A Gift from Heaven: the Portiuncula Indulgence

by Maryla

It was only a few years ago that I first learnt of this devotional practice. At the time I wondered why such a tremendous gift from the treasury of the Church wasn’t proclaimed from all pulpits and rooftops. Today I’m still left wondering… but proclaim it I shall. But first, a bit of potted history:

The Portiuncula Indulgence, which can be obtained every year on 2th August or the first Sunday thereafter, is owed to the prayer of St Francis of Assisi. When in 1209 he founded the Order of the Friars Minor, this great Saint, who so esteemed poverty and lowliness, beseeched the Benedictine Abbot in possession of a humble little chapel in Assisi, the Portiuncula church, to let the Franciscans have it for their use. The chapel, dedicated to Our Lady of the Angels, had been abandoned for a long time. Once the Benedictines had given it to him, Francis set about restoring it.

It was in this historic church that on 28th March 1211 St Clare received her habit from St Francis and so initiated the Order of the Poor Clares. And here too, St Francis implored of God the Portiuncula Indulgence. Whilst there are variations in different writers’ accounts, tradition tells us that in October 1221, whilst the Saint was in his cell weeping over poor sinners, an angel appeared to him, inviting him into the presence of the Son of God in company with his Virgin Mother and a host of angels who had visibly descended into the little church.

Saint Francis immediately hurried into the little church and found everything exactly as the angel had told him. Filled with awe, he fell face down before the Lord and adored Him. Jesus in turn looked graciously upon his humble servant inviting him to ask any favour, with the assurance of granting him his request. Plucking up courage, the Saint begged that all sinners visiting the church and contritely confessing their sins might receive full pardon. To this Jesus replied: “Francis, you ask much, but I will favour you with greater things still; your prayer is granted, but go to my vicar, the Pope, and in my Name ask for the Indulgence which I have granted to you.” The apparition disappeared, leaving Francis overjoyed.

The following day, together with his brothers, St Francis hastened to Pope Honorius III, fell prostrate before him, and beseeched him to announce that everyone visiting the church, and confessing their sins with contrite heart, would be as pure from sin and punishment as at their baptism. Honorius, somewhat taken aback by this strange petition, hesitated to grant it. But Francis insisted that it was the Lord Jesus Christ himself who had sent him to make this request. The Pope, finally convinced by the truth of his words, granted his petition and ordered the solemn consecration of the little church and the declaration of the Indulgence for the second day of August.

Henceforth, pilgrims from all parts of the world flocked to the Portiuncula church to gain the Indulgence, and countless conversions occurred at that shrine of grace. To render this Indulgence more accessible to the faithful, subsequent Popes extended it to all Franciscan churches and later to all parish churches, and to make this grace more readily available to the faithful, the first Sunday after the 2nd August has been appointed as the day for gaining the Indulgence.

The first written documentation of this Indulgence dates back to 31st October 1277, about half a century after the Indulgence had been granted. When Pope Honorius offered Francis a document of the Indulgence, Francis replied that there was no need for it. “What have you to show that this Indulgence has been granted you?” the Pope asked in amazement as Francis prepared to depart for Assisi without any written confirmation of the great permission. “Holy Father,” he replied, “Your word is enough for me. If this is the work of God, it is for Him to make His work manifest. I desire no other document. The Blessed Virgin Mary shall be the charter, Christ the notary, and the angels the witnesses.”

Conditions attached to the Indulgence

The Indulgence, if the person gaining it is free from every sin, remits all the temporal punishment due to sin and may be applied to the person himself or herself or to a soul in Purgatory. If there is any adherence to sin in the person gaining the Indulgence, the Indulgence becomes partial.

Whilst it is possible to gain the Indulgence in any public church or oratory in the world beginning from noon on 1nd August until midnight at the end of 2nd August, one can now also obtain it on the first Sunday after 2nd August. The person wishing to gain the Indulgence must fulfill the following requirements:

a. Intend to gain the Indulgence.

b. Be detached from all sin, even venial sin.

c. While in the church pray one Our Father, one Apostles’ Creed, and one other prayer of the individual’s choice.

d. Pray for the intentions of the Pope (prayerfully saying an Our Father and a Hail Mary will suffice although other prayers may be said).

e. Receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist within one week either before or after the appointed day.

For further information from the Catechism of the Catholic Church on Indulgences click here.

Shortly after his visit to Pope Honorarius, Francis said before the Bishops of Umbria: “Brethren, I want to send you all to Heaven!” As we respond with thankful hearts to this great spiritual gift, may we hear the Seraphic Saint speak those beautiful words to us also.

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72 Responses to A Gift from Heaven: the Portiuncula Indulgence

  1. johnhenrycn says:

    Thankyou for this post, Maryla. I’m going to try and gain this indulgence starting today. For people interested generally in the concept of indulgences, I would recommend The Raccolta, or Manual of Indulgenced Prayers:


    There is a modern version (c. 1950s) authorised by the Holy See that’s still available from Loreto Publications at:



  2. rebrites says:

    Wow. And here I thought Christ´s love and forgiveness was a free gift available to everyone, without conditions. Sorta like “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” You know, the whole grace thing. Can´t earn it, can´t buy it. Only Jesus can give it, and he will if you just ask.

    Silly old thing I am. I should´ve known it was too good and simple to be true!


  3. johnhenrycn says:

    True enough, Rebrites, Christ’s love is a “free” gift (redundancy, what?); but what this post is about is ways to connect to that gift. That’s what prayer is all about. Connection. This is one of the mistakes evangelical and pentecostal Protestants (not you) make about prayer. They seem to feel that (and “feel” is the mot juste here) it’s all about spontaneity. Not so. Prayer can be spontaneous; but it can also be very structured, and that’s what Catholic prayers can offer that others can’t.


  4. teresa says:

    I think the grace is given freely, but not automatically.

    I think the word “free” in the sense of the grace given freely has the same meaning like “free” in the “free will” (libera), while the free which means free of charge is “gratis”, they are two different words in Latin which are translated with the same vernacular word.


  5. omvendt says:


    This from the ‘Catechism’:

    “An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven…”

    You can read the rest of the relevant section of the Catechism: 1471 – 1479.

    An orthodox Catholic surrenders private judgement and submits to the Church’s ‘Rule of Faith’.

    ‘What’s that?’, you may well ask.

    Let me be of assistance:

    The ‘Rule of Faith’ is ‘the norm or standard of religious belief. Catholic doctrine holds that belief must be professed in the divinely revealed truths of the Bible and Tradition as interpreted and proposed by the Magisterium of the Church’. (Rev. Peter. M. J. Stravinskas. ‘Catholic Dictionary’ ‘Our Sunday Visitor’).

    See also the ‘Catechism of the Catholic Church’: 84 – 95.

    Hope this helps.


  6. johnhenrycn says:

    I have a private prayer book. Looseleaf. In a small 6-ring binder. Made up of the essentials, but also some more personal things, a few self-composed ones. Here’s one for the other crew to enjoy and make fun of (I don’t mind) 🙂

    Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit,
    Almighty God,
    God of my mind and heart and soul,
    O God of my very life,
    Hear these, I beseech Thee,
    my hopes and prayers
    for a new way of living.
    I am done with the state I am in, O God,
    and to which the choices I have made have led me.
    No longer shall I go on as I have.
    Henceforth, I put aside my old ways and habits forever.
    The new life I now choose,
    is the life I shall now have.
    I am determined, O God,
    to welcome into my life, only those experiences,
    which are rich in meaning,
    and in the promise of steady growth toward,
    final and complete communion with Thee.
    In all that I think and say and do,
    I shall strive to choose only those experiences,
    which are rich in meaning and in the promise
    of steady growth toward final and complete
    communion with Thee.
    In all that I think and say and do,
    I shall strive to choose only those experiences,
    which best serve this purpose.
    I shall always strive for
    the highest thought,
    the purest word,
    the noblest deed.
    Nothing less.
    God being my helper,
    Nothing less.


  7. johnhenrycn says:

    Stanza 4 should read:

    “In all that I think and say and do,
    I shall strive to choose only those experiences,
    which best serve this purpose.”

    Whatever 😉


  8. mmvc says:

    johnhenrycn, “…make fun of” – are you kidding?
    This prayer is beautiful.
    I have just prayed it…from the heart, and having added it to my prayer folder, will pray it again and again.
    Thank you for sharing it here.


  9. johnhenrycn says:

    Thank you, MMVC, but when I said –
    “Here’s one for the other crew to enjoy and make fun of…”
    I certainly didn’t mean you or other Catholics, or Christians generally.

    The “other crew” is, well, you know…


  10. golden chersonnese says:

    Johnhenry, St Patrick’s breasChrist with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
    Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
    Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
    Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
    Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
    Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
    Christ in every eye that sees me,
    Christ in every ear that hears me


  11. golden chersonnese says:

    Heck! Sod this Interweb atrocity.

    johnhenry, St Patrick’s Breastplate:

    Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
    Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
    Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
    Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
    Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
    Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
    Christ in every eye that sees me,
    Christ in every ear that hears me.

    I arise today
    Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
    Through belief in the threeness,
    Through confession of the oneness,
    Of the Creator of Creation.

    Are you Brito-Irish, johnhenry?


  12. johnhenrycn says:

    Anglo-Irish on my mother’s side. Born on St. Patrick’s Day 🙂


  13. golden chersonnese says:

    Thought as much


  14. golden chersonnese says:

    Quite brilliant, johnhenry


  15. golden chersonnese says:

    I see Germaine Greer (in whom you expressed a prurient interest, if I may say so) is going to be on HardTalk on the BBC World News shortly, today 23.30 GMT.

    Might be interesting to see what the (very) old girl of Star of the Sea Presentation Convent, Gardenvale in Melbourne (where Judy doesn’t live any more, you there, darling?) might have to say.

    I remember that she said when Jehovah’s Witnesses proselytisers came to her retirement villa in Tuscany:

    Bug off. we are atheists here, but we’re Catholic Atheists!


  16. Frere Rabit says:

    @ Reb:
    Pretty simplistic comment really: “Wow… You know, the whole grace thing. Can´t earn it, can´t buy it. Only Jesus can give it, and he will if you just ask.”

    Nice rhetoric, Reb, but the whole Camino de Santiago disappears if you don’t believe in indulgences. Why did pilgrims walk there? Why do pilgrims still walk there (when they do it for the Catholic pilgrimage, rather than following some New Age sprituality?) Sorry but your inconsistency is glaringly obvious: you support pilgimage but insist on a clean and easy protestant definition of grace. Doesn’t work, Reb. You can scoff at Catholicism, but you need to be a logically consistent scoffer: at least your other half manages that with his consistently acerbic spittle!

    This is a nice try, but an article about the great Franciscan indulgence of the Portiuncola that starts with the wrong date for the foundation of the order will not gain many votes for accuracy. 1209 please! The thousands who went there last year for the 800th anniversary of the foundation – including one rabit who walked there from Rome – did not do it all a year too early, I think!

    We take the date from the meeting of Francis with Innocent III at the Lateran in 1209. A few other minor errors in this, but there we are… maybe we’re not aiming at academic standards here, I suppose, but it would be good to get our basic facts right. The Portiuncula Indulgence – it needs to be said – is something disputed between the OFM’s and the Conventuals, and the Capuchins (the three branches of the Order), which still affects its canonical status more widely in the Church. At present the Bishop of Assisi has been knocking heads together quite successfully to get the OFMs and the Conventuals to be more accommodating towards each others’ claims.

    Franciscan history and its curious spiritual legacy is fraught with complications, and even the Franciscan Study Centre in Canterbury can’t get all the different parts of the Franciscan family in England together. The Capuchins pulled out and have been doing their own thing, pronouncing the Canterbury Study Centre a waste of money.

    But at least the whole Franciscan world could agree on the date of the foundation. That is not difficult as it is not myth but history. Everyone celebrated the 800th anniversary last year.

    We need to aim for greater accuracy on this blog and I think the calls for editorial rigour are very timely. When there are clearly a number of specialists writing here, it is a shame not to make use of them! E.g. I wouldn’t dare write anything about the Dominicans without consulting Cumanus!

    Franciscan imagery: please remember folks. I offered some time ago to provide high definition images taken by the OFM Conventual brother Gerhard Ruf who died last year. For the Portiuncola, for example, I have a 1GB high definition shot of the church. We could use these to advantage as few have access to such shots. If you write anything on Assisi, as I said before, let me know and I’ll see what I have in the collection! A third rate picture doesn’t gain us many viewers. A good shot will improve our reputation.


  17. golden chersonnese says:

    How is the pilligriminage, rabit? Where bist thou now?


  18. omvendt says:


    “… at least your other half manages that with his consistently acerbic spittle!”

    I just knew those two were married.

    A thought often occurs to me when I listen to cafeteria Catholics objecting with angry scorn to many of the Church’s teachings: “If you don’t like it – leave.”

    I suppose that makes me uncharitable.


  19. golden chersonnese says:

    johnhenry, is this something like you were deeply expressing? If so, were you in good company? Ifear so.

    Prayer of S. Inigo de Loyola:

    I love Thee, O Thou Lord most high,
    Because Thou first has loved me;
    I seek no other liberty
    But that of being bound by Thee.

    May memory no thought suggest
    But shall to Thy pure glory tend,
    My understanding find no rest
    Except in Thee, its only end.

    My God, I here protest to Thee
    No other will I have than Thine;
    Whatever Thou hast giv’n to me
    I here again to Thee resign.

    All mine is Thine; say but the word,
    Whate’er Thou willest shall be done;
    I know Thy love, all-gracious Lord —
    I know it seeks my good alone.

    Apart from Thee all things are nought;
    Then grant, O my supremest Bliss,
    Grant me to love Thee as I ought —
    Thou givest all in giving this.


  20. mmvc says:

    Dear Rabit

    Thank you for your observations.

    I am happy to stand corrected, though I appear to be in good company in opting for 1210. The online Encyclopaedia Britannica refers to “this event, which according to tradition, occurred on April 16, 1210 marked the official founding of the Franciscan order”. On http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library, we read that “off in the green hills of Italy the Order of Friars Minor was quietly, humbly born. The year was 1210”. And the EWTN library (at http://www.ewtn.com/library/mary/francis.htm) includes the following: “… In the form in which it was at last presented to the chapter general in 1223 and solemnly approved by Pope Honorius it has remained ever since. The words of Christ which made up almost all of the original rule of 1210 are omitted”. I am not disputing that you are right, but it is clear that if you are indeed justified in your certainty then your knowledge could be more widely used than just on this blog.

    If you can find and substitute a higher definition picture, please do so.

    I do disagree, though, that people will be attracted to the site by higher definition pictures more than by the topics on which we choose to write. Precision is important, and it is good that anyone who has greater specialist knowledge should pick up on anything that is not exactly accurate. In this light, I am glad that Teresa has been able to amend the date (though you could obviously have done that yourself had you wished). I feel, though, that there is every danger of missing the big picture. In the end, I was merely sharing something that, as a lay Catholic with a strong faith but no academic credentials or pretensions in this field, I believe to be of immense spiritual value. Incidentally, I see that the article has already found its way onto a US site (http://conservativeamericannews.com/free-republic/catholic-caucus-a-gift-from-heaven-the-portiuncula-indulgence). The matter was topical, so it was a question of writing it now or leaving it for at least a year. The post has inspired some discussion and perhaps it has even encouraged some to make use of a great gift offered to us by Christ himself. Arguably, that is rather more important than choosing which authority to respect on whether the event took place 800 or 801 years ago, and on the granularity or otherwise of the photo.


  21. johnhenrycn says:

    mmvc has given us a lesson in how to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat; but I guess I shall now have to rub 1210 off my calendar. Sigh. But since we are being so very particular – and don’t get me wrong, to be correct in small things is a “good thing”, as Our Lord once said (or was that Martha Stewart?) – what day precisely in 1209 was


  22. johnhenrycn says:

    … the Order of the Friars Minor founded by St Francis? Surely, that must be known.


  23. johnhenrycn says:

    The Prayer of St Ignatius…

    GC, this blessed saint clearly had more than one; but the one you cite was unknown to me. His Anima Christi prayer is the only one I know, and this is my own variation thereof:

    “Soul of Christ, bless me,
    Body of Christ, feed me,
    Blood of Christ, fill me,
    Water from Christ clean me,
    Passion of Christ, save me,
    Dear Jesus, hear me,
    By thy wounds, heal me,
    From evil, hide me,
    At life’s end, guide me,
    So I may see Thee,
    When e’er I need Thee.

    Not sure this holy man would approve of my gloss; but he forgot to copyright the original 🙂


  24. Frere Rabit says:

    It is very straightforward. Sorry. But 2009 was the great event to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the foundation of the Franciscan order. The Portiuncola, which was the subject of this article was the setting for a great gathering of Franciscans from all over the world (including the Anglican Minister General, as it happens!) and this took place in 2009.

    There are simply thousands of Franciscans, religious, third order lay people etc. throughout the world, who looked forward to this event and celebrated it last year. To still suggest it is a matter of opinion is ridiculous! For people to be correcting me about procedures and saying I should not protest publicly on the blog is entirely missing the point. It is offensive when we claim to be a Catholic blog and cannot get our facts straight. Either accept that fact or call it a day.

    Sorry but I am not going to accept third rate work on any project I am involved with, so sack me now.


  25. johnhenrycn says:



  26. teresa says:

    Dear Rabit, we do appreciate your critic and help. Didn’t our Lord say that we should accept brotherly corrections? Aren’t we sisters and brothers in Christ? As for third rate work, well, dear Rabbit, I am ashamed to admit that my articles are not that good, but we try to do better. I won’t judge the work done by the others. I must admit that I myself have a lot to learn from all the others as we are different and the Lord created us differently. So can we move on now in the spirit of Unity and Christian Forbearance and brotherly Love again?

    And we are very looking forward to your new articles, why not write one on Francis of Assisi?


  27. johnhenrycn says:

    Fact is, I’m pretty third rate in many ways, myself. Third clarinet in my high school band, third place in the last foot race I ran in, third this, third that… the list endless really.


  28. johnhenrycn says:

    “…the list is endless, really.”

    Any chance of a preview button, hmm?


  29. Frere Rabit says:

    Maryla, in matters Franciscan, I don’t take my guidance from the ‘Online Encyclopedia Britannica’ or even the printed version (for it is a noted American protestant source which in any Catholic matters is usually wrong, and unsurprisingly as it doesn’t attempt to be Cathlolic!) No, in matters Franciscan, I usually go by the Franciscans themselves.

    Last year, in the the Portiuncola – the very place your article is about- the greatest ecumenical gathering of Franciscans took place in 2009 to celebrate the 800th anniversary of Francis and the first brothers meeting Innocent III and walking back from the Lateran to Assisi. That is the recognised date of the founding of the order. To celebrate hat, here was a General Chapter in the Portiuncola, broadcast live around the world last year (2009), and it was attended by representatives of all the Franciscan parts of the family.

    It was also celebrated by thousands last year in many different ways. Assisi celebrated it throughout the year! To claim the date of 2010 as the 800th anniversary is not only eccentric but simply historically wrong. Like everything else on this blog, if you criticise anything you end up in a circular argument that goes nowhere. Don’t say I’m wrong for going public on this: I’m simply correcting in public a ludicrous error. It is not a minor error about a year difference in a date: it was a major Catholic celebration last year, and to have missed that fact and yet attempt to comment authoritatively on Franciscan spirituality on a Catholic blog is simply unacceptable. I simply attempted to correct the error, but now you have resisted that, I will say the offence is even more stupid. OK?


  30. mmvc says:

    Dear Rabit,

    “I am happy to stand corrected …”

    “I am not disputing that you are right …”

    I think I made myself quite clear the first time round, but for the avoidance of doubt, I stand corrected, I apologise for the “offence” and I apologise also for being “even more stupid”. 1209 it is.


  31. johnhenrycn says:


    You are obviously a very devious person. When you said – “Thank you for your observations“, I didn’t take that as a genuine expression of gratitude. Oh no. I was not fooled, nor was anyone else. When you said – “I am happy to stand corrected“, you were lying (and lying, if you catch my drift, but please don’t sue) in a most languid fashion in your la-zee-boy rocking chair laughing at us. Don’t bother denying it, wench! Film at eleven! When you said – “ I am not disputing that you are right“, that was the icing on the cake. Heavens above!

    “Let me not think on’t—Faithless, thy name is woman!”
    —Hamlet Act 1, scene 2, 142–146


  32. teresa says:

    johnhenry it is not the time to make everything worse.


  33. johnhenrycn says:

    …and I take back anything good I ever said about you, if I ever did, which I doubt.
    (pace Eyeore).


  34. teresa says:

    We are all weak and sinful human beings who hesitate to admit our mistakes, even in time when we are really wrong. It is the human weakness and dear Johnhenry I think it is the same with you. As Maria did apologise again, can we let it be now?


  35. teresa says:

    Johnhenry my old friend, if you meant me so its your freedom. I am here try to cease a quarrel between friends, for the sake of peace. If it is the price, so I accept it willingly. But it doesn’t affect what I thought well of you before. Your merits are merits, your shortcomings shortcomings. Truth is truth, Fact is Fact. I won’t do anybody injustice.


  36. johnhenrycn says:

    “…and so home and to bed, Teresa in an ill humour still…

    Pepys somebody


  37. teresa says:

    A central Christian virtue is forgiveness, so please do let things be.


  38. teresa says:

    Ill humour? Well, you are teasing. I am only waiting too eagerly for a good joke …
    A good joke can help us to forget the discordance and be friends again. Only it must be a really good one, with enough love for human beings, though not without irony.


  39. rebrites says:

    Being so utterly right all the time, and so utterly devoted to first-classedness in a world so fallen… what a lonely life it must be.

    As my questions and comments are found so unworthy, (and my marital state being likewise objectionable), I will sneak off to my everyday, third-rate, non-indulgenced but somehow-very-functional Christianity, and leave the Hardcore Catholicism to the more Elect. (I zizz my paws at your Righteousness, Rabid.)

    I did enjoy the beautiful prayers, though. Thanks, guys. See you all in Heaven.


  40. omvendt says:

    Hasta lluego, rebrites.


  41. johnhenrycn says:

    Good looking chick. What does she see in a toad whose only claim to fame is writing classifieds for the North Bay Nugget?


  42. omvendt says:

    Sorry. Hasta luego.


  43. teresa says:

    I think you are being offensive johnhenry.


  44. teresa says:

    Indeed we are giving here a shining example of Christian love to non-believers.


  45. teresa says:

    Lord have mercy with us.


  46. johnhenrycn says:

    Teutons! Greater Germany = irony free zone.


  47. teresa says:

    Maybe it is too boring in your hotel room? And also no fun over there? Seek fun here? Well, we need some good jokers, but neither you nor I am one. The good old time is gone.


  48. johnhenrycn says:

    Oh, Teresa. I give up, dear. There are no jokes in Islam, or anywhere else, it seems.


  49. teresa says:

    Johnhenry you are not he.


  50. teresa says:

    This post has attracted the most comments.


  51. bwr47 says:


    johnhenrycn is pulling legs all round to lighten the atmosphere. Everything he has said from 23.05 onwards is tongue in cheek. He was giving an ironic message of support to mmvc. Remember that for the English, rudeness can sometimes (not always!) be friendliness in disguise.


  52. teresa says:

    Ey, thanks bwr47, you are indeed right. It takes me a while to realize it. But I was also too much taken by this incident. I do apologize for the loss of humour.


  53. johnhenrycn says:

    Teresa of the two avatars (remember your old one?):
    Unlike some others who change names (veryde trop, unless there is a reason given, which in my case only involved adding “cn” to the end of my name, because of a WordPress dictat) or use multiple identities (very, very, very de trop and faithless), i am who i am ( not I AM, mind) and have never used alternate identities, nor indeed, have I ever sought an avatar, being content with those assigned to me.

    bwr47 😉


  54. teresa says:

    Johnhenry, and because of the change of the avatar, you thought I was not I. It was also a funny recollection of the good old time. My old avatar was the following picture:

    But I do find the avatar assigned to you with the monocle and green face quite funny.


  55. johnhenrycn says:



  56. Caroline says:

    A fellow was getting ready to tee off on the first hole when a second golfer approached and asked if he could join him. The first said that he usually played alone, but agreed to the twosome. They were even after the first few holes. The second guy said, “We’re about evenly matched, how about playing for five bucks a hole?” The first fellow said that he wasn’t much for betting, but agreed to the terms.
    The second guy won the remaining sixteen holes with ease.
    As they were walking off number eighteen, and while counting his $80.00, the second guy confessed that he was the pro at a neighboring course and liked to pick on suckers. The first fellow revealed that he was the Parish Priest.
    The pro got all flustered and apologetic, offering to return the money. The Priest said, “You won fair and square and I was foolish to bet with you. You keep your winnings.”
    The pro said, “Is there anything I can do to make it up to you?”
    The Priest said, “Well, you could come to Mass on Sunday and make a donation. And, if you want to bring your mother and father along, I’ll marry them….”


  57. golden chersonnese says:

    johnhenry, it’s actually the rendering of St. Ignatius’ prayer by Edward Caswall of the Birmingham Oratory, as I’m sure you knew already 🙂


  58. golden chersonnese says:

    But, Teresa, surely the meaning of the word “grace” (gratia) is connected to “gratis” (not “liber”).


  59. golden chersonnese says:

    Anima Christi, rendered into English as the hymn “Soul of My Saviour” (not sure by Caswall also?). Didn’t know it was St Ignatius prayer, but, thought it was earlier than that.

    Wow, York Minster, shrine of St Margaret Clitheroe in the Shambles and Soul of My Saviour all in one.


  60. toadspittle says:

    Just seen the crumbs from last night’s bunfight. Sorry I missed it. But I was in bed by 2009 (or was it 2010?) Vitally important, I know..

    ”Good looking chick. What does she see in a toad whose only claim to fame is writing classifieds for the North Bay Nugget?”

    Excellent question, Johnhenryen. ( See we CAN ask intellectual ones, Rabit!)
    The answer is that I am exceptionally well-endowed in the sense of humor department. I am also very rich.


  61. toadspittle says:

    Just seen the crumbs from last night’s bunfight. Sorry I missed it. But I was in bed by 2009 (or was it 2010?) Vitally important, I know..

    ”Good looking chick. What does she see in a toad whose only claim to fame is writing classifieds for the North Bay Nugget?”

    Excellent question, Johnhenryen. ( See we CAN ask intellectual ones, Rabit!)
    The answer is that I am exceptionally well-endowed in the sense of humor department.
    I am also very rich.


  62. toadspittle says:



    Writing classifieds for The North Bay Nugget, while humble, is at least decent and honest toil. (Apart, of course, from the lies we are obliged to obtain custom.) All very well for those more fortunately placed on what, as you would no doubt arrogantly denote, ‘The Ladder of Success,’ to sneer.

    ‘Labore est orari,’ as my old Mum used to say. ( At least she would have if she had had the Latin.) We old hands on ‘The Nugget,’ believe the man what wrote that used to work here.
    Until he was made redundant.


  63. toadspittle says:

    I enjoy your posts. The golf story reminded me of one which is supposedly true.

    Sidney Smith, the Anglican vicar and superb wit, was takling to some ghastly old squire, who was aware that Sid was a vicar, but still said, “If I had a son who was a fool, I’d put him in the church.”
    “Clearly, your Father was of a different opinion,” said Smith.

    Best come-back in history, I believe.


  64. toadspittle says:

    P:S: I do agree with whoever said an edit, or preview button would be nice. I keep making clerical errors.
    Stupid Toad.


  65. johnhenrycn says:

    Beautiful video at 06:29, Golden Chersonnese. The Anima Christi has been attributed to St Ignatius; but who knows whether he was building on an earlier prayer. I remember being introduced to it when I participated in The Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius course.


  66. golden chersonnese says:

    Teresa, I am all happy expectation. Please show us the fruits of your research when they ripen, although if lazarus (from that other blog) were here it would all turn into a terrible barney, wouldn’t it just?

    Something else I’ve sometimes wondered about is that in Latin “gratia” can also mean “thanks” (usually seen as “gratias”) and in Italian and Spanish it still means this also (“grazie” and “gracias”). You mention that grace in Greek is “charis” and you find that it also has the meaning of thanks there also in the form “eucharistoumen”, from which we get the “Eucharist”, our thanks-giving.

    Just a largely idle thought, but I sense that it’s tied in with the question of grace you are pondering.

    A penny for your thoughts, or are your thoughts gratis?


  67. toadspittle says:

    Here in Spain, ‘Gratis’ is just that. “30 % Gratis’ it says on the coffee sometimes.
    Means, of course, they are cutting down on their profit for a while to encourage sales.

    … posted today, called ‘Prayers of Aspiration.’ I suggest we all use these to pray to aspire to survive the next Rabit attack. But am not optimistic.

    (What ‘outsiders’ reading it must think, I cannot aspire to imagine.)


  68. golden chersonnese says:

    30%? It’s either gratis or it ain’t.

    Is your dugout en route to Compostela?


  69. toadspittle says:

    golden chersonnese

    (Splendid atavar. Not, perchance, some exotic variety of Toad?)

    Yes. Half way along, in Moratinos. You are welcome.


  70. toadspittle says:

    golden chersonnese

    On reflection, I see what you mean about the coffee. What it actually says on the label is, 30% extra gratis.
    Then the same about stuff about the profit applies.


  71. golden chersonnese says:

    Oh yes, of course, 30% extra free, silly me. To me it seemed a bit like saying “a little bit pregnant”.

    No, not a toad, Toad, but a creature once very partial to a certain species of toad imported into his homeland until he learned that snacking on said toad led to a rather fatal kind of stomach ache.

    He had much greater success snacking on rabbits, also imported into his homeland, and which he found altogether more nutritious.

    Speaking of rabbits, hence the question on whether you’ve got the rabbit-proof bunker ready on your stretch of the camino.


  72. Don Lefevre says:

    The time for confession was changed to 20 days in 2000, not a week. EWTN confirmed that this is still in effect. Search on “Norm of Confession for Gaining a Plenary Indulgence EWTN” to see the official statement from the Apostolic Penitentiary, Prot. N. 39/05/I.


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