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and middle classes, who, though less distinguished on earth, will be found equally glorious in heaven. Thus it will be seen that the Third Order of St. Francis has flourished in all climes, from the icy regions of the north to the burning sun of the east. Nor has it been confined to any particular rank; our holy rule has been as well received and as faithfully observed in the emperor's palace as in the shepherd's cot.

We have hitherto confined our remarks to the Third Order of St. Francis, established for persons living in the world; but it will be well to mention here, that from this many regular orders have sprung, and at the present time numerous communities of the Third Order exist throughout Christendom; these have their own particular constitutions, and are perfectly distinct from the secular Third Order, though the members of the latter have the happy advantage of participating in their prayers and good works.

It will be seen that the rule assumes the existence of congregations, and furnishes directions for their government; these congregations, however, can only be carried out where there are several Tertians living in the same locality; still we cannot too strongly urge on our brothers and sisters in religion to organise themselves as soon as possible, that they may be in a position to gain the indulgences, and profit by the other spiritual advantages attached to the congregational practices.




THE Brothers and the Sisters of the Third Order (secular and regular) of our seraphic Father St. Francis, submitted to the Minister-General of the whole Order of Brother Minors, enjoy all the privileges and indulgences granted to the order and to the churches of the order.

They may also gain any of the indulgences granted to the other religious orders, congregations, and societies, even those of the Company of Jesus, archconfraternities of Cordigères, and of the Gonfalon of the City,* the same as if they had been granted to themselves.

Innocent XI., 5th Sept. 1686, in his Constitution, which begins Exponi nobis; Benedict XIII., 10th Dec. 1725, Paterna sedis, and 5th July 1726, Singularis devotio; confirmed by Pius VII., 10th Feb. 1818, Pias Christi fidelium; and by Pius IX., 7th July 1848, and 11th March 1851, Cum sicut nobis.

*The plenary indulgences granted to the Gonfalon are very numerous amongst others, a plenary indulgence on the Feasts of our Lord, of our Blessed Lady, of the Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul, of St. Mary Magdalen, of St. Lucy, St. Albert, and the Forty Martyrs.-Gregory XIII. 6th Aug. 1579.

Besides these favours, the Sovereign Pontiffs have granted to the Third Order of Penance the following indulgences:

Plenary indulgence the day on which the habit is taken. Paul V., 23d May 1606, Romanus Pontifex; Benedict XIV., 15th March 1751.

Plenary indulgence the day of profession. Paul V., 23d May 1606; Pius VI., 6th June 1776.

Plenary indulgence every Sunday throughout the year. Innocent VIII., 24th Sept. 1508, Sacræ religionis.

Plenary indulgence for assisting at the monthly and annual re-unions of the congregation. Pius IX., 14th July 1848 and 17th Aug. 1849.

Plenary indulgence for following the procession of the Cord of St. Francis (which usually takes place every month in the Franciscan churches). For those who do not communicate on those days there is an indulgence of three years and three quarantines. Paul V., 11th March 1607, Cum certas.

Plenary indulgence once a month, at choice, for those who make a quarter of an hour's meditation daily. Innocent XI., 6th Nov. 1686; Innocent XII., 24th Dec. 1691.

Plenary indulgence for reciting the Crown of our Blessed Lady, commonly called the Franciscan Crown. Leo X., 14th Sept. 1517, Exponi nobis; Paul V., 8th June 1608; confirmed by Innocent XI., 15th May 1688, Exponi nobis.

Plenary indulgence for reciting the Rosary of our Lord, composed of thirty-three Paters and thirtythree Aves, in honour of His mortal life, or the Seven Penitential Psalms, or the Gradual Psalms, or the Office of the Dead. Such persons as are sick may


gain the same indulgence by reciting a psalm or a hymn of our Blessed Lady or of our Lord. Leo X., 15th Dec. 1517.

Plenary indulgence on the Feasts of our Lord, of the Blessed Virgin, of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, of St. Catherine, Virgin and Martyr, on All Saints, and on every day in Holy Week. Besides the above, Tertians may receive the general absolution on these days. Leo X., 19th June 1515.

Plenary indulgence and Papal benediction, in form of grand Jubilee, four times a year, at choice, and at the article of death. Leo X., 10th Dec. 1519.*

Plenary indulgence the titulary day of the church or chapel of the Third Order. Benedict XIV., 17th May 1755.

Plenary indulgence every year, on the 16th April, if the Tertian renews his profession on that day. Clement XII., 30th March 1765. When Good Friday falls on the 16th April, the renewal of profession is made on that day, and the Communion the day before.

Plenary indulgence once a year, for following an eight-days' spiritual retreat. Alexander VII., 11th June 1659; Pius VII., 6th June 1776.

Plenary indulgence for every Tertian the day of

*It has been objected, that these indulgences and general absolutions have been revoked by Paul V. in his constitution commencing Romanus Pontifex, given at Rome, 23d May 1606; and that the proposition, "The indulgences granted to regulars, and revoked by Paul V., are again made valid," is condemned by Alexander VII., 18th March 1666. To this objection we reply, that the indulgences granted to our Tertians who do not take the four vows of religion, and who live in the world or in convents, have not been revoked by the aforesaid constitution of Paul V., as is formally declared by Innocent XI., in his brief 10th Oct. 1686, commencing Alias emanavit.

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his first Mass, and also to all Tertians who assist at or who celebrate Mass the same day. Paul V., 23d May 1606, Romanus Pontifex.

Plenary indulgence on celebrating the twentyfifth or fiftieth anniversary of clothing or of profession. Pius VI., 6th June 1776.

Plenary indulgence at the hour of death, for pronouncing, by word or in the heart, the holy name of Jesus. Paul V., 23d May 1606, and 11th March 1607.

Plenary indulgence for dying in the holy habit of one of the three Orders of St. Francis.* Leo X., 15th Sept. 1517, Exponi nobis.

In all the churches of the order one of the altars is privileged. Benedict XIV., 11th Dec. 1748.

Every time that a regular or secular priest says Mass for a deceased Tertian, this Mass is applied to the souls of the dead, as if it was said at a privileged altar. Clement VIII., 20th June 1596, De omnium salute; Benedict XIV., 24th March 1741, Cum sicut dilectus.

Gratia altaris privilegiati quotidiani est (per communicationem) perpetuo concessa sacerdotibus Tertiariis, qui, ex causis senectutis, infirmitatis ac imbecillitatis in oratorio aut sacello domestico Missam celebrant. Benedictus XIV., 22d Sept. 1755.

* This indulgence may be gained by any person not belonging to either of the three orders, if he ask and receive before he dies one or other of the habits, which must be given by a superior of the order, or his delegate. It is sufficient to have this habit or the scapular on up to the last moment, and to be buried in it.

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