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teach that in that case the fruit of the Mass would enter the treasury
of the Church, and be applied afterwards in such indulgences and the
like as Almighty God might suggest to the dispensers of his gift
(Suarez, _Disp._, xxxviii, sec. 8). We beg to direct particular
attention here to the expression "sleep of peace." That harsh word
_death_, which we now use, was seldom or never heard among the
early Christians when talking of their departed brethren. Death to them
was nothing else but a sleep until the great day of resurrection, when
all would rise up again at the sound of the angel's trumpet; and this
bright idea animated their minds and enlivened all their hopes when
conversing with their absent friends in prayer. So, too, with the place
of interment; it was not called by that hard name that distinguishes it
too often now, viz., the _grave-yard_, but was called by the
milder term of _cemetery,_ which, from its Greek derivation, means
a dormitory, or sleeping-place. Nor was the word _bury_ employed
to signify the consigning the body to the earth. No, this sounded too
profane in the ears of the primitive Christians; they rather chose the
word _depose_, as suggestive of the treasure that was put away
until it pleased God to turn it to better use on the final reckoning
day. The old Teutonic expression for cemetery was, to say the least of
it, very beautiful. The blessed place was called in this tongue
_gottes-acker_ - that is, God's field - for the reason that the dead
were, so to speak, the seed sown in the ground from which would spring
the harvest reaped on the day of general resurrection in the shape of
glorified bodies. According to this beautiful notion, the stone which
told who the departed person was that lay at rest beneath, was likened
to the label that was hung upon a post by the farmer or gardener to
tell the passer-by the name of the flower that was deposited beneath.
This happy application of the word _sleep_ to death runs also
through Holy Scripture, where we frequently find such expressions as
"He slept with his fathers," "I have slept and I am refreshed," applied
from the third Psalm to our Divine Lord's time in the sepulchre; the
"sleep of peace," "he was gathered to his fathers," etc.

The prayers of the Orientals for the faithful departed are singularly
touching. In the Coptic Liturgy of St. Basil the memento is worded
thus: "In like manner, O Lord! remember also all those who have already
fallen asleep in the priesthood and amidst the laity; vouchsafe to give
rest to their souls in the bosoms of our holy fathers, Abraham, Isaac,
and Jacob; bring them into a place of greenness by the waters of
comfort, in the paradise of pleasure where grief and misery and sighing
are banished, in the brightness of the saints." The Orientals are very
much attached to ancient phraseology, and hence their frequent
application of "the bosom of Abraham" to that middle state of
purification in the next life which we universally designate by the
name of Purgatory. In the Syro-Jacobite Liturgy of John Bar Maadan,
part of the memento is thus worded: "Reckon them among the number of
Thine elect; cover them with the bright cloud of Thy saints; set them
with the lambs on Thy right hand, and bring them into Thy habitation."
The following extract is taken from the Liturgy of St. Chrysostom,
which, as we have said already, all the Catholic and schismatic Greeks
of the East follow: "Remember all those that are departed in the hope
of the resurrection to eternal life, and give them rest where the light
of Thy countenance shines upon them." But of all the Orientals, the
place of honor in this respect must be yielded to the Nestorians; for,
heretics as they are, too much praise cannot be given them for the
singular reverence they show towards their departed brethren. From a
work of theirs called the "Sinhados," which Badger quotes in his
"Nestorians and their Rituals," we take the following extract: "The
service of third day of the dead is kept up, because Christ rose on the
third day. On the ninth day, also, there should be a commemoration, and
again on the thirtieth day, after the example of the Old Testament,
since the people mourned for Moses that length of time. A year after,
also, there should be a particular commemoration of the dead, and some
of the property of the deceased should be given to the poor in
remembrance of him. We say this of believers; for, as to unbelievers,
should all the wealth of the world be given to the poor in their
behalf, it would profit them nothing." The Armenians call Purgatory by
the name _Goyan_ - that is, a mansion. The Chaldeans style it
_Matthar_, the exact equivalent of our term. By some of the other
Oriental Churches it is called _Kavaran_, or place of penance; and
_Makraran_, a place of purification (Smith and Dwight, I. p. 169).

We could multiply examples at pleasure to prove that there is no church
in the East to which the name of Christian can be given that does not
look upon praying for the faithful departed, and offering the Holy Mass
for the repose of their souls, as a sacred and solemn obligation.
Protestants who would fain believe otherwise, and who not unfrequently
record differently in their writings about the Oriental Christians, can
verify our statements by referring to any Eastern Liturgy and examining
for themselves. We conclude our remarks on this head by a strong
argument in point from a very unbiased Anglican minister - the Rev. Dr.
John Mason Neale. Speaking of prayers for the dead in his work entitled
"A History of the Holy Eastern Church," general introduction, Vol. I.
p. 509, this candid-speaking man uses the following language: "I am not
now going to prove, what nothing but the blindest prejudice can deny,
that the Church, east, west, and south, has, with one consentient and
universal voice, even from Apostolic times, prayed in the Holy
Eucharist for the departed faithful."



["Wisdom conducted the just man through the right ways, and showed him
the kingdom of God, made him honorable in his labors, and accomplished
his works. She kept him safe from his enemies, and gave him a strong
conflict that he might overcome; and in bondage she left him not till
she brought him the sceptre of the kingdom, and power against those
that oppressed him, and gave him everlasting glory." - Wisdom x. [1] ]

[Footnote 1: From the funeral oration preached at Glassaevin Cemetery,
in May, 1869, on the occasion of the removal of the remains of the
Liberator to their final resting place.]

Nor was Ireland forgotten in the designs of God. Centuries of patient
endurance brought at length the dawn of a better day. God's hour came,
and it brought with it Ireland's greatest son, Daniel O'Connell. We
surround his grave to-day to pay him a last tribute of love, to speak
words of praise, of suffrage, and prayer. For two and twenty years has
he silently slept in the midst of us. His generation is passing away,
and the light of history already dawns upon his grave, and she speaks
his name with cold, unimpassioned voice. In this age of ours a few
years are as a century of times gone by. Great changes and startling
events follow each other in such quick succession that the greatest
names are forgotten almost as soon as those who bore them disappear,
and the world itself is surprised to find how short-lived is the fame
which promised to be immortal. The Church alone is the true shrine of
immortality - the temple of fame which perisheth not; and that man only
whose name and memory is preserved in her sanctuaries receives on this
earth a reflection of that glory which is eternal in heaven. But before
the Church will crown any one of her children, she carefully examines
his claims to the immortality of her gratitude and praise. She asks,
"What has he done for God and for man?" This great question am I come
here to answer to-day for him whose tongue, once so eloquent, is now
stilled in the silence of the grave, and over whose tomb a grateful
country has raised a monument of its ancient faith and a record of its
past glories; and I claim for him the need of our gratitude and love,
in that he was a man of faith, whom wisdom guided in "the right ways,"
who loved and sought "the kingdom of God," who was "most honorable in
his labors," and who accomplished his "great works;" the liberator of
his race, the father of his people, the conqueror in "the undented
conflict" of principle, truth and justice....

....Before him stretched, full and broad, the two ways of life, and he
must choose between them: the way which led to all that the world
prized - wealth, power, distinction, title, glory, and fame; the way of
genius, the noble rivalry of intellect, the association with all that
was most refined and refining - the way which led up to the council
chambers of the nation, to all places of jurisdiction and of honor, to
the temples wherein were enshrined historic names and glorious
memories, to a share in all blessings of privilege and freedom....
Before him opened another way. No gleam of sunshine illumined this way;
it was wet with tears - it was overshadowed by misfortune - _it was
pointed out to the young traveller of life by the sign of the
cross_, and he who entered it was bidden to leave all hope behind
him, for it led through the valley of humiliation, into the heart of a
fallen race, and an enslaved and afflicted people. I claim for
O'Connell the glory of having chosen this latter path, and this claim
no man can gainsay, for it is the argument of the Apostle in favor of
the great lawgiver of old - "By faith Moses" denied himself to be the
son of Pharoah's daughter.

....Into this way was he led by his love for his religion and his
country. He firmly believed in that religion in which He was born. He
had that faith which is common to all Catholics, and which is not
merely a strong opinion nor even a conviction, but an absolute and most
certain knowledge that the Catholic Church is the one and the only true
messenger and witness of God upon earth; and that to belong to her
communion and to possess her faith is the first and greatest of all
endowments and privileges, before which everything else sinks into
absolute nothing ... He was Irish of the Irish and Catholic of the
Catholic. His love for religion and country was as the breath of his
nostrils, the blood of his veins, and when he brought to the service of
both the strength of his faith and the power of his genius, with the
instinct of a true Irishman, his first thought was to lift up the
nation by striking the chains off the National Church. And here again,
two ways opened before him. One was a way of danger and of blood, and
the history of his country told him that it ever ended in defeat and in
great evil.... He saw that the effort to walk in it had swept away the
last vestige of Ireland's national legislature and independence. But
another path was still open to him, and wisdom pointed it out as "the
right way." Another battle-field lay before him on which he could
"fight the good fight" and vindicate all the rights of his religion and
of his country. The armory was furnished by the inspired Apostle when
he said: ... "Having your loins girt about with truth, and having on
the breast-plate of justice, and your feet shod with the preparation of
the Gospel of Peace, in all things taking the shield of faith.... And
take unto you the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word." O'Connell
knew well that such weapons in such a hand as his were irresistible -
that girt around with the truth and justice of his cause, he was clad
in the armor of the Eternal God, that with words of peace and order on
his lips, with the strong shield of faith before him and the sword of
eloquent speech in his hand, with the war-cry of obedience, principle,
and law, no power on earth could resist him, for it is the battle of
God, and nothing can resist the Most High.

* * * * *

... He who was the Church's liberator and most true son, was also the
first of Ireland's statesmen and patriots. Our people remember well, as
their future historian will faithfully record, the many trials borne
for them, the many victories gained in their cause, the great life
devoted to them by O'Connell. Lying, however, at the foot of the altar,
as he is to-day, whilst the Church hallows his grave with prayer and
sacrifice, it is more especially as the Catholic Emancipator of his
people that we place a garland on his tomb. It is as the child of the
Church that we honor him, and recall with tears of sorrow our
recollections of the aged man, revered, beloved, whom all the glory of
the world's admiration and the nation's love had never lifted up in
soul out of the holy atmosphere of Christian humility and simplicity.
Obedience to the Church's laws, quick zeal for her honor and the
dignity of her worship, a spirit of penance refining whilst it
expiated, chastening while it ennobled all that was natural in the man;
constant and frequent use of the Church's holy sacraments which shed
the halo of grace around his venerated head, - these were the last grand
lessons which he left to his people, and thus did the sun of his life
set in the glory of Christian holiness.

.... In the triumph of Catholic Emancipation, he pointed out to the
Irish people the true secret of their strength, the true way of
progress, and the sure road to victory.... Time, which buries in utter
oblivion so many names and so many memories, will exalt him in his
work. The day has already dawned and is ripening into its perfect noon,
when Irishmen of every creed will remember O'Connell, and celebrate him
as the common friend, and the greatest benefactor of their country.
What man is there, even of those whom our age has called great, whose
name, so many years after his death, could summon so many loving hearts
around his tomb? We, to-day, are the representatives not only of a
nation but of a race.... Where is the land that has not seen the face
of our people and heard their voice? And wherever, even to the ends of
the earth, an Irishman is found to-day, his spirit and his sympathy are
here. The millions of America are with us - the Irish Catholic soldier
on India's plains is present amongst us by the magic of love - the Irish
sailor standing by the wheel this moment in far-off silent seas, where
it is night, and the Southern stars are shining, joins his prayer with
ours, and recalls the glorious image and the venerated name of
O'Connell. ... He is gone, but his fame shall live forever on the
earth, as a lover of God and of His people. Adversities, political and
religious, he had many, and like a

"Tower of strength
Which stood full square to all the winds that blew,"

the Hercules of justice and of liberty stood up against them. Time,
which touches all things with mellowing hand, has softened the
recollections of past contests, and they who once looked upon him as a
foe, now only remember the glory of the fight, and the mighty genius of
him who stood forth the representative man of his race, and the
champion of his people. They acknowledge his greatness, and they join
hands with us to weave the garland of his fame.

But far other, higher and holier are the feelings of Irish Catholics
all the world over to-day. They recognize in the dust which we are
assembled to honor, the powerful arm which promoted them, the eloquent
tongue which proclaimed their rights and asserted their freedom, the
strong hand which, like that of the Maccabees of old, first struck off
their chains and then built up their holy altars. They, mingling the
supplication of prayer and the gratitude of suffrage with their tears,
recall - oh! with how much love - the memory of him who was a Joseph to
Israel - their tower of strength, their buckler, and their shield - who
shed around their homes, their altars, and their graves the sacred
light of religious liberty, and the glory of unfettered worship. "His
praise is in the Church," and this is the pledge of the immortality of
his glory. "A people's voice" may be "the proof and echo of all Human
fame," but the voice of the undying Church, is the echo of "everlasting
glory," and, when those who surround his grave to-day shall have passed
away, all future generations of Irishmen to the end of time will be
reminded of his name and glory.


Towards the middle of the fourth century, four pilgrims from Palestine
came to settle in the neighborhood of Assisi, and built a chapel there.
Nearly two centuries after, this little chapel passed into the hands of
the monks of St. Benedict, who owned some lots, or _portions_ of
land, in the vicinity, whence came the name of _Portiuncula_,
given first to those little plots of ground, and afterwards to the
chapel itself. St. Bonaventure says that, later still, it was called
"Our Lady of Angels," because the heavenly spirits frequently appeared

St. Francis, at the outset of his penitential life, going one day
through the fields about Assisi, heard a voice which said to him: "Go,
repair my house!" He thought the Lord demanded of him to repair the
sanctuaries in which He was worshipped, and, amongst others, the Church
of St. Damian, a little way from Assisi, which was falling to decay.

He went to work, therefore, begging in the streets of Assisi, and
crying out: "He who giveth me a stone shall have one blessing - he who
giveth me two, shall have two."

Meanwhile, Francis often bent his steps towards the little chapel of
the Portiuncula, built about half a league from Assisi, in a fertile
valley, in the midst of a profound solitude. The place had great charms
for him, and he resolved to take up his abode there, but as the little
chapel was urgently in need of repair, he undertook to do it,
following, as he thought, the orders he had received from Heaven. He
made himself a cell in the hollow of a neighboring rock, and there
spent several years in great austerities. Some disciples, having joined
him, inhabited caverns which they found in the rocks around, and some
built themselves cells. This was the origin of the Order of St.
Francis. The _Portiuncula_, or Our Lady of Angels, afterwards
given to the holy penitent by the Benedictine Abbot of Monte Soubasio,
thus became the cradle of the three orders founded by the Seraphic
Patriarch, and is unspeakably dear to every child of St. Francis. [1]

[Footnote 1: The little chapel of the Portiuncula is now inclosed
beneath the dome of the great basilica of Our Lady of Angels, built to
preserve it from the injuries of the weather. It stands there still
with its rough, antique walls, in all the prestige of its marvellous
past. "I know not what perfume of holy poverty," says a pious author,
"exhales from that venerable chapel. The pavement within is literally
worn by the knees of the pious faithful, and their repeated and burning
kisses have left their imprint on its walls."]

Francis, in the midst of his prodigious austerities, living always in
the greatest privation, united, nevertheless, the most tender
compassion for men and a marvellous love for poverty. He prayed above
all, and with tears and groans, for the conversion of sinners. But one
night - it was in October, 1221 - Francis being inspired with a greater
love and a deeper pity for men who were offending their God and
Saviour, shedding torrents of tears, macerating his body, already
attenuated by excessive mortifications, hears, all at once, the voice
of an Angel commanding him to repair to the chapel of the Portiuncula.
Ravished with joy, he rises immediately, and entering with profound
respect into the chapel, he falls prostrate on the ground, to adore the
majesty of God. He then sees Our Lord Jesus Christ, who appears to him,
accompanied by His Holy Mother and a great multitude of Angels, and
says to him: "Francis, thou and thy brethren have a great zeal for the
salvation of souls; indeed, you have been placed as a torch in the
world and as the support of the Church. Ask, then, whatsoever thou wilt
for the welfare and consolation of nations, and for My glory."

In the midst of the wonders which ravished him, Francis made this
prayer: "Our most holy Father, I beseech Thee, although I am but a
miserable sinner, to have the goodness to grant to men, that all those
who shall visit this Church may receive a plenary indulgence of all
their sins, after having confessed to a priest; and I beseech the
Blessed Virgin, Thy Mother, the advocate of mankind, to intercede, that
I may obtain this favor."

The merciful Virgin interceded, and Our Lord said to Francis: "What
thou dost ask is great, nevertheless thou shalt receive still greater
favors. I grant it to thee, but I will that it be ratified on earth by
him to whom I have given the power of binding and loosening."

The companions of the Saint overheard this colloquy between Our Lord
and St. Francis; they beheld numerous troops of Angels, and a great
light that filled the Church, but a respectful fear prevented them from

Next day Francis set out, accompanied by one of his brethren, and
repaired to Perugia, where Pope Honorius III. then was. The Saint,
introduced to the Pontiff, repeated the order he had received from Our
Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and conjured him not to refuse what the Son
of God had been pleased to grant him.

"But," said the Sovereign Pontiff, "thou askest of me something very
great, and the Roman Court is not wont to grant such an indulgence."
"Most Holy Father," replied Francis, "I ask it not of myself; it is
Jesus Christ who sendeth me. I come on His behalf." Wherefore the Pope
said publicly three times: _"I will that thou have it."_

The Cardinals made several objections; but Honorius, at length
convinced of the will of God, granted most liberally, most
gratuitously, and in perpetuity, this indulgence solicited so
earnestly, yet with so much humility, _but only during one natural
day, from evening till evening, including the night, till sunset on the
following day._

At these words, Francis humbly bowed his head. As he was going away,
the Pope demanded of him: "Whither goest thou, simple man? What
assurance hast thou of that which thou hast obtained?" "Holy Father,"
he replied, "thy word is sufficient for me; if this Indulgence be the
work of God, He Himself will make it manifest. Let Jesus Christ, His
holy Mother and the Angels be in that regard, notary, paper and
witness; I ask no other authentic act." Such was the effect of the
great confidence he felt in the truth of the apparition.

The Indulgence of the Portiuncula had been two years granted, and still
the day when the faithful might gain it was not fixed. Francis waited
till Jesus Christ, the first Author of a grace so precious, should
determine it.

Meanwhile, one night, when Francis was at prayer in his cell, the
tempter suggested to him to diminish his penances: feeling the malice
of the demon, he goes into the woods, and rolls himself amongst briers
and thorns until he is covered with blood. A great light shines around
him, he sees a quantity of white and red roses all about, although it
is the month of January, in a very severe winter. God had changed the
thorny shrubs into magnificent rose-bushes, which have ever since
remained green and without thorns, and covered with red and white
roses. [1] Angels, who appeared then in great numbers, said to him:
"Francis, hasten to the church; Jesus is there with His holy Mother."
At the same moment, he was clothed in a spotless white habit, and
having reached the church, after a profound obeisance, he made this
prayer: "Our Father, Most Holy Lord of heaven and earth, Saviour of
mankind, vouchsafe, through Thy great mercy, to fix the day for the
Indulgence Thou hast had the goodness to grant." Our Lord replied that
He would have it to be from the evening of the day on which the Apostle
St. Peter was bound with chains till the following day. He then ordered
Francis to present himself to his vicar, and give him some white and
red roses in proof of the truth of the fact, and to bring some of his
companions who might bear testimony of what they had heard.

[Footnote 1: "We have received from Rome," says the editor of the
"Almanac of the Souls in Purgatory," "some leaves from these miraculous
rose-bushes. We will willingly give some to the devout clients of St.

The Pope, convinced by proofs so incontestable, confirmed the
Indulgence with all its privileges.

The Indulgence of the Portiuncula, was soon known throughout the whole

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