The 40 Hours Devotion (II)

The 40 Hours Devotion (II)

A BIT OF HISTORY. No one knows exactly when 40 Hours Devotion actually began. However, historical consensus supports its origin in the 16th century in Milan, Italy. St. Anthony Zaccaria, St. Philip Neri and St. Ignatius of Loyola are credited with promoting 40 Hours Devotion there in 1530. In 1539, Pope Paul III was asked to and did approve an indulgence (a partial or total remission of the temporal punishment for sins) for those individuals who participated in the Devotion. By 1550, St. Philip Neri and St. Ignatius Loyola were instituting 40 Hours Devotion in Rome.

In 1560, Pope Paul IV issued a Papal Bull or decree supporting the 40 Hours Devotion; the practice at the time was for the Devotion to be scheduled at all the different churches throughout a diocese so that the devotions were taking place continuously on a scheduled and rotating basis. In 1592, Pope Clement VIII formalized this process in a letter entitled “Graves et Diuturnae”. He also issued regulations for the devotions. In 1705, Pope Clement XI collected these regulations and officially issued them to the Church in a document entitled “Instructio Clementia”.

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