ADVANTAGES OF JOINING THE CONFRATERNITY OF CHRISTIAN MOTHERS
As found in the book “Mother’s Love” 1951 Edition.
One of the special advantages in membership is the actual presence of our Divine Lord with His graces. For this we have His own sacred promise:
Hence flow innumerable graces to the members; for where Jesus tarries, there does He dispense His favors, and wherever He is present by special invitation His graces are more profusely lavished.
These many and powerful graces will descend chiefly upon the prayers and good works performed by the members in obedience to the rules of the Confraternity and the guidance of its Director. For this, too, we have our Savior’s own words. He says:
Mary cannot be far distant from her Divine Son. The confidence of the mothers in choosing Mary, Most Sorrowful, as their chief Patroness, and the blessed parents and children of heaven as their special helpers, will obtain, as it deserves, their very particular protection and powerful intercession.
To the preceding advantages must be added the benediction of the Holy Father and of many venerable Bishops. They are our spiritual Fathers, the ambassadors of Jesus Christ. Their desires for the salvation of souls cannot fail to be fulfilled by their Master.
The next advantage is the care exercised over the mothers by the Spiritual Director, the daily intercession of the members one for another, and their good example. Whenever a member prays for herself and her children, all the other mothers and their children partake of the fruit of her petition. It is the same with regard to all the good works. Every member has as much share in the merit of the good performed by others as if it were, to a certain extent, her own individual work; and this union of love, prayer, and merit follows the departed mothers beyond the grave.
Pope Leo XIII, on May 7, 1878, July 20, 1884, March 28, 1886, February 17, 1889, March 13, 1892, July 17, 1895, December 10, 1896, and Pope Pius XII, on December 10, 1941, granted to all the Confraternities of Christian Mothers, canonically erected and affiliated with the Pittsburgh Archconfraternity various Plenary and numerous Partial Indulgences.
- The members may gain a Plenary Indulgence on the day of admission, provided they go to Confession and Holy Communion; another at the hour of death if, after worthily receiving the Sacraments of Confession and Holy Communion (or being unable to do so, at least with a truly contrite heart), they pronounce the holy name of Jesus. If unable to do so with the lips, it will suffice to invoke it devoutly with the heart.
- A Plenary Indulgence is granted the members on the principal feast of the Confraternity or during the octave of the same, provided they go to Confession and receive Holy Communion, visit the Church of the Confraternity or that of the parish in which they live, and pray for union among Christian princes, the uprooting of heresies, the conversion of sinners, and the exaltation of the holy Catholic Church.
- On each of the ten following Feasts, a Plenary Indulgence may be gained by the members:
- Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8)
- Epiphany (Jan. 6)
- St. Joseph (March 19)
- St. Monica (May 4)
- St. John the Baptist (June 24)
- St. Anne (July 26)
- St. Rose of Lima (Aug. 30)
- The Seven Dolors (Sept. 15)
- the Holy Guardian Angels (Oct. 2)
- The Maternity of our Blessed Lady (Oct. 11).
For the gaining of these indulgences, the members must receive the Sacraments of Confession and Holy Communion; visit a Church in which the Confraternity is established, or that of the parish in which they live, and pray for the propagation of the faith and the intentions of His Holiness. For the first three of these indulgences, namely, the Immaculate Conception, the Epiphany, and St. Joseph, the required visit need not be made in the Church of the Confraternity, nor in that of the parish in which they live, but may be made in any church whatsoever.
- A Partial Indulgence of Seven Years may be gained four times a year for a visit to the Church of the Confraternity or the parish Church, and praying there for the intentions of the Holy Father.
- An Indulgence of Three Hundred Days may be gained as often as members are present for the Conference lectures.
- An Indulgence of Sixty Days may be gained for every good work performed according to the Rules of the Confraternity. This indulgence ought to be especially prized by the members, since it may be gained innumerable times. As often as a mother performs any of the practices prescribed by the Rules or customs of the Confraternity, or advised by the Director in the interests of the Confraternity, she, being in a state of grace and acting with a devout intention, gains an Indulgence of Sixty Days. Consequently, when in a state of grace and with a good intention, she admonishes or instructs her children, rewards or punishes them; imposes upon herself a sacrifice in the interests of their Christian training; takes any steps to further the same; finally, says a prayer or performs any good work, so often does she receive from the superabundant merits of Christ and His saints a remission of temporal punishment incurred by sin, that would have to be atoned for here on earth or hereafter in purgatory.
The members are free to choose the principal feast and the four days on which the four Indulgences of Seven Years are to be gained. But the days, once determined and approved by the Bishop, are to remain unchanged.
All the preceding Indulgences, both Plenary and Partial, may be applied to the souls in purgatory.