Pope Benedict XIV., considering how useful, or rather how indispensably necessary, it is for the eternal salvation of Christians that they should make frequent use of the acts of Faith, Hope, and Charity, in order to excite them to a more frequent exercise of the said acts, whilst he confirmed the grant of indulgences already made to this effect by Pope Benedict XII., Jan. 15, 1728, granted afresh by a decree of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, dated Jan. 28, 1756 –
i. A plenary indulgence once a month to all those who shall every day devoutly recite the said acts, and at the same time make them with their hearts. This Indulgence may be gained on any day when, truly penitent for their sins, they shall, after Confession and Communion, pray for our holy mother the Church, &c.
He granted likewise in articulo mortis –
ii. A plenary indulgence and an indulgence of seven years and seven quarantines every time they shall make these acts devoutly in their hearts, and say them with their lips. A common form of these acts is subjoined. However, Benedict XIV., in the above-named decree, declares that no particular form of words or expressions is necessary for gaining these Indulgences ; but that any one may use any form he pleases, provided “that it expresses and explains the particular motives of each one of the three theological virtues.”
ACTS OF THE THEOLOGICAL VIRTUES.
Act of Faith.
I most firmly believe, because God, who is the infallible Truth, hath so revealed to the Holy Catholic Church, and through the Church reveals to us, that there is one only God in three divine Persons, equal and distinct, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; that the Son became man by taking to Himself flesh and a human soul through the operation of the Holy Ghost in the womb of the most pure Virgin Mary that He died for us upon the cross, rose again, ascended into heaven, and from thence shall come again at the end of the world to judge all the living and the dead, to give Paradise for ever to the good, and hell to the wicked; moreover, upon the same motive I believe all that the same holy Church believes and teaches.
Act of Hope.
O my God, because Thou art almighty, infinitely good and merciful, I hope that by the merits of the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ our Saviour Thou wilt grant me eternal life, which Thou, who art the most faithful, hast promised to all those who shall do the works of a good Christian, as I purpose to do by Thy holy help.
Act of Charity.
O my God, because Thou art the highest and most perfect good, I love Thee with my whole heart, and above all things; and rather than offend Thee, I am ready to lose all things else; and moreover for Thy love I love and desire to love my neighbour as myself.
For the love we owe to God, and for the honour of His most Holy Name, the following devout act of praise is to be said by way of reparation for the grievous offences which are committed against that Holy Name by blasphemies; and in order that all the faithful may he incited to say them with devotion, for every time that they are said with a contrite heart Pope Pius VII. granted –
i. One year’s indulgence, by a rescript of July 23, 1801 through his Eminence the Cardinal Vicar, which document is kept in the Segretaria of his court.
By a decree of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, dated August 8, 1847, our holy Lord Pius IX. grants likewise in addition to the above –
ii. A plenary indulgence once a month to all those who at least once a day recite this said act of praise, provided that, being truly contrite, they Confess and Communicate, and visit some church or public oratory and pray there according to the intention of His Holiness.
THE ACT OF PRAISE.
Blessed he God.
Blessed be His Holy name.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man.
Blessed be the name of Jesus.
Blessed be Jesus in the most Holy Sacrament of time Altar.
Blessed be the great Mother of God, the most holy Mary.
Blessed he her holy and Immaculate Conception.
Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin and Mother.
Blessed be God in His holy angels and in His saints.
By a decree of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, dated August 11, 1818, Pope Pius VII. granted to all faithful Christians who, with a contrite heart, shall recite time following Chaplet of acts of the love of God, with five Gloria Patri’s –
i. An indulgence of 300 days, daily.
Moreover, to those who shall recite it frequently in the month, i.e. at least ten times, he granted besides the said Partial Indulgence –
ii. A plenary indulgence once a year, on any one day when, after Confession and Communion, they shall visit some church and pray to God according to the intention of this Sovereign Pontiff.
THE CHAPLET OF ACTS OF LOVE.
1. O my God, and Sovereign Good, would that I had always loved Thee
2. My God, I detest the time when I loved Thee not.
3. How could I ever live so long without Thy holy love?
4. And Thou too, my God, how couldst Thou bear with me?
5. My God, I give Thee thanks for Thy great patience.
6. But now I desire to love Thee for over.
7. I am content rather to die than love Thee not.
8. Take from me my life, O my God, if I am not to love Thee.
9. The grace I beg of Thee is ever to love Thee.
10. With Thy love I shall be blessed.
Glory be to this Father, &c.
1. My God, I would see Thee loved by all.
2. Happy should I be, could I but shed my blood that all might love Thee.
3. They who love Thee not are blind indeed.
4. My God, give them Thy light.
5. Miserable indeed are they who love not Thee, the Sovereign Good.
6. My God, let me never be one of these wretched ones who love Thee not.
7. My God, be Thou my joy, and all my good.
8. I would be wholly Thine for ever.
9. Who shall separate me from Thy love?
10. Come, all ye creatures, love ye my God.
Glory be to the Father, &c.
1. My God, I would I had a thousand hearts wherewith to love Thee.
2. I would that I had all hearts of all men wherewith to love Thee.
3. I would there were more worlds, that all might love Thee.
4. How blessed would he be who could love Thee with the hearts of all possible creatures!
5. Thou meritest, my God, to be so loved.
6. My heart is too poor, too cold, to love Thee.
7. Alas for the dead coldness of men in loving their sovereign Good
8. Alas for the miserable blindness of the world, which knows not Thee, who art true love.
0. O blessed inhabitants of heaven, who know and love Him!
10. O blessed necessity of loving God!
Glory be to the Father, &c.
1. My God, when will the time come that I shall burn with love for Thee?
2. How happy then will be my lot!
3. But since I know not how to love Thee, I will at least rejoice that there are others who love Thee with their whole hearts.
4. In particular I rejoice that Thou art loved by all angels and all saints in heaven.
5. With the hearts of all these I unite the love of my poor heart.
6. In a special manner I intend to love Thee with the love with which those Saints who loved Thee best have loved Thee.
7. Wherefore I intend to love Thee with the love wherewith St. Mary Magdalene, St. Catherine, and St. Teresa loved Thee.
8. With the love wherewith St. Augustine, St. Dominic, St. Francis Xavier, St. Philip Neri, and St. Louis Gonzaga loved Thee.
9. With that same love wherewith Thy Holy Apostles, especially St. Peter, St. Paul, and the beloved Disciple, loved Thee.
10. With that same love wherewith St. Joseph the great Patriarch loved Thee.
Glory be to the Father, &c.
1. Moreover I intend to love Thee with that love wherewith Mary most holy loved Thee when on earth.
2. In particular with that love wherewith she loved Thee when she conceived Thy Divine Son in her virgin womb, when she brought Him forth, when she suckled Him, and when she saw him die.
3. Yet more, I intend to love Thee with that love wherewith she loves Thee, and will love Thee for ever in heaven.
4. But to love Thee worthily, O my God of infinite goodness, not even this love suffices.
5. Wherefore I would love Thee as Thy Son, the Divine Word made Man, did love Thee.
8. As He loved Thee when He was born.
7. As He loved Thee when He died upon the cross.
8. As He loves Thee ever in those sacred tabernacles where He lies hid.
9. And with that love with which He loves Thee, and will love Thee in heaven for all eternity.
10. Lastly, I intend to love Thee with that love with which Thou lovest Thyself; and since that is impossible, grant me, O my God, of Thy tender pity, that I may love Thee as far as I know how and am able, and as much as Thou art pleased that I should love Thee. Amen and amen.
Glory be to the Father, &c.
Deus, qui diligentibus Te bona invisibilia praeparasti, infussde cordibus nostris tui amoris affectum; ut Te in omnibus et super omnia diligentes, promissiones tuas, quae omne desiderium superant, consquamur. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, etc.
Let us pray.
O God, who hast prepared invisible good things for them that love Thee; pour Thy love into our hearts, that we, loving Thee in all things and above all things, may attain Thy heavenly promises, which exceed all that we can desire. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, &c.
By a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, dated March 3, 1827, Pope Leo XII. granted to all the faithful who, with a contrite heart and with devotion, should recite the following prayers and petitions once a day –
i. An indulgence of 300 days;
ii. A plenary indulgence to such as shall recite them every day for a month, on any one of the three last days of the month, and who, after Confession and Communion, shall visit some church or public oratory, and pray according to the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff.
It was moreover his will that copies of the said prayers and petitions should be printed and distributed gratis.
THE PRAYERS AND PETITIONS.
O Father! O Son! O Holy Ghost!
O Holy Trinity! O Jesus! O Mary!
O ye blessed angels of God, all ye Saints of Paradise, men and women, obtain for me these graces, which I ask through the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ:
1. Ever to do the holy will of God.
2. Ever to live in union with God.
3. Not to think of anything but God.
4. To love God alone.
5. To do all for God.
6. To seek only the glory of God.
7. To sanctify myself solely for God.
8. To know well my own utter nothingness.
9. Ever to know more and more the will of my God.
Mary most holy, offer to the Eternal Father the most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ for my soul, for the holy souls in purgatory, for the needs of Holy Church, for the conversion of sinners, and for all the world.
Then say three Gloria Patri’s to the most holy Blood of Jesus Christ; one Hail Mary, to the sorrows of most holy Mary; and one Requiem aeternam, &c. for the holy souls in purgatory.
* The Indulgence is lost if this special petition is not supplied.
Pope Leo XII., of holy memory, granted –
i. Forty days indulgence to all faithful Christians every time they devoutly recite the following prayer; and
ii. An indulgence of 100 years and as many quarantines, provided it be said every Saturday for a month; as appears by a rescript in his own hand, dated July 9, 1828, deposited in the Archivium of the sacred Vatican Basilica.
Pietate tua, quaesumus Domine, nostrorum solve vinculis peccatorum, et intercedente Beata semperque Virgine Dei Genitrice Maria, cum Beatis Apostolis tuis Petro et Paulo, et omnibus Sanctis nos famulos tuos, et loca nostra in omni sanctitate custody: omnes consanguinitate, affinitate, ac familiaritate nobis conjunctos a vitiis purga, virtutibus illustra pacem et salutem nobis tribue; hostes visibiles et invisibiles remove; carnalia desideria repelle; aerem salubrem indulge amicis et inimicis nostris charitatem largire; Urbem tuam custodi; Pontificem nostrum N. conserva: omnes Praelatos, Principes, cunctumqne Populum Christianum ab omni adversitate defende. Benedictio tua sit super nos semper; et omnibus fidelibus defunctis requiem aeternam concede. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.
Loosen, O Lord, we pray Thee, in Thy pity, the bonds of our sins, and by the intercession of the blessed Mary, ever Virgin Mother of God, the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and all saints, keep us Thy servants and our abodes in all holiness; cleanse us, our relations, kinsfolk, and acquaintances, from all vices; adorn us with all virtues; grant to us peace and health; repel our enemies visible and invisible; curb our carnal desires; vouchsafe us healthful seasons; bestow Thy charity upon our friends and our enemies; guard Thy holy city; preserve our Sovereign Pontiff Pius IX., and defend all prelates, priests, and all Christian people from all adversity. Let Thy blessing be ever upon us, and grant to all the faithful departed eternal rest. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
At the prayer of the Father-General of the Theatines, Pope Pius IX. granted –
an indulgence of 100 days to all confessors who, with contrite hearts and devotion, before taking their seats in the tribunal of penance to hear Confessions, shall recite the following prayer. This indulgence may be gained once every day, as appears by the decree of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, dated March 27, 1854.
Da mihi, Domine, sedium tuarum assistricem sapientiam, ut sciam judicare populum tuum in justitia et pauperos tuos in judicio. Fac me ita tractare claves regni coelorum, ut nulli aperiam cui claudendum sit, nulli claudam cui aperiendum sit. Sit intentio mea pura, zelus meus sincerus, charitas mea patiens, labor meus fructuosus. Sit in me lenitas non remissa, asperitas non severa; pauperem ne despiciam, diviti ne adulor. Fac me ad alliciendos peccatores suavem, ad interrogandos prudentem, ad instruendos peritum. Tribue, quaeso, ad retrahendos a malo solertiam, ad confirmandos in bono sedulitatem, ad promovendos ad meliora industriam: in responsis maturitatem, in consiliis rectitudinem, in obscuris lumen, in implexis sagacitatem, in arduis victoriam; inutilibus colloquiis ne detinear, pravis ne contaminer; alios salvem, meipsum non perdam. Amen.
By a Rescript of May 24, 1847, the Sovereign Pontiff Pius IX. granted –
The indulgence of 300 days, to all the faithful who shall devoutly recite the following prayer:
Aeterne rerum omnium effector Deus, memento abs te animas infidelum procreatas, easque ad imaginem et similitudinem tuam conditas. Ecce, Do mine, in opprobrium tuum his ipsis infernus impletur. Memento, Jesum Filium tuum pro illorum salute atrocissimam subiisse necem. Noli, quaeso, Domine, ultra permittere, ut Filius tuus ab infidelibus contemnatur; sed precibus sanctorum virorum et Ecclesiae sanctissimi Filii tui Sponsae placatus, recordare misericordiae tuae, et oblitus idololatriae et infidelitatis eorum, dice ut ipsi quoque agnoseant aliquando, quem misisti Dominum Jestum Christum, qui est salus, vita, et resurretico nostra, per quem salvati et liberati sumus: cui sit gloria per infinita saecula saeculorum. Amen.
O God, who bringest all things into existence, remember that the souls of unbelievers have been called into existence by Thee, and that they have been made after Thy own image and likeness. Behold, O Lord, to the dishonour of Thee, with these very souls hell is filled. Remember, O God, that for their salvation Thy Son Jesus Christ underwent the most cruel death. Let it not then, I entreat Thee, Lord, be any longer permitted by Thee that Thy Son should be despised by the unbelievers; but, appeased by the prayers of holy men and of the Church, the Spouse of Thy most holy Son, do Thou remember Thy own pity, and, forgetting their idolatry and their unbelief, bring it to pass that they too may some time acknowledge Thy Son Jesus Christ, who is our salvation, life, and resurrection, through whom we are saved and set free; to whom be glory from age to age without end. Amen.
By a Brief of September 30, 1859, the Sovereign Pontiff Pius IX. granted –
The indulgence of 300 days to all faithful Christians, who shall with contrite hearts devoutly say in any language at the beginning of the day the following offering: O Lord God Almighty, &c. He granted also another indulgence of 300 days to any one who at the time of the holy Mass shall say the other offering printed below: Eternal Father, I offer to Thee, &c. Moreover to those who shall have said both the prayers every day for a month he granted –
The plenary indulgence, provided that, being truly penitent, having Confessed and Communicated, they visit their own parish church, or any other church, and pray according to the intention of his Holiness.
By another Brief, dated April 11, 1860, the same Sovereign Pontiff vouchsafed to extend the above-mentioned partial Indulgence of 300 days to three years.
THE OFFERING TO BE MADE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE DAY.
O Lord God Almighty, behold me prostrate be fore Thee in order to appease Thee, and to honour Thy Divine Majesty, in the name of all creatures. But how can I do this who am myself but a poor sinner? Nay, but I both can and will, knowing that Thou dost make it Thy boast to be called Father of mercies, and for love of us hast given Thy very only-begotten Son, who sacrificed Himself upon the Cross, and for our sake doth continually renew that sacrifice of Himself upon our altars. And therefore do I – sinner, but penitent; poor, but rich in Jesus Christ – present myself before Thee, and, with the ardent love of angels and of all Thy saints, and with the tender affection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, offer to Thee in the name of all creatures the Masses which are now being celebrated, together with all those which have been celebrated, and which will be celebrated to the end of the world. Moreover, I intend to renew the offering of them every moment of this day and of all my life, that I may thereby render to Thy infinite Majesty an honour and a glory worthy of Thee, thus to appease Thy indignation, to satisfy Thy justice for so many sins of us thy children, to render Thee thanks proportioned to Thy benefits, and to implore Thy miseries upon myself and upon all sinners; upon all the faithful, living and dead, upon Thy whole Church, and principally upon its visible Head, the Sovereign Pontiff of Rome; and lastly upon all poor schismatics, heretics, and infidels, that they also may be all converted and save their souls.
THE OFFERING TO BE MADE AT THE TIME OF THE HOLY MASS.
Eternal Father, I offer to Thee the sacrifice which Thy beloved Son Jesus made of Himself upon the Cross, and now renews upon this altar; and I offer it to Thee in the name of all creatures, together with the Masses which have been celebrated, and which shall be celebrated, in the whole world, in order to adore Thee, and to give Thee the honour which Thou dost deserve; to render to Thee due thanks for Thy innumerable benefits, to appease Thy anger for our sins, and to give Thee due satisfaction for them; to entreat Thee also for myself, for the Church, for the whole world, and for the blessed souls in purgatory. Amen.
By a Rescript of April 30, 1560, the Sovereign Pontiff Pius IX. granted to all the faithful, who with contrite hearts and devotion shall say the following prayer in the form of offering –
100 days’ indulgence every time they shall say it. More over, the faithful are invited to say it as they say their Rosary, by repeating it 63 times a day.
Eternal Father, we offer Thee the Blood, Passion, and Death of Jesus Christ, the Sorrows of the most holy Mary and St. Joseph, in payment of our sins, in suffrage for the holy souls in purgatory, for the wants of our holy Mother the Church, and for the conversion of sinners. Amen.