DEVOUT VISITS

146. VISIT TO THE CHURCHES OF THE STATIONS.

The practice of visiting the churches of the Stations, where are preserved the sacred memorials of the saints, and especially of the martyrs, dates its institution from the first ages of Christianity; and on certain days in the year the people, clergy, and even Popes, used to go there in procession to pray. This pious and time-honoured devotion, constantly maintained, moved Pope Gregory the Great to make a list of the Stations, assigning time churches to be visited, not only during Lent, but also on certain other days and times in the year and these days he ordered to be inserted in the Roman Missal, as is related by John the Deacon in his Life of St. Gregory, book ii. cc. 2 and 6.
In order to induce the faithful to make these visits to the churches of the Stations on the appointed days, and to pray there according to the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff, the same Pope St. Gregory, and others his successors, granted various Indulgences, which were all confirmed afresh for ever by Pope Pius VI. in a decree of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, July 9, 1777; a list of these Indulgences will presently be given, as well as of the days and churches of the Stations.
Afterwards, Leo XII., motu proprio, given through the same S. Congr. of Indulgences, Feb. 28, 1827, granted –
i. An indulgence of forty years and as many quarantines, to all the faithful, every time that during Lent, with contrite hearts and devotion, they visit the churches of the Stations in the manner he prescribed; and he ordered this method of visiting the churches to be published in a book for the purpose printed at the press of the Camera Apostolica. He granted also –
ii. A plenary indulgence to all persons who shall have made the visit as above three times, each visit on a different day; to be gained on any one day when, being penitent, they shall, after Confession and Communion, visit some church or public oratory, and pray there for our holy mother the Church, &c.
The method prescribed to be used is as follows: First, to visit some church, and say there the prayers appointed in the book, to the Blessed Sacrament, to the Blessed Virgin, and to the holy martyrs; then to go to the church of the Station, saying on the way the psalm Miserere, five Pater noster’s, five Ave Maria’s, and five Gloria Patri’s, and then the Steps of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ; and lastly, whilst at the church itself, to say the Litanies of the Saints with the versicles and prayers assigned, and at the end the psalm De profundis, &c. All unlearned persons, however, and others who do not possess this book of the Stations, may gain the same Indulgences by saying at the two churches which they visit such prayers as their own devotion suggests to them and as are suitable to their capacity; and while they go from one church to the other, they are to say a third part of their rosary with the Litanies; and on leaving the church of the Station, to end their visit with the psalm De profundis, or else with one Pater noster, one Ave Maria, and a Requiem aeternam for the holy souls in purgatory.
The same Pontiff declared his will that all nuns and others dwelling in monasteries and communities should participate in the benefit of these Indulgences, provided that they keep the method prescribed and visit their own churches; and he also extended these Indulgences to the sick and to prisoners, provided they supply what they are unable to perform by doing some good work enjoined them by their own confessor.
Note, that although it is only necessary to visit one church in order to gain the Indulgences, there are on certain days, besides the churches set down in the Roman Missal for the Stations, several other churches enjoying the same Indulgences through grants of various Sovereign Pontiffs; thus we may instance the grant of Leo XII. above named, who, by a Brief of Jan. 8, 1828, confirmed a privilege already granted by Clement VIII., Feb. 4, 1603, viz, that the church of St. Gregory on the Celian Hill should be one of the stational churches for the Friday after Ash-Wednesday whilst at time same time he desired that on the second Sunday in Lent there should be another Station at this church, as appears from a notice of his Eminence the Cardinal-Vicar, Feb. 20, 1828.

DAYS AND CHURCHES OF THE STATIONS IN ROME.

Jan. 1. Circumcision of our Lord Jesus Christ. Station, St. Mary beyond the Tiber. Indulgence of thirty years and thirty quarantines.
Jan. 6. The Epiphany of our Lord. St. Peter, on the Vatican. The same indulgence.
Septuagesima Sunday. St. Laurence, outside the Walls. The same indulgence.
Sexagesima. St. Paul, outside the Walls. The same indulgence.
Quinquagesima. St. Peter, on the Vatican. The same indulgence.
Ash-Wednesday. St. Sabina in St. Alexius, and St. Mary in Cosmedin, called Bocca della Verità. Indulgence of fifteen years and fifteen quarantines.
Thursday after Ash Wednesday. St. George in Velabro, and the church of Jesus and Mary. Indulgence of ten years and ten quarantines.
Friday. SS. John and Paul, and St. Gregory, on the Celian Hill. The same indulgence.
Saturday. St. Tryphon, and St. Augustine. The same indulgence.
First Sunday in Lent. St. John Lateran. The same indulgence.
Monday. St. Peter’s Chains and St. John della Pigna. The same indulgence.
Tuesday. St. Anastasia. The same indulgence.
Wednesday (Ember day). St. Mary Major. The same indulgence.
Thursday. St. Laurence in Pane e Perna. The same indulgence.
Friday (Ember day). The Twelve Holy Apostles. The same indulgence.
Saturday (Ember day). St. Peter, on the Vatican. The same indulgence.
Second Sunday in Lent. St. Mary in Domnica, called the Church of the Navicella, and St. Gregory, on the Celian. The same indulgence.
Monday. St. Mary Major and St. Clement. The same indulgence.
Tuesday. St. Balbina. The same indulgence.
Wednesday. St. Cecilia beyond the Tiber. The same indulgence..
Thursday. St. Mary beyond the Tiber. The same indulgence.
Friday. St. Vitalis. The same indulgence.
Saturday. SS. Marcellinus and Peter’, near the Lateran Basilica. The same indulgence.
Third Sunday in Lent. St. Laurence, outside the Walls. Indulgence of ten years and ten quarantines.
Monday. St. Mark, The same indulgence.
Tuesday. St. Pudentiana. The same indulgence.
Wednesday. SS. Sixtus, Nereus, and Achilleus. The same indulgence.
Thursday. SS. Cosmas and Damian, in the Forum. The same indulgence.
Friday. St. Laurence in Lucina. The same indulgence.
Saturday. SS. Caius and Susanna, and St. Mary of time Angels, at the Baths. The same indulgence.
Fourth Sunday in Lent. The Holy Cross in Jerusalem. Indulgence of fifteen years and fifteen quarantines.
Monday. The Four Saints crowned with Martyrdom. Indulgence of ten years and ten quarantines.
Tuesday. St. Laurence ins St. Damasus, and St. Andrew della Valle. The same indulgence.
Wednesday. St. Paul, outside the Gates. The same indulgence.
Thursday. SS. Martin and Silvester, on the Hills, and St. Silvester in Capite. The same indulgence.
Friday. St. Eusebius and St. Bibiana. The same indulgence.
Saturday. St. Nicholas in Carcere. The same indulgence.
Passion Sunday. St. Peter, on the Vatican, and St. Lazarus. The same indulgence.
Monday. St. Crysogonus, beyond the Tiber. The same indulgence.
Tuesday. St. Cyriacus, and St. Mary on the Broad Way, and SS. Quiricus and Julitta, on the Hills. The same indulgence.
Wednesday. St. Marcellus. The same indulgence.
Thursday. St. Apollinaris. The same indulgence.
Friday. St. Stephen, on the Celian, called the Round Church of Stephen. The same indulgence.
Saturday. St. Johns before the Latin Gate, and St. Caesareus. The same indulgence.
Palm Sunday. St. John Lateran. Indulgence of twenty-five years and twenty-five quarantines.
Monday in Holy Week. St. Praxede. Indulgence of ten years and ten quarantines.
Tuesday in Holy Week. St. Prisca, and St. Mary at the Gate of the People. The same indulgence.
Wednesday in Holy Week. St. Mary Major. The same indulgence.
Thursday in Holy Week. St. .John Lateran. Plenary indulgence, after Confession and Communion.
Good Friday. Holy Cross at Jerusalem. Indulgence of thirty years and thirty quarantines.
Holy Saturday. St. John Lateran. The same indulgence.
Easter Day. St. Mary Major. Plenary indulgence; after Confession and Communion.
Easter Monday. St. Peter, on the Vatican, and St. Onuphrius. Indulgence of thirty years and thirty quarantines.
Easter Tuesday. St. Paul, outside the Walls, The same indulgence.
Wednesday in Easter Week. St. Laurence, outside the the Walls. The same indulgence.
Thursday in Easter Week. The Twelve Holy Apostles. The same indulgence.
Friday in Easter Week. St. Mary of the Martyrs, called La Rotunda (The Round Church). The same indulgence.
Saturday in Easter Week. St. John Lateran. The same indulgence.
Low Sunday. St. Pancratius and St. Mary della Scala. The same indulgence.
April 25. Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist. St. Peter, on the Vatican. The same indulgence.
Rogation Monday. St. Mary Major. The same indulgence.
Rogation Tuesday. St. John Lateran. The same indulgence.
Rogation Wednesday. St. Peter, on the Vatican. The same indulgence.
Ascension Day. St. Peter, on the Vatican. Plenary indulgence; after Confession and Communion.
Saturday, Vigil of Pentecost. St. John Lateran. Indulgence of ten years and ten quarantines.
Whit-Sunday. St. Peter, on the Vatican. Indulgence of thirty years and thirty quarantines.
Whit-Monday. St. Peter’s Chains. The same indulgence.
Whit-Tuesday. St. Anastasia, The same indulgence.
Wednesday in Whitsun-Week (Ember Day). St. Mary Major. The same indulgence.
Thursday in Whitsun-Week. St. Laurence, outside the Walls. The same indulgence.
Friday in Whitsun-Week (Ember Day).  The Twelve Holy Apostles. The same indulgence.
Saturday in Whitsun-Week (Ember Day). Eve of the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity. St. Peter, on the Vatican. The same indulgence.
Wednesday in September (Ember day). St. Mary Major. Indulgence of ten years and ten quarantines.
Friday in September (Ember day). The Twelve Holy Apostle’s, The same indulgence.
Saturday in September (Ember day). St. Peter, on the Vatican. The same indulgence..
First Sunday in Advent. St. Mary Major. The same indulgence.
Second Sunday in Advent. Holy Cross in Jerusalem. The same indulgence.
Third Sunday in Advent. St. Peter, on the Vatican. Indulgence of fifteen years and fifteen quarantines.
Wednesday in December (Ember day). St. Mary Major. Indulgence of ten years and ten quarantines.
Friday in December (Ember day).  The Twelve Holy Apostles. The same indulgence.
Saturday in December (Ember day). St. Peter, on the Vatican The same indulgence.
Fourth Sunday in Advent. The Twelve Holy Apostles. The same indulgence.
Dec. 24. Christmas Eve. St. Mary Major. Indulgence of fifteen  years and fifteen quarantines.
Dec. 25. Christmas Day. First Mass. Altar of the Holy Crib, in St. Mary Major. The same indulgence.
Second Mass. St. Anastasia. The same indulgence.
Third Mass and the rest of the day . St. Peter, on the Vatican, and St. Mary Major. Plenary indulgence, after Confession and Communion.
Dec. 26. St. Stephen the First Martyr. St. Stephen on the Celian Hill, commonly called the Round Church of St. Stephen. Indulgence of thirty years and thirty quarantines.
Dec. 27. St. John the Apostle and Evangelist. St. Mary Major. The same indulgence..
Dec. 28. The Holy Innocents. St. Paul, outside the Walls. The same indulgence.


147. VISIT TO THE SEVEN CHURCHES AND SEVEN PRIVILEGED ALTARS.

The custom of visiting the Seven principal churches in Rome is of most ancient institution:- They are as follows: St. Peter, on the Vatican; St. Paul, and St. Sebastian, outside the Walls; St. John Lateran; the Holy Cross in Jerusalem; St. Laurence, outside the Walls; and St. Mary Major. This devotion was introduced by the piety of our ancestors; and it has the authoritative approval of the Sovereign Pontiffs, as Sixtus V. observes in his Bull Egregia Populi Romani Pietas, Feb. 13, 1586, in which he speaks of the visit to the seven churches. It was almost the daily devotion of St. Joseph Calasactius, it was frequently practised by St. Philip Neri as well as by other Saints, and it is now in continual use with persons of every rank, not only those who dwell in Rome, but with strangers also, who come to Rome in order to venerate in these churches the relics deposited there, especially those of the holy apostles and martyrs. Whoever, having Confessed and Communicated, shall visit these seven churches after this pious custom, and pray there according to the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff, may gain the many indulgences, with which these churches have been enriched for every day in the year. See Several Bulls and Pontifical Briefs, the originals of which are to be found in the archives of these churches.
Most ancient also is the custom of visiting the seven privileged altars in these churches, but especially in St. Peter, on the Vatican; a record of this custom being found in the archives of this church as far back as the times of Pope Innocent II., who flourished in 1130. These seven altars in St. Peter’s are –
1. The Altar of Our Lady, commonly called the “Gregoriana;”
2. Of SS. Processus and Martinianus;
3. Of St. Michael the Archangel;
4. Of St. Petronilla, Virgin;
5. Of Our Lady, commonly called “of the Pillar;”
6, Of the Holy Apostles St. Simon and St. Jude; and
7. Of St. Gregory the Great.
Any of the faithful who shall visit devoutly these seven altars with due dispositions, and (if intending to gain the plenary indulgence) having Confessed and Communicated, may obtain many indulgences granted by various Sovereign Pontiffs, and confirmed by St. Pius V., by Sixtus V., Paul V., Clement VIII,, and Urban VIII. This last Pope issued many Bulls in favour of the churches outside the walls, in which he grants to the seven altars of these churches the same Indulgences as are granted to the seven altars in St. Peter, on the Vatican.


148. FOR THE INDULGENCE COMMONLY CALLED “IL PERDONO,” “THE PARDON.”

The little church of Our Lady of the Angels, near Assisi, commonly called Della Porziuncula, from a villa near it, was given to St. Francis by the Benedictine monks. It was in this holy chapel, or rather little church, as it them was, that the seraphic father so urgently besought our Lord Jesus Christ that all the faithful who should visit it after Confession and Communion might obtain a Plenary Indulgence.
His prayers, made in union with the prayers of our Blessed Lady, were answered; and the Indulgence he had asked was granted by our Divine Lord, who ordered it to be confirmed by His Vicar Honorius III., at that time Sovereign Pontiff, who, having ascertained that such was the Divine pleasure, did, in the year 1223, confirm for ever this Plenary indulgence for the 2d of August, beginning with the First Vespers, the anniversary of the dedication of this church, which was afterwards magnificently enlarged and decorated with the title of Basilica. (1)
This Indulgence, commonly called the Indulgence of the Sacred Pardon, or of the Sacro Perdono, was afterwards extended by many Popes to all the churches of the three orders instituted by St. Francis, more particularly by Gregory XV, in a Bull, Splendor Paternae Gloriae, July 4, 1622, who prescribed Communion as well as Confession as a good work to be done for gaining this Indulgence.
The Venerable Innocent XI., by a brief of Jan. 22, 1689, confirming this Bull of Gregory XV., declared that this Indulgence might also be applied in suffrage for the holy souls in purgatory. (2)
The peculiarity of this Indulgence is, that it may be gained toties quoties, that is, as many times as it is visited, though on the same day; and this pious custom of visiting again and again many times the same chapel or church of the Porziuncula, or any other of the churches of the order of St. Francis, in order to gain this Indulgence in suffrage for the departed on each of these visits, has never been prohibited; (3) this has been twice decided by the S. Congr. of the Council – on July 17, 1700, and on Dec, 4, 1723;. (4) Nay more, when in the S. Congr. of Indulgences, held Feb. 22, 1847, the question was proposed, “Whether in visiting on the 2d of August churches of the order of St. Francis, the Plenary indulgence could be gained every time the visit was repeated;” the S. Congr. decided in the affirmative, and at the same time declared that the Holy Communion, requisite for the indulgence, need not be made in the Franciscan church. These declarations were all confirmed by the Sovereign Pontiff Pius IX., in a decree of the said S. Congr., July 12, 1847.

NOTES.
(1) Lections of the 2d Noct. for Aug. 2, in the Breviary and Martyrology of the Franciscan Order.
(2) See Lambertini (afterwards Benedict XIV.) as promoter of the faith, in the petitions concerning this Indulgence addressed to a special Congregation deputed for this purpose my Pope Clement XI., in the year 1700, § ii. no. 26.
(3) See the same author, in his Report to the S. Congr. of the Council, of which he was at that the secretary, in the year 1723, on the ancient custom toties quoties of the said Indulgence.
(4) Thesaurus of the Resolutions of the S. Congr. of the Council, vol. ii. Dec. 4, 1723, p. 398.


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