Rorate Caeli

150th anniversary of the Apparition at Lourdes
Plenary Indulgence

Decree of the Major Penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary, His Eminence Cardinal Stafford, made public today:



On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the manifestation of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Grotto of Massabielle, near Lourdes, a plenary indulgence is awarded daily to the faithful who, from December 8, 2007, to December 8, 2008, visit piously and according to established conditions, visit the Grotto of Massabielle, and, from February 2-11 2008, to those who visit, in any temple, oratory, grotto, or decorous place, the blessed image of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lourdes solemnly exposed to public veneration.


So that growing fruits of renewed holiness derive from this pious memory, the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI has determined to widely grant the gift of plenary indulgence, in the manner explained below:

All and every single faithful, truly repented, and duly purified through the sacrament of Confession, and restored with Holy Communion, and also devoutly raising their prayers according to the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff, shall daily profit a plenary indulgence, also applicable, as suffrage, to the souls of the faithful in Purgatory:

A. - if, from the 8th of the month of December 2007 to the entire 8th day of the same month of the next year of 2008, devoutly visit, preferably in the proposed order: 1. - the parish baptistery used for the baptism of Bernadette; 2.- the house called "cachot" of the Soubirous family; 3.- the Grotto of Massabielle; 4.- the chapel of the hospice, where Bernadette made her First Communion, and, at every time, remain for a certain amount of time in pious meditation, concluding with the Lord's Prayer, the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form, and the jubilar prayer or other Marian invocation.

B.-if, from February 2, 2008, on the Presentation of the Lord, up to the complete day of February 11, 2008, in the liturgical memory of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lourdes and 150th anniversary of the Apparition, devoutly visit, in any temple, oratory, grotto, or decorous place, the blessed image of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lourdes, solemnly exposed to public veneration, and take part before the same image in a pious exercise of Marian devotion, or at least remain for a certain amount of time in pious meditation, concluding with the Lord's Prayer, the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form, and a Marian invocation.

C.- The aged, the infirm, and all those who, for legitimate reason, cannot leave their house, may also achieve, in their own house or there where the impediment retains them, the plenary indulgence, if, in the days of February 2-11, 2008, with the rejection of every sin and the intention of fulfilling, as soon as possible, the three conditions, spiritually accomplish, with desire of heart a visit, (to the aforemention places), recite the aforementioned prayers and offer the infirmities and discomforts of their lives faithfully to God through Mary.


  1. God Bless our Holy Father!

  2. Anonymous12:41 AM

    Yes, God Bless oour Holy Father for granting this indulgence. It is so beneficial to our Catholic souls.

    O course, It's a nail in the coffin to ecumenism with Protestants, because as everyone knows they hate expressions of Catholicity like this, but it's their loss, not ours! God Bless the Pope for doing this.

    Did JP II grant many indulgences?
    I don't think so.

  3. Anonymous12:01 PM

    At last, a thoroughly catholic indulgence!

    Warriors of Christ: See you in Lourdes in 2008!

  4. Anonymous4:06 PM

    "Did JP II grant many indulgences?
    I don't think so."

    Yes, you can easily check it on the vatican site.

  5. Anonymous5:17 PM

    Did Benedict XVI pave the way for JP II in so very many matters, or was it the reverse? Did B16 light the way for all the world with an addition of Luminous Miseries to the most holy Rosary? Hmm.. did Padre Pio gain more souls than did the Cure? Did Teresa of Avila teach more than Little Therese? I hadn't ever compared the saintlinesses deeply, until today. I'd rather have done without that experience. Either way, I am deeply grateful for every indulgence. They, too, all originate in Him, Who is Love.

  6. Anonymous5:11 PM

    It was JP II's idea the Luminous Mysteries. It was an attempt to make the Rosary less Catholic-centered, and more appealing to Protestants.
    John Paul II wanted the Rosary to be less Catholic, and more ecumenical so Protestants would not criticise devotion to Mary. Hence the Luminous Mysteries were more centered on Jesus, and less on Mary.
    That was of course a ridiculous project. The Rosary from the very beginning was and is Jesus centered, but reflecting on the joys, sorrows, and glorious events of Jesus as seen thru Mary.
    If Protestants did or do have a problem with that....then too bad.
    There was no need to dreate something new, or change Catholic devotions to appeal more to Protestants. God Forbid we ever do that again!! We did that with the Mass...throwing out the Tridentine Latin Mass and traditions and replacing it with a service which is a good 85% the same as Protestant. We all know the disasterous results of the last 40 years with that!!!

  7. Anonymous7:38 PM

    Well, I understand that we are, even 2000 years later, still disappointed to find that the Church is not as perfect as our egos demand, but I'm afraid you'll have to present those arguments to the Holy Spirit, Whom you've perhaps unwittingly just accused of error (which is the unforgivable sin: attributing an evil to God).

  8. I cannot see anything wrong with meditating saying my Rosary on the life of Christ, in particular on His public life. Rosary is changed all the time, and I even came across sixth mysteries Carmelite Rosary - devotion of no more than SSPX Traditional Discalced Tertiaries, and it is perfectly OK, but officially adding Luminous Mysteries by late Pope John Pope II provokes cries and accusation of every sort. I am really tired of all these.

  9. Jay,

    It is a traditional practice of the Church to have different rosaries that derive their inspiration from the original, 15-decade Rosary. However, until 2002, nobody ever thought of seriously modifying this original Rosary of the Roman Church, which had retained its connection with the early Christian practice of using personal prayers as a substitute for reciting the 150 Psalms.

    By changing the traditional Rosary, John Paul II destroyed the ancient symbolism of the 150 Hail Marys and caused many works written on the Rosary and it’s meaning to be radically re-written. This is clearly a corruption, which excludes the past instead of an organic development, which harmonizes with the past.

    I hope that Pope Benedict XVI or a future Pope regulates the "Luminous mysteries" to its own specific rosary, while leaving the original rosary intact, as Tradition would dictate.

  10. Anonymous1:49 AM

    Ah, but what if the original Rosary is the *wrong* one? What if its direction was simply misunderstood? How do you know?

    That brings up another question -- of Stigmata, doesn't it? Francis' was different from Padre Pio's. Which one is the fake saint?

    One can pray the Rosary any way one likes -- it's a devotion, not something to scourge a dead Pope with! The Luminous Mysteries aren't about Bono, you know? And Jesus might just agree that they are long overdue, considering what they cover and invite us to share in.

    The beloved father JP II who, by the way, restored veneration of Mary to where it ought to be, and who, by the way, looked to the young with the eyes of Christ which was tremendously overdue, would, by the way, forgive any smears in a combox, based on what's really in your heart when no one but Jesus is looking. (What your grandmother might say to it, tho', is a whole other matter.)

  11. "Ah, but what if the original Rosary is the *wrong* one? What if its direction was simply misunderstood? How do you know?"

    I know that the traditional Rosary isn't wrong or lacking, because I am a Catholic. The Church has never endorsed doubt about the worthiness of her devotions. And she has always endorsed organic development, which harmonizes with the past over corruption, which removes what currently exists (John Henry Cardinal Newman writes of this principle in his "An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine").

    To avert our eyes from the traditional way new devotions are developed within the Church and accept the new without any regard to what currently exists is to espouse radical innovation in the manner our traditions are received, and this only leads to a dismissive attitude toward the Faith, these traditions point to. The current crisis in the Church didn’t happen in a vacuum, my friend. It received its impetus and strength from a careless attitude to how the expressions of Faith are treated. Restore respect for the form of expressing Holy Tradition and respect for doctrine, itself, will follow.

  12. "However, until 2002, nobody ever thought of seriously modifying this original Rosary of the Roman Church, which had retained its connection with the early Christian practice of using personal prayers as a substitute for reciting the 150 Psalms."

    I can understand your point, however, reasoning this way, Divine office should have never been developed for it used 150 psalms and mixes it with prayers and teachings (lessons). Moreover I cannot think there is any rule forbidding the Rosary development - if religious orders can change the Rosary according to their likings and devotion even adding sixth mystery to each set, therefore Supreme Pontiff who is Vicar of Christ here in the world can do this as well officially. I cannot imagine Christ being unhappy about it if it serve to increase devotion, piety and love for Him in the hearts of faithful Catholics. We cannot be like 'purist-rigorists' for we can become pharisee-like 'law-keepers' seeking other's people faults in everything and not seeing our own imperfections. It is very easy to fall into this sort of mindset and it is very dangerous to the soul, for we were told, not to be judgmental if we do not want to be judged ourselves. God bless!

  13. Anonymous3:46 PM

    A comment on this rant about the Luminous Mysteries invented by Pope John Paul II.

    I agree that the new mysteries invented by the late Pope disturb the sacred balance of the 15 mysteries which balance very well on a daily and weekly basis, model themselves after the Holy Trinity, flow most harmoniously with the 150 Psalms that the Rosary's inception was founded upon.

    Having said that, I read the letter that Pope John Paul II used to usher in this novelty of his and nowhere was it communicated as a "must", an "official change" or anything. In fact, the letter presented the "new" mysteries solely as a suggestion, with some suggestions as to how it could be prayed on a weekly basis. The weekly organization of the 20 mysteries is an utter mess of course, but this was nothing more than the late Pope's suggestion, so it is highly doubtful that he intended to cause any harm or rupture with Tradition at all.

    My point being that in completely disregarding his suggestions altogether and just taking the good of a generic promotion of praying the form of the Rosary, nothing ominous need have been read into his suggestions. The word "suggest" is prominent in that papal letter, so the chap who proposed that a criticism of this novelty is somehow akin to rejecting papal infallibility, needs to study infallibility just a tad closer ... that's my non-papal most uninfallible suggestion!

    Saying some prayers in meditation of the wedding of Cana, the Last Supper and the Transfiguration is certainly no more harmful than reading some pious dissertation on those passages in Sacred Scripture! And as a Traditionalist who loves my Traditional 15 decade Rosary ending in the wonderful Litany of Loreto, I derive much spiritual benefaction from contemplating Our Blessed Mother's role at the Wedding of Cana, of Our Saviour's revelation in glory at the Transfiguration, and, in preparation of receiving the Holy Eucharist, the wonderful prayers that Our Lord offered at the Last Supper.

    Rather than turning this into some "evil" initiative to destroy the Rosary, which is such a ludicrous assertion, I prefer to see in it a somewhat misguided, albeit altruistic, attempt to get the faithful to consider other wonderful events in Our Lord and Our Lady's life.

    Let's continue to pray for Pope John Paul II's repose, especially at Christmastime, the time when most souls in purgatory are delivered into heaven.

    Regina Sanctissimi Rosarii, ora pro nobis!!

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  15. I agree with the last post the late Pope John Paul had not intended to destroy the Rosary and thanks for reading his introductory letter and letting us know honestly what was in it. I had no chance to do this myself. Thanks and God bless you all.

  16. Anonymous6:08 AM

    Well, I'm sorry to say that now I better understand the meaning of calumny, Joseph John Francis, as well as the need of applying one's indulgences to the Poor Souls. Your (and others') present smugness shall recede most ignominously in your own purgatory, but perhaps well before that day of your dire need for others' gained indulgences to be magnanimously applied to you, you will have asked your patron saint if -- by sniffing at Christ's holy vicar John Paul II -- you have offended the Holy Trinity and the Blessed Virgin. I think the answer would alarm you (and other very proud Catholics, who have apparently never pondered why his pontificate was so long).


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