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Indulgences & Warning on the Scapular

Questions from Australia

Dear TIA,

This is a great article: "Remembering the Often-Forgotten Indulgences"

I found this paragraph most interesting and helpful as I am praying for a family member who I believe is in Purgatory:

"St. Pius X granted an indulgence of seven years and seven quarantines (a period of 40 days) to all who, looking at the Body and Blood of Christ, say “Dominus meus et Deus meus” – My Lord and my God. These are the words of St. Thomas to Our Lord in the Cenacle after he doubted. To all who do this daily, he granted a plenary indulgence once a week provided they receive Holy Communion subject to the usual conditions. It is forbidden to say the invocation aloud."

May I please ask why it is forbidden to say the invocation aloud?

Can the indulgence be applied to the Holy Souls in Purgatory?

Thank you very much.


     P.F., Australia

Dr. Remi Amelunxen responds:

Dear Mr. P.F.,

Thank you for your inquiry on the article “Remembering the Often-Forgotten Indulgences.”

1. Regarding your reference to the ejaculation “Dominus meus et Deus meus,” enquiring on what the faithful are recommended to say at the Elevations of the Sacred Host and Wine, I looked it up in various books on the Mass, but I could find nothing about why it is forbidden to say the invocation aloud. I can simply offer my opinion on this.

From the beginning of the Roman Canon (Te igitur…) to the end of the Canon and minor Elevation, the rubrics mandate absolute silence except for the final major prayer “Nobis quoque peccatoribus,” these being the only three words said aloud.

It seems to me that it would be against the rubrics and a disturbing factor if the congregation were to say aloud “Dominus meus et Deus meus” at the very heart of the Mass, i.e., when the consecratory formula for the Transubstantiation of the wine into the Precious Blood is being said.

2. Regarding the application of an indulgence to the Holy Souls in Purgatory, such indulgences are efficaciously applied to them by way of suffrage, which means depending on God’s decision and not involving Church authority.

Therefore, by way of suffrage, it has been a pious custom to believe that God accepts indulgences on behalf of the Holy Souls in Purgatory, those souls of the Church Suffering who never cease to pray for us even when we so often neglect to remember them.

It would seem that your intention to apply an indulgence to a soul in Purgatory would be granted by Our Lord.

Wishing you every blessing,

     In Jesu et Maria,

     Remi Amelunxen, Ph.D.


The Carmelite Scapular: A Warning

Dear TIA,

I just sent a donation. I frequently wonder if you get enough money for the important work you do. There is not another website that I read with more interest than yours.

I would like to share with you a recent experience that has had a profound impact on my life. I hope it is of value to someone.

It was a day like any other. After a hard week at work, I wasn’t that interested in making a trip, but my daughter had an appointment with her doctor and we had just an hour to get there.

We had planned to leave ourselves at least an hour and a half for such a trip. But everyone was running late. My daughter was late getting up. My son was anxious about things to take with him. My anxious mood was putting my wife on edge. And it didn’t stop there. In the car, we ran into roadblocks because of a bicycle race. The snarled traffic alone lost us another 10 minutes at least.

By the time we were on the open highway, we had just 40 minutes to get there on time. I said a few Hail Mary’s, rationalizing that the doctor’s appointment was important and I didn’t like other people being late, so how could I tolerate it in myself?

Proud and feeling myself to be invincible, I weaved in and out of traffic running up speeds of 130 and 135 km/hr on the clear spots. My wife’s taut face and clenched jaw should have been enough for me to stop, but I was determined. After all, there were still faster cars on the road. It wasn’t as if I was the only one running the chance of a $300.00 speeding ticket.

We finally arrived. My driving skills were still superb. The Hail Mary’s must have worked. My daughter was in seeing her doctor and we were waiting for her. I had not driven that fast in over 10 years, maybe more. In fact, I usually always obeyed the speed limits, especially since I had converted some while back and become a traditional Catholic.

Now, though, I felt sick. Senior Citizens don’t usually speed. And as a middle aged man pushing sixty, I was paying the price. I asked my wife if she could drive us home as I felt nauseated and a little dizzy. She refused. Angry at me, I guess. So, I started to drive again. Now you would think that on the return journey I would really start to pray. But I didn’t. I can’t explain the state of mind I was in. To this day, I still can’t.

Home at last. I told myself that I would never speed again. My wife unburdened herself in our living room, telling me that she really wanted to be on time so that was why she stayed quiet, but that she had been scared practically to death by my driving. She did not feel well either. We chatted a bit. I felt a little better... until I went into the washroom.

My brown scapular was hanging on the shower curtain pole. How did it get there? I felt around my neck. It was gone. There was no scapular around my neck.

It took me awhile to figure it out. I never put my scapular on the shower curtain, but I put it there just before a trip. Then I forgot about it. I could have been killed on the highway. I could have seriously injured or even killed the people I loved most. And my pride was so great that I would risk all for a trifle like being on time for a doctor.

The brown scapular is a great sacramental and undoubtedly many souls owe their salvation to it. Our Lady’s promise is true. You will not go to Hell if you die while wearing it. But it is not fool proof or magical. It is not a replacement for being in a state of grace. You must be worthy enough to wear it. I wasn’t worthy on the day of that trip. I pray that I might never be so unworthy again!



Blason de Charlemagne
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Posted October 29, 2013


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