I just thought you ought to know

Marty’s the sort of intrepid ‘journeyman’ who unearths all sorts of things.

Recently, Marty found himself in possession of some interesting books and items from the days of faith.  He’d like to share a couple of his findings with you:

Exhibit (a):

Prayer for the Conversion of New Zealand

O God, who has appointed Mary, Help of Christians, St Francis Xavier and St Teresa of the Infant Jesus, Patrons of New Zealand, grant that through their intercession our brethren outside the Church may receive the light of faith, so that New Zealand may become one in Faith under one Shepherd.  Through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.  Mary, Help of Christians, pray for us.  St Francis Xavier, pray for us.  St Teresa of the Infant Jesus, pray for us.

Imprimatur, Jacobus M. Liston, Aucopoli, die 28 februarii, 1949.

Ever seen (or heard) that before?  I thought not.

But it doesn’t end there!  Please be upstanding for Exhibit (b), a list of common prayers with indulgences attached:

- Angelus/Regina Coeli: 10 years each recitation

– Memorare: 3 years (plenary, under the usual conditions, if said daily for one month)

– an Act of Contrition: 3 years

– an Act of Faith, Hope or Charity (there are prayers for each of these): 3 years

– the Prayers after Low Mass: 10 years

– the Sacred Heart versicle: 7 years

– the Holy Rosary: 5 years for 5 decades, 10 if recited with others (plenary, under the usual conditions, if recited in front of the Blessed Sacrament)

There are so many more, it’s amazing.  All are, to my knowledge, still in force.

I could go on, but that should be enough to go on with.  I can add more if anyone is interested.

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    Comments: 11

    1. Dominican March 7, 2012 at 8:47 am

      I well remember praying all my childhood days a prayer for the conversion of New Zealand – it began “O God in your infinite goodness who sent your only son in to this world to open again the gates of heaven and to teach us how to know love and serve thee have mercy on your people who live in NZ. Grant to them the precious gift of faith and unite them in the one true church founded by your divine son…………..”after Mass on Sunday (not the one that you have posted Marty) together with the prayers for the conversion of Russia – Don’t know if this was current practice throughout the country – certainly in Dunedin diocese.

    2. Natz March 7, 2012 at 10:01 am


      Might introduce it to my parish. (If the parish priest lets me)

    3. Don the Kiwi March 7, 2012 at 10:59 am


      I remember that prayer when I was young. I went to Australia in 1959, and when I returned in 1960 it seemed to have gone – maybe not till 1962 with the revisions.

    4. Dominican March 7, 2012 at 11:33 am


      How did it end?
      “so they may love serve and worship him in this world and be happy with him forever in the next??

      We should bring it back!

    5. Benedicta March 7, 2012 at 11:58 am

      Yes these are powerful and lovely prayers.

      I have a philosophical question, accepting the fact that prayerful acts for the love of God help us on the road of holiness ending in perfection in Christ.

      How does time work re the indulgences. Purgatory is in eternity as it isn’t part of the created order. Time is part of the created order. So how do I get some amount of ‘time’ off my ‘period of purification’ in purgatory. In other words if I’m in eternity time doesn’t compute?

      Time must be within eternity. As God is eternal and there is nothing beyond God. So time must be within eternity.

      Any thoughts anyone?

    6. Chris Sullivan March 7, 2012 at 12:24 pm

      An excellent question Benedicta.

      The old, pre-Vatican II, system was:

      A partial indulgence commutes only a certain portion of the penalty; and this portion is determined in accordance with the penitential discipline of the early Church. To say that an indulgence of so many days or years is granted means that it cancels an amount of purgatorial punishment equivalent to that which would have been remitted, in the sight of God, by the performance of so many days or years of the ancient canonical penance. Here, evidently, the reckoning makes no claim to absolute exactness; it has only a relative value.


      This somewhat confusing system of reckoning the value of a partial indulgence by the number of days of equivalent penance in the rather onerous practice of the early Church gave rise to the misunderstanding that it referred to the time spent in purgatory, which was never the case. This was reformed post Vatican II:

      By the bull Indulgentiarum doctrina of 1 January 1967, Pope Paul VI, responding to suggestions made at the Second Vatican Council, substantially revised the practical application of the traditional doctrine.

      He made it clear that the Church’s aim was not merely to help the faithful make due satisfaction for their sins, but chiefly to bring them to greater fervour of charity. For this purpose he decreed that partial indulgences, previously granted as the equivalent of a certain number of days, months, “quarantines” (Lent-like forty-day periods) or years of canonical penance, simply supplement, and to the same degree, the remission that those performing the indulgenced action already gain by the charity and contrition with which they do it.

      The abolition of the classification by years and days made it clearer than before that repentance and faith are required not only for remission of eternal punishment for mortal sin but also for remission of temporal punishment for sin. In Indulgentiarum doctrina Pope Paul VI wrote: “Indulgences cannot be gained without a sincere conversion of outlook and unity with God”.


      It might be more helpful to think in terms of amount of punishment due in purgatory rather then time in purgatory.

      God Bless

    7. Benedicta March 7, 2012 at 4:22 pm

      That’s interesting.

      I have trouble with the terminology of ‘amount of punishment due in purgatory’. I do see that the translations above do indeed use the word punishment. I wonder what the Latin says?

      It seems a bit scholastic in the nominalist sense – ‘punishment’ that is. Tendency to law rather than love. We are all in pain in the pure love of the Father. This is different to being cast out from the Father’s house which is indeed a punishment.

      Purgatory is for the saved who need purification. Not able to endure the perfect love of heaven but being made ready for it according to God’s will for that soul. Purification involves ‘pain’ which hard to describe of course but truly experienced. But not without hope and able to be endured.

      Eternal punishment is a different thing altogether from purgatorial purification.

      I think the pain of purgatory can begun to be experienced here in the conversion and deepening of the relationship with the Trinity. Many Saints have tried to write about it for us.

      Punishment seems the wrong word for purification.

    8. Dominican March 7, 2012 at 4:59 pm

      Hungry Souls – Supernatural Visits, Messages and Warnings from Purgatory
      Gerard J M Van Den Aardweg
      This is a good read to assist our understanding of Purgatory and the suffering souls awaiting complete purification.

    9. Chris Sullivan March 7, 2012 at 5:14 pm


      Yes, I do prefer the notion of purification. But that can be difficult, harsh, and painful. The cross. Hence it is perceived as punishing (in the sense that anything hard is punishing) even if not punishment.

      The consequences of sin are it’s natural punishment.

      To quote an example Mother Angelica once gave, the child who muddies his best clothes can be forgiven by his father, but there’s still the task of helping scrub and wash the clothes clean. Which I suppose can be described as punishment, especially if one abhors doing the washing !

      God Bless

    10. campiana March 7, 2012 at 6:15 pm


      and it ended with
      “Our Lady, help of Christians, pray for New Zealand
      St Frances Xavier, pray for New Zealand
      St Peter Chanel, pray for New Zeland”

      we prayed it every day at school. it is good to know that when Traditional Catholics in NZ they pray it at Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament as we always used to do.
      I guess it was considered as not ecumenically friendly after Vatican II!

      we also prayed for the Pope every day which i also do:

      “May the Lord preserve him and give him life and make him blest upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies, through Christ, Our Lord, Amen”

    11. Don the Kiwi March 8, 2012 at 11:01 am

      I understand the pain of purgatory is similar to the pains of hell, except that, knowing we are actually saved, we still have Hope – which those in hell do not have – they have despair.

      Because God made us all for Him, and those that end up in Hell through their own fault, and therefore rejecting of God, the pain of Hell is one of deep and utter despair because they are not coming to be with God – the yearning of every soul. That pain can be likened to the anguish when a mother loses her baby, or child at a relatively young age; the pain of separation we feel when one we love dies; but that pain is only a fraction of the pain and anguish one would feel in Hell.