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396 ASSOCIATION OF THE PROPAGATION OF THE FAITH.
to recite the Litany of the Blessed Virgin, or to say seven “Our Fathers," “ Hail Marys,” and “ Glorias.”
Pope John XXII., in his Bulla Sabbatina, declares that the Blessed Virgin appeared to him while he was a Cardinal. and promised that, on the Saturday after the death of any of her religious of the order of Mount Carmel, and of any of the members of her Confraternity of the Scapular, she would procure their deliverance from purgatory.
To gain the indulgences granted by this bull, it is necessary for the members of the Confraternity, 1. To observe chastity, according to their state. 2. To recite every day the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin, or the Canonical Office, if they are able. 3. If they are not able to recite either of these offices, to observe the fasts of the Church, and to ab. stain from flesh-meat every Wednesday throughout the year, except Christmas Day. These two latter conditions may be commuted by a confessor who has faculties for so doing.
The Association of the Propagation of the
Faith. The object of this Association is, to assist, by prayers and alms, the missionaries of the Church in foreign nations.
The prayers of the Association are, one “ Our Father" and one “ Hail Mary'' each day. It will suffice to say, with this intention, the Pater and Ave of the morning or evening prayers, and to add the following invocation : “ St. Francis Xavier, pray for us." The alms is one half-penny a week.
The indulgences attached to this Association are-1. A plenary indulgence (with the usual conditions)' on the feasts of the Finding of the Holy Cross and St. Francis Xavier (or any day within their octaves); and once a month on any day at choice. 2. An indulgence of 100 days each time the prescribed prayers are said with a contrite heart, or a donation made to the Association, or any other pious or charitable work performed.
1 Another condition is, to visit the church or oratory of the Association, if there be one; if not, the parochial church will suffice.
*** The Annals of the Propagation of the Faith afford most edifying and agreeable spiritual reading. [The Litany of St. Francis Xavier, with the Prayers annexed, may be
used for the intentions of this Association.]
The Institution of the Holy Childhood. The object of this Institution is, to rescue from an untimely death the children of Chinese parents, a multitude of whom are, by an unnatural and superstitious custom, annually doomed to destruction, either by being drowned in the sea and in rivers, or by being exposed to be devoured by dogs and swine; but above all, to open heaven by Baptism to the greatest possible number of these unfortunate creatures, and so to prepare the way for the conversion of the idolatrous nations, by giving to the children thus rescued from death a Christian education, in order that they may themselves become instruments of salvation, as teachers in schools, catechists, and also as priests and missionaries.
Extract from the Rule. 1. The Institution is placed under the protection of the Infant Jesus. 2. It is under the special patronage of the Blessed Virgin; the holy Angel Guardians, St. Joseph, St. Francis Xaxier, and St. Vincent of Paul, being its secondary patrons. 3. Every baptised child can be a member of the Association. 4. Children are admissible from the most tender age to the time of their first communion. 5. The members of the Association can continue to belong to it till the age of twenty-one. Up to that period, persons who have made their first communion can still be aggregated to it; but at the age of twenty-one, they can remain members only on condition of their being members also of the Association of the Propagation of the Faith. 6. The Association is divided into sections of twelve members each, in honour of the twelve years of our Saviour's childhood. 7. The contribution from each member is one halfpenny a month. 8. Each member must say every day (or if too young, some one must say in the child's name)-1. The “Hail Mary" (it will suffice to say with this intention the “ Hail Mary' of the morning or evening prayer); 2. The following invocation: “Blessed Virgin Mary, pray for us, and for the poor little children of infidels."
Masses are offered for the members and for benefactors, as well as for the children whose salvation is the object of the Institution. All the Masses and prayers of the Association have a special intention in favour of Christian mothers, that all their children may attain the grace of holy Baptism; also to draw down the grace of God upon the young members of the Association, that they may dispose themselves in a holy manner for the great day of their first communion, and that they may persevere in their good resolutions.
The Scapular of the Passion;
On the evening of the octave of St. Vincent of Paul, July 26th, 1846, our Lord appeared to a Sister of Charity, at Paris, while she was praying in chapel, before the hour of Benediction. He held in his right hand a scarlet scapular, suspended by two ribands of wool of the same colour. On one side, he was represented crucified ; the instruments of the Passion lay at the foot of the cross; round this representation was written : Holy Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, save us ! On the other side was traced the image of his Sacred Heart, and that of his blessed Mother; a cross was between the two, and around was this inscription : Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, protect us!
He appeared to her on several other occasions. On the feast of the Exaltation of the holy Cross she heard these words : Whoever shall wear this scapular shall receive every Friday a large increase of faith, hope, and charity.
His Holiness Pius IX. grants : 1. A plenary indulgence every Friday to all who, wearing the scapular, shall (in addition to the usual conditions) meditate devoutly for some space on the Passion of our Lord. 2. An indulgence of three years and three quadragenæ, every day, to all who, with a contrite heart, should meditate for half an hour on the same mystery. 3. An indulgence of 200 days to all the faithful who should kiss the scapular in a spirit of compunction, and recite this prayer : Tu ergo, quesumus, tuis famulis subveni, quos pretioso sanguine redemisti. (Help thy servants, we beseech thee, whom thou hast redeemed with thy precious blood.)
The scapular must be blessed by some priest having facul. ties for so doing.
The Sacrament of Baptism.
EXPLANATION OF THE CEREMONIES.
The ceremonies used by the Church in the administration of Baptism are very ancient. St. Basil mentions many of them, which, he says, are of apostolical tradition; as the consecration of the water, and of the oil used in the anointings, the renunciation of Satan and his works, and the profession of faith. St. Augustine mentions the sign of the cross, the imposition of hands, and the custom of giving salt to the catechumens. St. Ambrose speaks of the ceremony of touching the ears and nostrils with spittle, with the words, Be opened.
These ceremonies have a twofold signification. They are outward signs of that which the Holy Spirit operates in wardly in the souls of
se that receive the Sacrament: and they also admonish them of that which they ought to do, and represent to them the obligations they contract.
The priest is vested in a white surplice, as denoting innocence, and two stoles, one violet, the other white. The violet colour signifies the unhappy state to which sin has reduced mankind. After the exorcisms, the priest puts on the white stole, as the symbol of the innocence conferred by the Sacrament.
The priest goes outside the church to the person to be baptised, to teach us, that, being still the slave of sin, he is not worthy of being admitted into the house of the Lord.
Addressing himself to the godfather and godmother, he says: What name give you to this child? A name is given, says St. Charles Borromeo, to shew that the person is dedicated to the service of Jesus Christ, that being a sign of authority over him. This name, the Council of Trent teaches, should be that of some saint, in order that by bearing the same name, the person may be excited to imitate his virtues and sanctity; and that, while endeavouring to imitate him, he may invoke him, and pray to him, in the confident hope that he will be his patron and advocate, for the safety of his body and the salvation of his soul.
The wretched state to which sin has reduced the human race is still
further intimated by the priest's breathing three times on the person to be baptised, which is done to drive away the devil, as by the Holy Ghost, who is the Spirit or breath of God. It also expresses the contempt which Christians have of him, and the ease with which he may be put to flight, like a straw with a puff of wind.
After having put to flight the tyrant who holds in captivity every one that cometh into the world, the priest imprints on the person to be baptised the seal of a very different master. He signs him with the sign of the cross on the forehead and on the breast, that Christ, who was crucified for our sins, may take possession of him; on the forehead, to signify that a Christian must never be ashamed to make open profession of the faith of his crucified Saviour; and on the breast, to signify that the love of Jesus Christ, and a readiness to obey all his divine commandments, and to share in his sufferings, ought constantly to reside in his heart.
The priest, as God's representative, then lays his hand on the head of the person to be baptised, to denote that he takes possession of him in the name of the Almighty.
He then exorcises the salt, to purify it from the malignant influences of the evil spirit; and puts a grain of this salt, thus blessed, into the mouth of the person to be baptised. The salt is the symbol of wisdom, as when St. Paul says (Col. iv. 6): Let your speech be always in grace seasoned with salt. Salt is also a preservative against corruption. This ceremony, then, signifies that the person baptised must make known to the world the sweet savour of the law of God, by the good example of a virtuous and holy conversation; and shew by all his works that it is the doctrine of Christ that preserves the soul from corruption, and establishes a firm hope of the resurrection of the body.
Having thus communicated to the person to be baptised the wisdom of Christ and the relish for divine things, the priest peremptorily commands the wicked spirit to depart, and never attempt to deprive him of this precious gift, in the solemn words of the ancient exorcism; then making the sign of the cross, he says. And this sign of the holy cross which we make upon his forehead, do thou, accursed devil, never dare to violate.
After this, the priest lays the end of his stole, the symbol of his authority, upon the person to be baptised, and introduces him into the church. Being come therein, the priest, jointly with the person to be baptised, or, if it be an infant, with the godfather and godmother, recites aloud the Lord's Prayer and the Apostles' Creed. He then again exorcises the unclean spirit, and commands him to depart in the name and by the power of the most blessed Trinity.
The next is a ceremony deeply significative. We read in the Gospel (Mark vii. 32-5) that our Lord cured one that was deaf and dumb by touching his tongue and his ears with spittle, saying: Ephphetha, "Be thou opened.' Man, in his natural state, is spiritually both deaf and