Life and Soul

Omnium Gatherum

The month of May is traditionally designated in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our greatest intercessor with Christ the Just Judge.

Speaking of intercessors, we can also intercede for others by obtaining for them indulgences, to remit especially for the Poor Souls some or all of the temporal punishment due to sins for which they did not do adequate penance while alive.

On May 8 there is a special partial indulgence available by making the Supplication to Our Lady of Pompeii.

There was a beautiful tradition for this day (often right at noon). Once upon a time one could obtain on this day a plenary indulgence by reciting the Supplication to the Madonna of Pompeii. The other day for this is the first Sunday of October.

With the changes to the concessions for indulgences, according to the Enchiridion Indulgentiarum, there is no longer any plenary indulgence for this prayer, notwithstanding anything you might see in some old book or on a website.

However, the new Enchiridion says with concession #17, §3 that Marian prayers obtain a partial indulgence under the condition that the prayer is approved by competent authority and that it is recited with fervour in the state of grace. You can receive a partial indulgence, by maintaining this beautiful custom of the Supplication.

The language of the supplication may seem florid to 21st-century ears and tongues but it is vigorous, serious and super Catholic. We need more unabashedly fervent prayers like this, friends. Here are a couple of samples:

O blessed rosary of Mary, sweet chain which unites us to God, bond of love, which connects us with the angels, tower of safety against the assaults of hell, sure harbour in the universal shipwreck, never more shall we part with thee; thou shall be our comfort in the hour of agony: to thee the last kiss of our life; and the last word of our dying lips shall be thy sweet name, O Queen of the Rosary of Valle di Pompei. Mother dear, only refuge of sinners, supreme comforter of the afflicted, blessed be thy name, now and forever, on earth and in heaven. Amen.

This devotion was started by Blessed Bartolo Longo, who had once been a Satanist “priest”. St Pope John Paul II beatified Bartolo Longo in 1980. Some of his writings form the basis of the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary.