Monday, September 14, 2009

Men Filled The Confessionals Night And Day

St. Ignatius ordered that the Holy Sacrifice should be offered by all his Society; and he procured from the Pope a participation for the army in the privileges of the Jubilee of 1550. He asked the same favour also for his children in India, Brazil, and Congo, and begged the Pope, Julius III., to say what were to be the conditions of the indulgences ? His Holiness answered,
" I make this condition only, that you and your Society shall exercise all my authority in all those parts of the world, and order whatever you think proper for gaining the indulgences."
When the Saint humbly thanked him, and told him some good news of their successes in India, Julius wept for joy, and said " they were beyond measure dear to him." He extended these favours also to other places in Europe where the Society was known, and maintained the peculiar privileges of the Jesuits during the Holy Year of Jubilee, though such grants were commonly suspended among the other Religious Orders.
Ignatius announced the indulgences of the Pope to the army in the following letter:
Ignatius of Loyola, General of the Society of Jesus, to the illustrious lords, to the noble and brave captains and soldiers, and all the Christians who are making war in Africa against the Infidels, protection and grace of Jesus Christ our Lord, and in Him eternal lite. His Excellency, Don Juan, Viceroy of Sicily, and head of this holy expedition, having written to ask me, in name of himself and the whole army, to entreat our holy Father the Pope Julius III.-'
to open lo you, who are detained in heathen lands, and fighting for the glory of Christ and the exaltation of our holy faith, the treasures of the Jubilee which he offers those who visit Rome and certain churches there; his Holiness, in virtue of his apostolic benevolence, has joyfully granted you this favour, provided you are repentant and go to confession. And thus you will fight against the enemies (Muley Hamida) of the Holy Cross with so much greater zeal, courage, and determination, as you find more of the liberality of the most Holy God towards you, and of the Church His Spouse. Thus you will derive most precious fruits from this war, whether victory in combat, or eternal happiness to those who die after obtaining pardon for their sins.
In order to announce that this favour has been granted to you, I have thought it right, in the Lord, to send you this letter, and sign it with the seal of our Society. Given at Rome, July 9, 1550.
This was announced to the army with sound of trumpet. James Lainez exhorted all to share in the Pope's bounty,
and the men filled the Confessionals night and day.
Tunis was taken on August 10, and Lainez said Mass in a mosque freshly consecrated to St. John the Baptist.
Link (here) to the portion of the book St. Ignatius and the Jesuits, By Stewart Rose
Link (here) to Fr. Ray Blake's blog post that was the inspiration for this piece.

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