Saturday, May 4, 2013

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog: Commitment, Psalms 145, Acts 14:19-28, John 14:27-31, Pope Francis Daily Homily - Peace, true peace, cannot be bought. It is a gift of God, St Pius V, Papal States, Catholic Catechism Part Two: THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH - Chapter 2 Sacraments of Healing Penance and Reconciliation Article 4:6 The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation

Tuesday,  April 30, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog:

Commitment, Psalms 145, Acts 14:19-28, John 14:27-31, Pope Francis Daily Homily - Peace, true peace, cannot be bought.  It is a gift of God, St Pius V, Papal States, Catholic Catechism Part Two: THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH - Chapter 2 Sacraments of Healing Penance and Reconciliation Article 4:6 The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation

Year of Faith - October 11, 2012 - November 24, 2013

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Serenity Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience and tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7.

The world begins and ends everyday for someone.  We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift of knowledge and free will, make the most of these gifts. Life on earth is a stepping stone to our eternal home in Heaven. The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, wonder and awe (fear of the Lord) , counsel, knowledge, fortitude, and piety (reverence) and shun the seven Deadly sins: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony...Its your choice whether to embrace the Gifts of the Holy Spirit rising towards eternal light or succumb to the Seven deadly sins and lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to the Darkness, Purgatory or Heaven is our's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...~ Zarya Parx 2013

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012


Prayers for Today: Tuesday in Easter


 Papam Franciscus
(Pope Francis)

Pope Francis April 30 General Audience Address :

Peace, true peace, cannot be bought.  It is a gift of God

(2013-04-30 Vatican Radio)
Peace, true peace, cannot be bought.  It is a gift of God – a gift he offers to his Church and in order to obtain it Christians must continue to entrust the Church to God, who alone can take care of her and defend her from the wiles of the Evil One. He who offers man a different kind of peace, a worldly peace, not true peace. This was the sense of Pope Francis' reflection on Tuesday morning, 30 April, during the Mass celebrated in the Chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.  The second group of collaborators of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See participated with others and Cardinal Domenico Calcagno concelebrated the Mass.

The fulcrum of the Pope's reflection was the word “commitment” which appeared twice in the First Reading, taken from the Acts of the Apostles (14:19-28): the first time when, at Perga, the apostles committed the elders to the Lord; the second time when they returned to Antioch, “where they had been commended to the grace of God”.  Therefore, the apostles and the elders were entrusted to the Lord: “this means entrusting the Church to the Lord”, said the Pontiff.  The Church can be looked after, she can be taken care of, can't she?  We must do this with our work; but, what the Lord does is most important: he alone can look the Devil in the face and conquer him.  “The ruler of this world is coming.  He has no power over me”:if we do not want the ruler of this world to lay hands on the Church, we must commit her to the Only One who can overcome the ruler of this world”.  The Pope asked, however, “do we pray for the Church? For the whole Church? For our brethren, whom we do not know, everywhere in the world?”  It is the Lord's Church, spread throughout the world and when “we say in our prayer to the Lord: Lord, look upon your Church” we understand this Church, the Lord's Church, the Church which reunites “our brethren”.  It is this prayer that, the Holy Father repeated, “we must offer with our heart – and ever more often.  It is easy for us to pray for a grace, when we have need of something; and it is not difficult to pray to thank the Lord: thank you for....  But to pray for the Church, for those who do not know her, yet who are our brothers and sisters because they have received the same Baptism, and to say to the Lord: 'they are yours, they are ours...protect them'”, is something else: it means “to entrust the Church to the Lord”; it is “a prayer that makes the Church grow” but it is also “an act of faith.  We ourselves can do nothing, we are all but poor servants of the Church: yet it is He who can carry her on, safeguard her, make her to grow, make her holy, protect her, that is, from the 'prince of this world'... who wishes to make the Church more and more worldly”.

“To pray for the entrustment of the Church will do us good and it will benefit the Church; it will give great peace to us and to the Church.  It will not remove our tribulations, but it will make us strong in our trials.  Thus, let us beg for this grace to have the habit of entrusting the Church to the Lord”.


Liturgical Celebrations to be presided over by Pope: April–May

Vatican City, 3 April 2013 (VIS)
Following is the calendar of celebrations scheduled to be presided over by the Holy Father in the months of April and May, 2013:

4 May, Saturday: 6:00pm, Recitation of the Rosary in the Basilica of St. Mary Major.

5 May, Sunday: 10:00am, Mass for Confraternities in St. Peter's Square.

12 May, Sunday: 9:30am, Mass and canonizations of Blesseds Antonio Primaldo and Companions; Laura di Santa Caterina da Siena Montoya y Upegui; and Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavala.

18 May, Saturday: 6:00pm, Pentecost Vigil in St. Peter's Square with the participation of ecclesial movements.

19 May, Pentecost Sunday: 10:00am, Mass in St. Peter's Square with the participation of ecclesial movements.


  • Vatican News. From the Pope. © Copyright 2013 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Accessed 04/30/2013.


April 25, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World:: "Dear children! Pray, pray, keep praying until your heart opens in faith as a flower opens to the warm rays of the sun. This is a time of grace which God gives you through my presence but you are far from my heart, therefore, I call you to personal conversion and to family prayer. May Sacred Scripture always be an incentive for you. I bless you all with my motherly blessing. Thank you for having responded to my call."

April 2, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World: "Dear children, I am calling you to be one with my Son in spirit. I am calling you, through prayer, and the Holy Mass when my Son unites Himself with you in a special way, to try to be like Him; that, like Him, you may always be ready to carry out God's will and not seek the fulfillment of your own. Because, my children, it is according to God's will that you are and that you exist, and without God's will you are nothing. As a mother I am asking you to speak about the glory of God with your life because, in that way, you will also glorify yourself in accordance to His will. Show humility and love for your neighbour to everyone. Through such humility and love, my Son saved you and opened the way for you to the Heavenly Father. I implore you to keep opening the way to the Heavenly Father for all those who have not come to know Him and have not opened their hearts to His love. By your life, open the way to all those who still wander in search of the truth. My children, be my apostles who have not lived in vain. Do not forget that you will come before the Heavenly Father and tell Him about yourself. Be ready! Again I am warning you, pray for those whom my Son called, whose hands He blessed and whom He gave as a gift to you. Pray, pray, pray for your shepherds. Thank you." 

March 25, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World:
“Dear children! In this time of grace I call you to take the cross of my beloved Son Jesus in your hands and to meditate on His passion and death. May your suffering be united in His suffering and love will win, because He who is love gave Himself out of love to save each of you. Pray, pray, pray until love and peace begin to reign in your hearts. Thank you for having responded to my call.”


Today's Word:  Commitment  com·mit·ment  [kuh-mit-muhnt]  

Origin: 1605–15; commit + -ment

1. the act of committing.
2. the state of being committed.
3. the act of committing, pledging, or engaging oneself.
4. a pledge or promise; obligation: We have made a commitment to pay our bills on time.
5. engagement; involvement: They have a sincere commitment to religion.
6. perpetration or commission, as of a crime.
7. consignment, as to prison.
8. confinement to a mental institution or hospital: The psychiatrist recommended commitment.
9. an order, as by a court or judge, confining a person to a mental institution or hospital.
10. Law. a written order of a court directing that someone be confined in prison; mittimus.
11. Parliamentary Procedure . the act of referring or entrusting to a committee for consideration.
12. Stock Exchange.
a. an agreement to buy or sell securities.
b. a sale or purchase of securities.


Today's Old Testament Reading -   Psalms 145

10 All your creatures shall thank you, Yahweh, and your faithful shall bless you.
11 They shall speak of the glory of your kingship and tell of your might,
12 making known your mighty deeds to the children of Adam, the glory and majesty of your kingship.
13 Your kingship is a kingship for ever, your reign lasts from age to age. Yahweh is trustworthy in all his words, and upright in all his deeds.
14 Yahweh supports all who stumble, lifts up those who are bowed down.
15 All look to you in hope and you feed them with the food of the season.
16 And, with generous hand, you satisfy the desires of every living creature.
17 Upright in all that he does, Yahweh acts only in faithful love.
18 He is close to all who call upon him, all who call on him from the heart.
19 He fulfils the desires of all who fear him, he hears their cry and he saves them.
20 Yahweh guards all who love him, but all the wicked he destroys.
21 My mouth shall always praise Yahweh, let every creature bless his holy name for ever and ever.


Today's Epistle -  Acts 14:19-28

19 Then some Jews arrived from Antioch and Iconium and turned the people against them. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the town, thinking he was dead.
20 The disciples came crowding round him but, as they did so, he stood up and went back to the town. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe.
21 Having preached the good news in that town and made a considerable number of disciples, they went back through Lystra, Iconium and Antioch.
22 They put fresh heart into the disciples, encouraging them to persevere in the faith, saying, 'We must all experience many hardships before we enter the kingdom of God.'
23 In each of these churches they appointed elders, and with prayer and fasting they commended them to the Lord in whom they had come to believe.
24 They passed through Pisidia and reached Pamphylia.
25 Then after proclaiming the word at Perga they went down to Attalia
26 and from there sailed for Antioch, where they had originally been commended to the grace of God for the work they had now completed.
27 On their arrival they assembled the church and gave an account of all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith to the gentiles.
28 They stayed there with the disciples for some time. 


Today's Gospel ReadingJohn 14:27-31a

Jesus said to his disciples: "Peace I bequeath to you, my own peace I give you, a peace which the world cannot give, this is my gift to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. You heard me say: I am going away and shall return. If you loved me you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. I have told you this now, before it happens, so that when it does happen you may believe. I shall not talk to you much longer, because the prince of this world is on his way. He has no power over me, but the world must recognise that I love the Father and that I act just as the Father commanded. Come now, let us go.
• Here in John 14, 27, begins the farewell of Jesus and at the end of chapter 14, he ends the conversation saying: “Come now, let us go!” (Jn 14, 31). But instead of leaving the room, Jesus continues to speak in three other chapters: 15, 16, and 17. If we read these three chapters, at the beginning of chapter 18, we see the following phrase: “After he had said all this, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron valley where there was a garden into which he went with his disciples“ (Jn 18, 1). In Jn 18, 1, there is the continuation of Jn 14, 31. The Gospel of John is like a beautiful building constructed slowly, rock on top of rock, brick upon brick. Here and there, there are signs of rearrangement or adaptation. In some way, all the texts, all the bricks, form part of the building and are the Word of God for us.

• John 14, 27: The gift of Peace. Jesus communicates his peace to the disciples. The same peace will be given after the Resurrection (Jn 20, 29). This peace is an expression of the manifestation of the Father, as Jesus had said before (Jn 14, 21). The peace of Jesus is the source of joy that he communicates to us (Jn 15, 11; 1620.22.24; 17, 13). It is a peace which is different from the peace which the world gives us, diverse from Pax Romana. At the end of the first century the Pax Romana was maintained by force and violent repression against the rebellious movements. Pax Romana guaranteed the institutionalized inequality between the Roman citizens and the slaves. This is not the peace of the Kingdom of God. The Peace which Jesus communicates is what in the Old Testament is called Shalom. It is the complete organization of the whole life around the values of justice, of fraternity and of equality.

• John 14, 28-29: The reason why Jesus returns to the Father. Jesus returns to the Father in order to be able to return immediately. He will say to Mary Magdalene: “Do not cling to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father” (Jn 20, 17). Going up to the Father, he will return through the Holy Spirit that he will send (cfr. Jn 20, 22). Without the return toward the Father he will not be able to stay with us through the Spirit.

• John 14, 30-31a: That the world may know that I love the Father. Jesus had ended the last conversation with the disciples. The prince of this world wanted to impose himself on the destiny of Jesus. Jesus will die. In reality, the Prince, the Tempter, the Devil, has no power over Jesus. The world will know that Jesus loves the Father. This is the great witness of Jesus which can impel the world to believe in him. In the announcement of the Good News it is not a question of diffusing a doctrine, or of imposing a Canon Law, or of uniting all in one organization. It is a question; above all, of living and radiating what the human being desires and has deeper in his heart: love. Without this, the doctrine, the Law, the celebration will be only a wig on a bald head.

• John 14, 31b: Come now, let us go. These are the last words of Jesus, the expression of his decision to be obedient to the Father and of revealing his love. In the Eucharist, at the moment of the consecration, in some countries, it is said: “On the day before his passion, voluntarily accepted”. In another place Jesus says: “This is why the Father loves me: because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me: I lay it down of my own free will, and as I have power to lay it down so I have power to take it up again, and this is the command that I have received from my Father.” (Jn 10, 17-18).
Personal questions
• Jesus says: “I give you my peace”. How do I contribute to the construction of peace in my family and in my community?
• Looking into the mirror of the obedience of Jesus toward the Father, on which point could I improve my obedience to the Father?

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  Saint Pope Pius V

Feast DayApril  30

Patron Saint:  n/a
Attributes:  n/a

St Pope Pius V
St. Pope Pius V (Latin: Pius PP. V, Italian: Pio V; 17 January 1504 – 1 May 1572), born Antonio Ghislieri (from 1518 called Michele Ghislieri, O.P.), was Pope from 1566 to 1572 and is a saint of the Catholic Church.[1] He is chiefly notable for his role in the Council of Trent, the Counter-Reformation, and the standardization of the Roman rite within the Latin Church. Pius V declared Thomas Aquinas a Doctor of the Church and patronized prominent sacred music composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina.

As a cardinal, Ghislieri gained a reputation for putting orthodoxy before personalities, prosecuting eight French bishops for heresy. He also stood firm against nepotism, rebuking his predecessor Pope Pius IV to his face when he wanted to make a 13-year old member of his family a cardinal and subsidise a nephew from the Papal treasury.

In affairs of state, Pius V excommunicated Elizabeth I of England for schism and persecutions of English Catholics during her reign. He also arranged the formation of the Holy League, an alliance of Catholic states. Although outnumbered, the Holy League famously defeated the Ottoman Empire, which had threatened to overrun Europe, at the Battle of Lepanto. This victory Pius V attributed to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and instituted the feast of Our Lady of Victory.

Earlier Life

Antonio Ghislieri was born at Bosco in the Duchy of Milan (now Bosco Marengo in the province of Alessandria, Piedmont), Italy. At the age of fourteen he entered the Dominican Order, taking the name Michele, passing from the monastery of Voghera to that of Vigevano, and thence to Bologna. Ordained priest at Genoa in 1528, he was sent by his order to Pavia, where he lectured for sixteen years. At Parma he advanced thirty propositions in support of the papal chair and against the heresies of the time. As prior of more than one Dominican priory during a time of great moral laxity, he insisted on discipline, and, in accordance with his own wishes, he was appointed inquisitor at Como. As his reformist zeal provoked resentment, he was compelled to return to Rome in 1550, where, after having been employed in several inquisitorial missions, he was elected to the commissariat of the Holy Office. Pope Paul IV (1555–59), who, as Cardinal Carafa, had shown him special favor, conferred upon him the bishopric of Sutri and Nepi, the cardinalate with the title of Alessandrino, and the unique honor of the supreme inquisitorship. Under Pope Pius IV (1559–65) he became bishop of Mondovi in Piedmont, but his opposition to that pontiff procured his dismissal from the palace and the abridgment of his authority as inquisitor.



Before Michele Ghislieri could return to his episcopate, Pope Pius IV died. On 7 January 1566, Ghislieri was elected to the Papal chair as Pope Pius V. He was crowned ten days later, on his 62nd birthday.

Church discipline

Aware of the necessity of restoring discipline and morality at Rome to ensure success without, he at once proceeded to reduce the cost of the papal court after the manner of the Dominican Order to which he belonged, compel residence among the clergy, regulate inns, expel prostitutes, and assert the importance of the ceremonial in general and the liturgy of the Mass in particular. In his wider policy, which was characterised throughout by an effective stringency, the maintenance and increase of the efficacy of the Inquisition and the enforcement of the canons and decrees of the Council of Trent had precedence over other considerations.


Accordingly, in order to implement a decision of that council, he standardised the Holy Mass by promulgating the 1570 edition of the Roman Missal. Pope Pius V made this Missal mandatory throughout the Latin rite of the Catholic Church, except where a Mass liturgy dating from before 1370 AD was in use. This form of the Mass remained essentially unchanged for 400 years until Pope Paul VI's revision of the Roman Missal in 1969–70, after which it has become widely known as the Tridentine Mass; use of the last pre-1969 edition of the Missal, that by Pope John XXIII in 1962, is permitted without limitation for private celebration of the Mass and, since July 2007, is allowed also for public use, as laid down in the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum of Pope Benedict XVI. Some continue to use even earlier editions, but without authorisation.


Pope Pius, who had declared Thomas Aquinas the fifth Latin Doctor of the Church in 1567, commissioned the first edition of Aquinas' opera omnia, often called the editio Piana in honor of the Pope. This work was produced in 1570 at the studium generale of the Dominican Order at Santa Maria sopra Minerva, which would be transformed into the College of Saint Thomas in 1577, and again into the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum in the 20th century.[2]


St Pius V recognized attacks on papal supremacy in the Catholic Church and was desirous of limiting their advancement. In France, where his influence was stronger, he took several measures to oppose the Protestant Huguenots. He directed the dismissal of Cardinal Odet de Coligny and seven bishops, nullified the royal edict tolerating the extramural services of the Reformers, introduced the Roman catechism, restored papal discipline, and strenuously opposed all compromise with the Huguenot nobility.

Character and policy

In the list of more important bulls issued by him the famous bull "In Coena Domini" (1568) takes a leading place; but amongst others throwing light on Pope Pius V's character and policy there may be mentioned his prohibition of quaestuary (February 1567 and January 1570); the condemnation of Michael Baius, the heretical Professor of Leuven (1567); the reform of the breviary (July 1568); the denunciation of the "dirum nefas" (August 1568); the banishment of the Jews from the ecclesiastical dominions except Rome and Ancona (1569)[3]; the injunction of the use of the reformed missal (July 1570); the confirmation of the privileges of the Society of Crusaders for the protection of the Inquisition (October 1570); the suppression of the Fratres Humiliati for profligacy (February 1571); the approbation of the new office of the Blessed Virgin (March 1571); the enforcement of the daily recitation of the Canonical Hours (September 1571); and the purchase of assistance against the Turks by offers of plenary pardon (March 1572).

Katherine Rinne says in the book Waters of Rome [4]Pius V also ordered the construction of public works to improve the water supply and sewer system of Rome.

Elizabeth I

His response to the Queen Elizabeth I of England assuming governance of the Church of England included support of the imprisoned Mary, Queen of Scots, and her supporters in their attempts to take over England "ex turpissima muliebris libidinis servitute". A brief English Catholic uprising, the Rising of the North, had just failed. Pius then issued a bull, Regnans in Excelsis, dated 27 April 1570, that declared Elizabeth I a heretic and released her subjects from their allegiance to her.[5] In response, Elizabeth, who had thus far tolerated Catholic worship in private, now actively started persecuting them.

Holy League

Saint Pius V arranged the forming of the Holy League against the Islamic Turks, as the result of which the Battle of Lepanto (7 October 1571) was won by the combined fleet under Don John of Austria. It is attested in his canonisation that he miraculously knew when the battle was over, himself being in Rome at the time.[6] Three national synods were held during his pontificate at Naples under Alfonso Cardinal Caraffa (whose family had, after inquiry, been reinstated by Pius V), at Milan under Saint Charles Borromeo, and at Machim.

Papal garments

Although Pius V is often credited with the origin of the Pope's white garments—supposedly because after his election Pius continued to wear his white Dominican habit—this claim must be regarded as legendary on account of the great number of contemporary portraits of earlier popes wearing the same white cassock he supposedly inaugurated.[7] Much more likely is that his Dominican predecessor, Blessed Innocent V, was the first to give the Popes their white.

Death and canonisation

The body of Pius V in his tomb in Santa Maria Maggiore.
Pius V died on 1 May 1572. He was succeeded by Pope Gregory XIII (1572–85). In 1696, the process of Pius's canonisation was started through the efforts of the Master of the Order of Preachers, Antonin Cloche. He also immediately commissioned a representative tomb from the sculptor Pierre Le Gros the Younger to be erected in the Sistine Chapel of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. The pope's body was placed in it in 1698. St Pius V was beatified by Pope Clement X[8] in the year 1672, and was later canonized by Pope Clement XI (1700–21) on 24 May 1712.[9]

In the following year, 1713, his feast day was inserted in the General Roman Calendar, for celebration on 5 May, with the rank of "Double", the equivalent of "Third-Class Feast" in the General Roman Calendar of 1962, and of its present rank of "Optional Memorial".[10] In 1969 the celebration was moved to 30 April, the day before the anniversary of his death (1 May).

The front of his tomb has a lid of gilded bronze which shows a likeness of the dead pope. Most of the time this is left open to allow the veneration of the saint's remains.

Pope St Pius V also helped financially in the construction of the city of Valletta, Malta's capital city by sending his military engineer Francesco Laparelli to design the fortification walls.


  1. ^ Durant, Will and Ariel Durant, Age of Reason Begins, Vol.7, (Simon & Schuster, 1961), 238–239.
  2. ^ In This Light Which Gives Light: A History of the College of St. Albert the Great, Christopher J. Renzi, p. 42: Accessed 4-24-2011
  3. ^ Krinsky, Carol Herselle. 1996. Synagogues of Europe: Architecture, History, Meaning. Courier Dover Publications. ISBN 0-486-29078-6. p. 118.
  4. ^ Rinne, Katherine (January 2001). Waters of Rome. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-15530-1.
  5. ^ Ehler, Sidney Z., Church and State Through the Centuries, (Biblo-Moser, 1988), 180.
  6. ^ Rev. Fr. Luis Coloma, The Story of Don John of Austria, trans. Lady Moreton, (New York: John Lane Company, 1912), pp. 272–273.
  7. ^ "Andrew O. – When The Popes Started Wearing White And Why?" Popes and Papacy, 4 May 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
  8. ^ Richard P. McBrien, The Pocket Guide to the Popes, (HarperCollins, 2006), 283.
  9. ^ James Corkery and Thomas Worcester, The Papacy Since 1500: From Italian Prince to Universal Pastor, (Cambridge University Press, 2010), 56-57.
  10. ^ Roman Catholic calendar of saints

        Featured Items Panel from Litany Lane


        Today's Snippet I:  Papal States

        The Papal States were territories in the Italian peninsula under the sovereign direct rule of the Pope, from the 500s until 1870. They were among the major states of Italy from roughly the sixth century until the Italian Peninsula was unified in 1861 by the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia. After 1861 the Papal States, in less territorially extensive form, continued to exist until 1870. At their most extensive they covered most of the modern Italian regions of Romagna, Marche, Umbria and Lazio. This was commonly called the temporal power of the Pope, as opposed to his ecclesiastical primacy.


        The Papal States were also known as the Papal State (although the plural is usually preferred, the singular is equally correct as the polity was more than a mere personal union). The territories were also referred to variously as the State(s) of the Church, the Pontifical States, the Ecclesiastical States, or the Roman States (Italian: Stato Pontificio, also Stato della Chiesa, Stati della Chiesa, Stati Pontifici, and Stato Ecclesiastico; Latin: Status Pontificius, also Dicio Pontificia).[1]


        For its first 300 years the Catholic Church was persecuted and unrecognized, unable to hold or transfer property. Early congregations met in rooms set aside for that purpose in the homes of well-to-do individuals, and a number of early churches on the outskirts of Ancient Rome were held in custody for the Church by members. These were known as Titular churches. Things changed with the Christian emperorship of Constantine I. The Lateran Palace was the first significant donation, a gift from Constantine himself.

        Other donations followed, mainly in mainland Italy but also in the provinces of the Roman empire. But the Church held all of these lands as a private landowner, not as a sovereign entity. When in the 5th century the Italian peninsula passed under the control of first Odoacer and then the Ostrogoths, the church organization in Italy, and the Pope - bishop of Rome - as its head, submitted to their sovereign authority while asserting their spiritual primacy over the whole Church.

        The seeds of the Papal States as a sovereign political entity were planted in the 6th century. The Eastern Roman (or Byzantine) government in Constantinople launched a reconquest of Italy that took decades and devastated the country's political and economic structures; just as those wars wound down, the Lombards entered the peninsula from the north and conquered much of the countryside. By the 7th century, Byzantine authority was largely limited to a diagonal band running roughly from Ravenna, where the Emperor's representative, or Exarch, was located, to Rome and south to Naples (the "Rome-Ravenna corridor").

        With effective Byzantine power weighted at the northeast end of this territory, the Pope, as the largest landowner and most prestigious figure in Italy, began by default to take on much of the ruling authority that Byzantines were unable to project to the area around the city of Rome. While the Popes remained Byzantine subjects, in practice the Duchy of Rome, an area roughly equivalent to modern-day Latium, became an independent state ruled by the Pope.

        The Church's independence, combined with popular support for the Papacy in Italy, enabled various Popes to defy the will of the Byzantine emperor; Pope Gregory II even excommunicated Emperor Leo III during the Iconoclastic Controversy. Nevertheless the Pope and the Exarch still worked together to control the rising power of the Lombards in Italy. As Byzantine power weakened, though, the Papacy took an ever larger role in defending Rome from the Lombards, usually through diplomacy. In practice, the papal efforts served to focus Lombard aggrandizement on the Exarch and Ravenna. A climactic moment in the founding of the Papal States was the agreement over boundaries embodied in the Lombard king Liutprand's Donation of Sutri (728) to Pope Gregory II.[2]

        Donation of Pepin

        The Quirinal Palace, papal residence and home to the civil offices of the Papal States from the Renaissance until their annexation.
        When the Exarchate of Ravenna finally fell to the Lombards in 751, the Duchy of Rome was completely cut off from the Byzantine Empire, of which it was theoretically still a part. The Popes renewed earlier attempts to secure the support of the Franks. In 751, Pope Zachary had Pepin the Younger crowned king in place of the powerless Merovingian figurehead king Childeric III. Zachary's successor, Pope Stephen II, later granted Pepin the title Patrician of the Romans. Pepin led a Frankish army into Italy in 754 and 756. Pepin defeated the Lombards – taking control of northern Italy – and made a gift (called the Donation of Pepin) of the properties formerly constituting the Exarchate of Ravenna to the Pope.

        In 781, Charlemagne codified the regions over which the Pope would be temporal sovereign: the Duchy of Rome was key, but the territory was expanded to include Ravenna, the Pentapolis, parts of the Duchy of Benevento, Tuscany, Corsica, Lombardy and a number of Italian cities. The cooperation between the Papacy and the Carolingian dynasty climaxed in 800, when Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne Emperor.

        Relationship with the Holy Roman Empire

        The precise nature of the relationship between the Popes and Emperors – and between the Papal States and the Empire – was disputed. It was unclear whether the Papal States were a separate realm with the Pope as their sovereign ruler, merely a part of the Frankish Empire over which the Popes had administrative control, or that the Holy Roman Emperors were vicars of the Pope (as a sort of Archemperor) ruling Christendom, with the Pope directly responsible only for the environs of Rome and spiritual duties.

        Events in the 9th century postponed the conflict. The Holy Roman Empire in its Frankish form collapsed as it was subdivided among Charlemagne's grandchildren. Imperial power in Italy waned and the papacy's prestige declined. This led to a rise in the power of the local Roman nobility, and the control of the Papal States during the early 10th century by a powerful and corrupt aristocratic family, the Theophylacti. This period was later dubbed the Saeculum obscurum ("dark age"), and sometimes as the "rule by harlots".[3]

        Liutprand of Cremona's biased account contrasts with Bernard Hamilton's, "The monastic revival in tenth-century Rome" and "The House of Theophylact and the promotion of the religious life among women in tenth-century Rome", both articles collected in Hamilton's Monastic Reform, Catharism and the Crusades (900–1300) (London, 1979). In practice, the Popes were unable to exercise effective sovereignty over the extensive and mountainous territories of the Papal States, and the region preserved its old system of government, with many small countships and marquisates, each centred upon a fortified rocca.

        Over several campaigns in the mid-10th century, the German ruler Otto I conquered northern Italy; Pope John XII crowned him emperor (the first so crowned in more than forty years) and the two of them ratified the Diploma Ottonianum, which guaranteed the independence of the Papal States. Yet over the next two centuries, Popes and Emperors squabbled over a variety of issues, and the German rulers routinely treated the Papal States as part of their realms on those occasions when they projected power into Italy. As the Gregorian Reform worked to free the administration of the church from imperial interference, the independence of the Papal States increased in importance. After the extinction of the Hohenstaufen dynasty, the German emperors rarely interfered in Italian affairs. In response to the struggle between the Guelphs and Ghibellines, the treaty of Venice made official the independence of Papal States from the Holy Roman Empire in 1177. By 1300, the Papal States, along with the rest of the Italian principalities, were effectively independent.

        The Avignon papacy

        From 1305 to 1378, the Popes lived in the papal enclave of Avignon, surrounded by Provence, and were under the influence of the French kings in the "Babylonian Captivity". During this period the city of Avignon itself was added to the Papal States; it remained a papal possession for some 400 years even after the popes returned to Rome, until it was seized and incorporated into the French state during the French Revolution.

        During this Avignon Papacy, local despots took advantage of the absence of the popes to establish themselves in nominally papal cities: the Pepoli in Bologna, the Ordelaffi in Forlì, the Manfredi in Faenza, the Malatesta in Rimini all gave nominal acknowledgement to their papal overlords and were declared vicars of the Church.

        In Ferrara, the death of Azzo VIII d'Este without legitimate heirs (1308) encouraged Pope Clement V to bring Ferrara under his direct rule: however, was it governed by his appointed vicar, Robert d'Anjou, King of Naples, for only nine years before the citizens recalled the Este from exile (1317); interdiction and excommunications were in vain: in 1332 John XXII was obliged to name three Este brothers as his vicars in Ferrara.

        In Rome itself the Orsini and the Colonna struggled for supremacy, dividing the city's rioni between them. The resulting aristocratic anarchy in the city provided the setting for the fantastic dreams of universal democracy of Cola di Rienzo, who was acclaimed Tribune of the People in 1347 and met a violent death in 1354.

        The Rienzo episode engendered renewed attempts from the absentee papacy to re-establish order in the dissolving Papal States, resulting in the military progress of Cardinal Egidio Albornoz, who was appointed papal legate, and his condottieri heading a small mercenary army. Having received the support of the archbishop of Milan and Giovanni Visconti, he defeated Giovanni di Vico, lord of Viterbo, moving against Galeotto Malatesta of Rimini and the Ordelaffi of Forlì, the Montefeltro of Urbino and the da Polenta of Ravenna, and against the cities of Senigallia and Ancona. The last holdouts against full papal control were Giovanni Manfredi of Faenza and Francesco II Ordelaffi of Forlì. Albornoz, at the point of being recalled, in a meeting with all the Papal vicars on April 29, 1357, promulgated the Constitutiones Sanctæ Matris Ecclesiæ, which replaced the mosaic of local law and accumulated traditional 'liberties' with a uniform code of civil law. These Constitutiones Egidiane mark a watershed in the legal history of the Papal States; they remained in effect until 1816. Pope Urban V ventured a return to Italy in 1367 that proved premature; he returned to Avignon in 1370.


        Antichristus (1521) by Lucas Cranach the Elder is a woodcut of the Papal States at war during the Renaissance.
        During the Renaissance, the papal territory expanded greatly, notably under Popes Alexander VI and Julius II. The Pope became one of Italy's most important secular rulers as well as the head of the Church, signing treaties with other sovereigns and fighting wars. In practice, though, most of the Papal States was still only nominally controlled by the Pope, and much of the territory was ruled by minor princes. Control was always contested; indeed it took until the 16th century for the Pope to have any genuine control over all his territories.

        Papal responsibilities were often (as in the early 16th century) in conflict. The Papal States were involved in at least 3 wars in the first 2 decades.[4][5] Pope Julius II, the "Warrior Pope", fought on their behalf. The Reformation began in 1517. Before the Holy Roman Empire fought the Protestants, its soldiers (including many Protestants), sacked Rome as a side effect of battles over the Papal States.[6] A generation later the armies of king Philip II of Spain defeated those of Pope Paul IV over the same issues.[7]

        This period saw a gradual revival of the Pope's temporal power in the Papal States. Throughout the 16th century virtually independent fiefs such as Rimini (a possession of the Malatesta family) were brought back under Papal control. This process culminated in the reclaiming of the powerful Duchy of Ferrara in 1598 and the Duchy of Urbino in 1631.

        At its greatest extent, in the 18th century, the Papal States included most of Central Italy — Latium, Umbria, Marche and the Legations of Ravenna, Ferrara and Bologna extending north into the Romagna. It also included the small enclaves of Benevento and Pontecorvo in southern Italy and the larger Comtat Venaissin around Avignon in southern France.

        French Revolution and Napoleonic era

        Map of Italy in 1796, showing the Papal States before the Napoleonic wars changed the face of Italy
        The French Revolution proved as disastrous for the temporal territories of the Papacy as it was for the Roman Church in general. In 1791 the Comtat Venaissin and Avignon were annexed by France. Later, with the French invasion of Italy in 1796, the Legations were seized and became part of the revolutionary Cisalpine Republic.

        Two years later, the Papal States as a whole were invaded by French forces, who declared a Roman Republic. Pope Pius VI died in exile in Valence (France) in 1799.

        The Papal States were restored in June 1800 and Pope Pius VII returned, but the French again invaded in 1808, and this time the remainder of the States of the Church were annexed to France, forming the départements of Tibre and Trasimène.

        With the fall of the Napoleonic system in 1814, the Papal States were restored once more. From 1814 until the death of Pope Gregory XVI in 1846, the Popes followed a reactionary policy in the Papal States.

        For instance, the city of Rome maintained the last Jewish ghetto in Western Europe. There were hopes that this would change when Pope Pius IX was elected to succeed Gregory and began to introduce liberal reforms.

        Italian nationalism and the end of the Papal States

        Italian nationalism had been stoked during the Napoleonic period but dashed by the settlement of the Congress of Vienna (1814–15), which sought to restore the pre-Napoleonic conditions: most of northern Italy was under the rule of junior branches of the Habsburgs and the Bourbons, with the House of Savoy in Sardinia-Piedmont constituting the only independent Italian state. The Papal States in central Italy and the Bourbon Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in the south were both restored. In 1848, nationalist and liberal revolutions began to break out across Europe; in 1849, a Roman Republic was declared and the hitherto liberally-inclined Pope Pius IX had to flee the city. The revolution was surpressed with French help in 1850 and Pius IX switched to a conservative line of government.

        As a result of the Austro-Sardinian War of 1859, Sardinia-Piedmont annexed Lombardy, while Giuseppe Garibaldi overthrew the Bourbon monarchy in the south. Afraid that Garibaldi would set up a republican government, the Piedmont government petitioned French Emperor Napoleon III for permission to send troops through the Papal States to gain control of the south. This was granted on the condition that Rome was left undisturbed. In 1860, with much of the region already in rebellion against Papal rule, Sardinia-Piedmont conquered the eastern two-thirds of the Papal States and cemented its hold on the south. Bologna, Ferrara, Umbria, the Marches, Benevento and Pontecorvo were all formally annexed by November of the same year. While considerably reduced, the Papal States nevertheless still covered the Latium and large areas northwest of Rome.

        The Papal States, 1860-1870.
        A unified Kingdom of Italy was declared and in March 1861, the first Italian parliament, which met in Turin, the old capital of Piedmont, declared Rome the capital of the new Kingdom. However, the Italian government could not take possession of the city because a French garrison in Rome protected Pope Pius IX. The opportunity for the Kingdom of Italy to eliminate the Papal States came in 1870; the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in July prompted Napoleon III to recall his garrison from Rome and the collapse of the Second French Empire at the Battle of Sedan deprived Rome of its French protector. King Victor Emmanuel II at first aimed at a peaceful conquest of the city and proposed sending troops into Rome, under the guise of offering protection to the pope. When the Pope refused, Italy declared war on September 10, 1870, and the Italian Army, commanded by General Raffaele Cadorna, crossed the frontier of the papal territory on September 11 and advanced slowly toward Rome. The Italian Army reached the Aurelian Walls on September 19 and placed Rome under a state of siege. Although the pope's tiny army was incapable of defending the city, Pius IX ordered it to put up at least a token resistance to emphasize that Italy was acquiring Rome by force and not consent. This incidentally served the purposes of the Italian State and gave rise to the myth of the Breach of Porta Pia, in reality a tame affair involving a cannonade at close range that demolished a 1600-year-old wall in poor repair. The city was captured on September 20, 1870. Rome and what was left of the Papal States were annexed to the Kingdom of Italy as a result of a plebiscite the following October.

        Despite the fact that the traditionally Catholic powers did not come to the Pope's aid, the papacy rejected any substantial accommodation with the Italian Kingdom, especially any proposal which required the Pope to become an Italian subject. Instead the papacy confined itself (see Prisoner in the Vatican) to the Apostolic Palace and adjacent buildings in the loop of the ancient fortifications known as the Leonine City, on Vatican Hill. From there it maintained a number of features pertaining to sovereignty, such as diplomatic relations, since in canon law these were inherent in the papacy. In the 1920s, the papacy – then under Pius XI—renounced the bulk of the Papal States and the Lateran Treaty with Italy was signed on February 11, 1929, creating the State of the Vatican City, forming the sovereign territory of the Holy See, which was also indemnified to some degree for loss of territory.


        Papal Zouaves pose in 1869.
        • As the plural name Papal States indicates, the various regional components, usually former independent states, retained their identity under papal rule. The Pope was represented in each province by a governor, either styled papal legate, as in the former principality of Benevento, or Bologna, Romagna, and the March of Ancona; or papal delegate, as in the former duchy of Pontecorvo and in the Campagne and Maritime Province.
        • The police force, known as sbirri ("cops" in modern Italian slang), was billeted in private houses (normally a practice of military occupation) and enforced order quite rigorously.
        • For the defence of the states against the nascent Italian state in the last years of papal territorial autonomy, an international Catholic volunteer corps, called Papal Zouaves after a kind of French colonial native Algerian infantry, and imitating their uniform type, was created and fought in many engagements with great courage against superior odds in men and equipment.[8]


        1. ^ Mitchell, S.A. (1840). Mitchell's geographical reader. Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co. p. 368.
        2. ^ "Sutri". From Civitavecchia to Civita Castellana. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
        3. ^ Emile Amann and Auguste Dumas, ""L'église au pouvoir des laïques", in Auguste Fliche and Victor Martin, eds. Histoire de l'Église depuis l'origine jusqu'au nos jours, vol. 7 (Paris 1940, 1948)
        4. ^ Lee, Roger A. (15 February 2013). "Wars of the Papacy and the Papal States". Retrieved 7 March 2013.
        5. ^ Ganse, Alexander. "History of the Papal States". World History at KDMLA. Korean Minjok Leadership Academy. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
        6. ^ Durant, Will (1953). The Renaissance. Chapter XXI: The Political Collapse: 1494–1534.
        7. ^ Durant, Will (1953). The Renaissance. Chapter XXXIX: The Popes and the Council: 1517–1565.
        8. ^ Charles A. Coulombe, The Pope's Legion: The Multinational Fighting Force that Defended the Vatican, Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2008



        Catechism of the Catholic Church

        Part Two: The Celebration of the Christian Mystery, 

        Section Two: The Seven Sacraments of the Church 





        Article 4

        VI. The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation
        1440 Sin is before all else an offense against God, a rupture of communion with him. At the same time it damages communion with the Church. For this reason conversion entails both God's forgiveness and reconciliation with the Church, which are expressed and accomplished liturgically by the sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation.LG 11

        Only God forgives sin
        1441 Only God forgives sins.Mk 2:7 Since he is the Son of God, Jesus says of himself, "The Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins" and exercises this divine power: "Your sins are forgiven."Mk 2:5 Further, by virtue of his divine authority he gives this power to men to exercise in his name.Jn 20:21-23

        1442 Christ has willed that in her prayer and life and action his whole Church should be the sign and instrument of the forgiveness and reconciliation that he acquired for us at the price of his blood. But he entrusted the exercise of the power of absolution to the apostolic ministry which he charged with the "ministry of reconciliation."2 Cor 5:18 The apostle is sent out "on behalf of Christ" with "God making his appeal" through him and pleading: "Be reconciled to God."2 Cor 5:20

        Reconciliation with the Church
        1443 During his public life Jesus not only forgave sins, but also made plain the effect of this forgiveness: he reintegrated forgiven sinners into the community of the People of God from which sin had alienated or even excluded them. A remarkable sign of this is the fact that Jesus receives sinners at his table, a gesture that expresses in an astonishing way both God's forgiveness and the return to the bosom of the People of God.Lk 15;  19:9

        1444 In imparting to his apostles his own power to forgive sins the Lord also gives them the authority to reconcile sinners with the Church. This ecclesial dimension of their task is expressed most notably in Christ's solemn words to Simon Peter: "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."Mt 16:19 "The office of binding and loosing which was given to Peter was also assigned to the college of the apostles united to its head."LG 22 # 2

        1445 The words bind and loose mean: whomever you exclude from your communion, will be excluded from communion with God; whomever you receive anew into your communion, God will welcome back into his. Reconciliation with the Church is inseparable from reconciliation with God.

        The sacrament of forgiveness
        1446 Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin, and have thus lost their baptismal grace and wounded ecclesial communion. It is to them that the sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and to recover the grace of justification. the Fathers of the Church present this sacrament as "the second plank [of salvation] after the shipwreck which is the loss of grace."Tertullian, De Paenit. 4, 2: PL 1,1343; cf. Council of Trent (1547): DS 1542

        1447 Over the centuries the concrete form in which the Church has exercised this power received from the Lord has varied considerably. During the first centuries the reconciliation of Christians who had committed particularly grave sins after their Baptism (for example, idolatry, murder, or adultery) was tied to a very rigorous discipline, according to which penitents had to do public penance for their sins, often for years, before receiving reconciliation. To this "order of penitents" (which concerned only certain grave sins), one was only rarely admitted and in certain regions only once in a lifetime. During the seventh century Irish missionaries, inspired by the Eastern monastic tradition, took to continental Europe the "private" practice of penance, which does not require public and prolonged completion of penitential works before reconciliation with the Church. From that time on, the sacrament has been performed in secret between penitent and priest. This new practice envisioned the possibility of repetition and so opened the way to a regular frequenting of this sacrament. It allowed the forgiveness of grave sins and venial sins to be integrated into one sacramental celebration. In its main lines this is the form of penance that the Church has practiced down to our day.

        1448 Beneath the changes in discipline and celebration that this sacrament has undergone over the centuries, the same fundamental structure is to be discerned. It comprises two equally essential elements: on the one hand, the acts of the man who undergoes conversion through the action of the Holy Spirit: namely, contrition, confession, and satisfaction; on the other, God's action through the intervention of the Church. the Church, who through the bishop and his priests forgives sins in the name of Jesus Christ and determines the manner of satisfaction, also prays for the sinner and does penance with him. Thus the sinner is healed and re-established in ecclesial communion.

        1449 The formula of absolution used in the Latin Church expresses the essential elements of this sacrament: the Father of mercies is the source of all forgiveness. He effects the reconciliation of sinners through the Passover of his Son and the gift of his Spirit, through the prayer and ministry of the Church:

        God, the Father of mercies,
        through the death and the resurrection of his Son
        has reconciled the world to himself
        and sent the Holy Spirit among us
        for the forgiveness of sins;
         through the ministry of the Church
        may God give you pardon and peace,
        and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.OP 46: formula of absolution