, and ending with an afternoon mass on the Monday after Pentecost.

Chartres Cathedral
Chartres Cathedral

The trek takes 8,000-10,000 pilgrims from the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, through the French countryside to the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Chartres. Participants brave the weather, blisters, and humble food and accommodations as an act of faith and an act of reparation in these modern times.

The theme for the 2019 Pilgrimage is “THE PEACE OF CHRIST THROUGH THE REIGN OF CHRIST”.

Pilgrims will meet in front of Notre-Dame de Paris at 6:00 am on June 8th, 2019 where the journey of faith on foot begins.

Click here for the official Chartres Pilgrimage  website.

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Holy Stairs in Rome to re-open on April 11

Sanctuary of the Holy Stairs in RomeThe Sanctuary of the Holy Stairs….housing the marble steps that Jesus climbed, leading up to the praetorium of Pontius Pilate in Jerusalem on His way to trial.

The frescoes and paintings on the walls had been dirtied through centuries of use, and were in need of restoration.

Beginning early last year, the Sanctuary was closed to allow the restoration to take place.

 

They are now restored to their formal glory, and the Sanctuary has been open to the public beginning April 11, 2019.  They will remain uncovered until June 30, 2019, when they will again be covered.

The steps themselves were covered with wood with slots in them so that pilgrims could view the steps as they climbed to the top (usually on their knees).

They are now un-covered…and for the next month pilgrims can climb up the actual steps without the wood covering.

You can read more at Catholic News Service (CNS)

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Yes: Your kids do need passports for international travel

Its the summer travel season for many, and often families travel out of the country.  In the rush to get everything arranged, sometimes things fall through the cracks.  But mistakes can be costly….and even ruin an otherwise well-planned vacation.

For citizens of many countries , all children must present a valid passport for international air travel. This rule applies regardless of age, including infants and newborns.

A slight exception exists for citizens of the U.S.:  if you’re traveling to Canada, minors 15 and younger may cross land or sea borders without a passport, but a certified copy of a birth certificate is necessary.  But we suggest you get them a passport anyway.  Most are good for five years and if any chances to travel come up, then you are prepared instead of having to wait weeks for a passport.

In almost 100% of the cases, if they do not have a passport they will not be allowed to board the plane for an international flight.  The airline faces heavy fines for failure to follow this rule, so don’t bother asking them to break it…they won’t.  So you can just get back in the car and drive home from the airport.

And don’t forget, if you are going on a cruise, the same requirements may be in effect if you are making a stop in any foreign country.  It is best to just go ahead and get the passport.

There are a few other examples of passport problems that can crop up…….as we have outlined here.  We suggest you check that article out.

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Reminder: Pilgrim Masses in Santiago de Compostela temporarily moved

The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is undergoing renovation in 2019, and as a result pilgrim masses are celebrated in other churches throughout the city rather than in the Cathedral itself.

However, there is a daily mass in the Chapel of la Corticela, which is inside the Cathedral.

The Cathedral itself is open daily from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm….only the masses have been moved.

Here are the temporary locations:

Iglesia de San Francisco: Daily Pilgrim’s Mass – 12:00 am noon

Iglesia de San Fiz de Solovio: Daily Pilgrim’s Mass – 7:00 pm (from June). After the mass, Pilgrim Prayer (from Monday to Saturday).

Iglesia de Santa María Salomé:

From Monday to Friday: 7:30 am, 9:00 am, 10:00 am, 7:00 pm

Saturdays: 7:30 am, 9:00 am, 10:00 am, 6:00 pm, 7:00 pm

Sundays: 7:30 am, 9:00 am, 10:00 am, 1:00 pm, 6:00 pm, 7:00 pm

Chapel of la Corticela: Every day – 11:00 am