Our Year of Faith got kicked off with a breathtaking sight as a sizeable group of people gathered together in downtown Libertyville, IL, to say the rosary and entrust the Year of Faith to our Blessed Mother. We had a bishop, local priests, sisters from the Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate and the Daughters of the Immaculata, brothers from Canons Regular of St. John Cantius, schoolchildren, grandparents, young and older adults, babies in strollers and what looked like a few curious bystanders.
The hour of prayer concluded with the lift off a giant rosary made of yellow and blue balloons that had processed the mile from Marytown, down Highway 176, to the center of town. In a howling 30 mile per hour wind, it was a miracle the balloons arrived intact!
As the balloons lifted up, the cross snagged on a tree limb and the rosary stayed there, hanging over us but as we concluded the final hymn, it broke free and sailed so high it was soon lost to sight. You couldn’t help but be giddy and tearful and happy!
The Holy See also announced that a plenary indulgence may be obtained as follows:
“During the Year of Faith, which will last from 11 October 2012 to 24 November 2013, Plenary Indulgence for the temporal punishment of sins, imparted by the mercy of God and applicable also to the souls of deceased faithful, may be obtained by all faithful who, truly penitent, take Sacramental Confession and the Eucharist and pray in accordance with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff.
“(A) Each time they attend at least three sermons during the Holy Missions, or at least three lessons on the Acts of the Council or the articles of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in church or any other suitable location.
“(B) Each time they visit, in the course of a pilgrimage, a papal basilica, a Christian catacomb, a cathedral church or a holy site designated by the local ordinary for the Year of Faith (for example, minor basilicas and shrines dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Holy Apostles or patron saints), and there participate in a sacred celebration, or at least remain for a congruous period of time in prayer and pious meditation, concluding with the recitation of the Our Father, the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form, and invocations to the Blessed Virgin Mary and, depending on the circumstances, to the Holy Apostles and patron saints.
“(C) Each time that, on the days designated by the local ordinary for the Year of Faith, … in any sacred place, they participate in a solemn celebration of the Eucharist or the Liturgy of the Hours, adding thereto the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form.
“(D) On any day they chose, during the Year of Faith, if they make a pious visit to the baptistery, or other place in which they received the Sacrament of Baptism, and there renew their baptismal promises in any legitimate form.
May we partake of all the graces available and may we grow in faith!