This September 5th marks the opening of the solemn “Year of Saint Gerard.” This will celebrate a double anniversary of one of our most popular saints, St. Gerard. December 11, 2004 marks the 100th Anniversary of his canonization; October 16, 2005 is the 250th Anniversary of his death.
Because of this, I wish to announce that the Apostolic Penitentiary of the Holy See has granted:
- a) A plenary indulgence to all who undertake a pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of St. Gerard Majella in Materdomini (AV) during the Year of St. Gerard (September 5, 2004 – October 16, 2005).
- b) A plenary indulgence in all the Redemptorist churches throughout the world, as well as in churches where there is a solemn celebration, on (and only on) these two days, the anniversary of the saint’s canonization (December 11, 2004) and the anniversary of his death (October 16, 2005).
As I invite all of the Units to honor the memory of our great saint in the most suitable way, I wish to remind you that there is a petition in circulation that St. Gerard’s special protection of mothers and children be officially recognized at the level of the Universal Church. These petitions, especially of bishops and priests, but also of the laity, should reach the Sanctuary of Materdomini in Italy by November 2004. The forms were distributed to the (Vice)Provincial Superiors during the last general chapter. If more copies of the form are needed, they can be requested from the Rector of Materdomini (firstname.lastname@example.org) or from our General Secretariat in Rome (email@example.com).
I also remind you of the earlier request of the Rector of Materdomini that materials and photographs be forwarded to him of any programs of cult or devotion held in honor of the saint.
The Sanctuary of Materdomini has prepared a special calendar of celebrations and events and opens its doors in welcome to all pilgrims, especially Redemptorists, who wish to visit in pilgrimage. (Cf. www.sangerardo.it).
With prayers for the powerful intercession of our beloved “Holy Brother” for each Redemptorist, I extend my most heartfelt greetings,
In Christ the Redeemer,
Most Reverend Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R.