Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Angelic Warfare Confraternity

If there is a Confraternity worth joining this is it, its "The Angelic Warfare Confraternity." Satan and today's secular culture are trying to destroy the image of God in man, and this is a weapon that all Catholics can use to combat these insidious enemies. This Dominican Confraternity began in the 1400s and was established in an official capacity in 1727 by Pope Benedict XII. Her members take Saint Thomas Aquinas as their patron and focus their prayers on the virtue of chastity, both for themselves and for others. The official site reads, "The Angelic Warfare Confraternity is supernatural brotherhood or fellowship of men and women bound to one another in love and dedicated to pursuing and promoting chastity together under the powerful patronage St. Thomas Aquinas and the Blessed Virgin Mary." As you may already know, Saint Thomas is the Angelic Doctor of the Church and theologians, but what you many not know is that he went through an immense trial to retain his purity, so he is a great example to follow in this respect as well. You can read about his trial on the website linked above. The requirements make it possible for anyone to join and receive the graces that are made manifest through the Confraternity. Normally you need a Dominican priest to enroll you, but arrangements can be made if necessary, to be enrolled by your parish priest if there is no other option. If you are into having your enrollment prayers in Latin, that can be arranged as well! 

The three essential practices are:

i. Enrollment and Registration. In the enrollment ceremony, a Dominican priest confers the blessing upon the cord and medal of St. Thomas Aquinas and the person who will wear it. The name of the person enrolled and place of the enrollment ceremony goes into the official Register.

ii. Wearing either the blessed cord of St. Thomas or blessed medal of St. Thomas (or both) as continuously as one reasonably can for the rest of one's life.

iii. Daily prayers for purity for oneself and all the members of the Confraternity. The daily prayers consist of two special prayers for chastity and fifteen Hail Mary's. 
The Prayer to St. Thomas for Purity
Chosen lily of innocence, pure St. Thomas,
who kept chaste the robe of baptism
and became an angel in the flesh after being girded by two angels,
I implore you to commend me to Jesus, the Spotless Lamb,
and to Mary, the Queen of Virgins.
Gentle protector of my purity, ask them that I,
who wear the holy sign of your victory over the flesh,
may also share your purity,
and after imitating you on earth
may at last come to be crowned with you among the angels. Amen.

The Prayer of St. Thomas for Purity
Dear Jesus,
I know that every perfect gift,
and especially that of chastity,
depends on the power of Your providence.
Without You a mere creature can do nothing.
Therefore, I beg You to defend by Your grace
the chastity and purity of my body and soul.
And if I have ever sensed or imagined anything
that could stain my chastity and purity,
blot it out, Supreme Lord of my powers,
that I may advance with a pure heart in Your love and service,
offering myself on the most pure altar of Your divinity
all the days of my life. Amen. 

There are also indulgences granted to members as well. 

The Popes have heaped many indulgences upon the Confraternity as a sign that they want people to join. All the members are eligible to receive a plenary indulgence:

▪ Once on the day of enrollment
▪ Every year on the feasts of Christmas, Easter, St. Thomas (Jan. 28), the Annunciation (March 25), the Assumption of the B.V.M. (Aug. 15), and All Saints Day (Nov. 1)

Members gain a plenary indulgence on these days given the following four conditions:

i. Receive Holy Communion on that day with the intention of gaining the indulgence

ii. Go to the Sacrament of Penance within eight days before or after that day

iii. Pray one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Apostle's Creed for the intentions of the Holy Father

iv. Renew privately the intention to live according to the practices and Statute of the Confraternity. 

Many Catholics over the centuries have received numerous blessings from joining the Confraternity. There is also some great reading material available at New Hope Publishing, which prints their books and pamphlets. To order enrollment kits visit their store.

1 comment:

Alan Aversa said...

My packet just arrived. I hope to officially join it soon. I really hope it takes off, especially amongst university students.