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The Pardon

On 17 July 1294, Pietro Angeleri was in his hermitage on Mount Morrone near L’Aquila, when Charles II of Naples and his son Carlo Martel, followed by a long procession of cardinals, bishops and pilgrims, announced to him that the conclave, who had assembled in Perugia, had decided to raise him to the papal throne, which had been empty for twenty-seven months after the death of Pope Nicholas IV. He accepted on the condition that they would crown him in the Basilica of Collemaggio.
On 29 August 1294, the anniversary of the beheading of Saint John the Baptist, he rose to the papal throne, taking the name of Pope Celestine V, after entering the city of Aquila on the back of a donkey, as Jesus did in Jerusalem.
His papacy lasted only a few months and he went down in history as an incompetent, despite the fact he proved himself to be quite the opposite. Indeed, not only did he promote the construction of the Basilica when he was still a mere monk, he also decreed the first Jubilee ceremony, which he called ‘La Perdonanza’ (The Pardon).
The same evening of his coronation he granted an annual plenum, universis christifidelibus, to all those who confessed and who had truly repented for being involved in the beheading of John the Baptist at Santa Maria di Collemaggio on the 29th of August.

This event, confirmed by the Papal Bull of 29 September 1294, was of great significance when you consider that until that time the Church had primarily made use of plenary indulgence to force people to carry out its plans (e.g. building churches or supporting the crusades).
The papal pardon spoke of vere penitentes et confessi, without the obligation of communion, using such a revolutionary formula that it successively and needlessly raised doubts over its authenticity, given that it was considered incorrect from a doctrinal perspective.
Indeed, plenary indulgence cancelled temporal punishment; not sin or blame, whereas Celestine ordered the absolution of punishment and blame.
Anyone of any race or status could go to the Basilica whenever they desired, taking with them their bad deeds or the resentment they harboured in their souls, and if they had a strong intention to change their ways, they could ask for forgiveness for their more or less grave errors or mistakes, without having to confess to a priest. They would then receive forgiveness and penance, the same as in Catholic rites, but they did not have to take Holy Communion.

Although plenary indulgence was intended for the Christian community, due to the innovative and secular nature of the Pardon, many retain that this was intended for all, without distinction of faith or beliefs. The papal bull was entrusted to the authorities and every jubilee they invited the bishop and their clergy to participate in the opening ceremony of the ‘Sacred Door’, carried out by the Lord Mayor (the only person who has the authority to do so) after the reading of the papal bull.

Believers from any faith could gain access to the Lord’s Temple. And as shown by the Templar’s’ behaviour, which so inspired Celestine, once they had conquered Jerusalem they allowed the Usama Emir to pray to Allah in their Mother House, which was actually the old mosque of Al-Aqsa, defending it from any Christians who tried to stop them.

As well as acknowledging every pilgrim with the right to have a direct relationship with their god, due to the many solitary years spent in the caves of Mount Morrone, where he was venerated to sainthood, Pope Celestine V’s way of intending his faith and his relationship with the divine also wanted L’Aquila to be his spiritual centre. He individualised the Collemaggio hill as a suitable area for his scope, as the site revealed itself to be an excellent amplifier of geomagnetic energy (ley lines).
Indeed, his intention was to lay the foundations of the Ecclesia spiritualis, in order to replace the corrupt Ecclesia carnalis. He demonstrated that he was by no means a fool, incapable of managing the affairs of the world, but that he had extraordinary organisational skills and sensitivity, proving himself to be open and accepting of the technical and financial support offered to him by the Order of the Templar, whose greatest exponents he met in Leon during the Second Council convened by Pope Gregory X in 1274, where he managed to escape the suppression announced by his congregation, precisely thanks to the support of the Knights Templar who offered him hospitality.

It is indeed thanks to him that the Basilica was built. A place that functions like today’s superconductors; an accelerator of human cells, devised to allow anyone – once they were ready and willing and had been purified in body and spirit – to receive these special and extremely powerful cosmic energies.

And this is possibly the most important secret that hides itself behind and becomes confused in a ceremony that is held every year, assuming a folkloristic character, rather than a profoundly spiritual and purifying occurrence as its illustrious and forgotten creator intended.

Entering a consecrated place and participating in religious ceremonies according to the doctrine of your own religion, leads us, for those who consciously participate with an open heart, to experience different feelings of varying intensity. These feelings not only effect our soul and spirituality, but, above all, on an ethical and behavioural level, they stimulate the believer to lose their ego, which is exclusively focused on the ‘self’, allowing them to achieve the universal ego, which inevitably effects the relational realm. To use a metaphor: you enter ‘sullied’ by vice and profane sins and you leave ‘cleansed’, more ‘whole’, purified by the immersion into that pure and subtle energy.

Therefore, it is not by chance that people are advised to wash before entering a temple, and ‘leave their metals outside’, which does not actually refer to metal objects, as many might believe, but to ‘profane thoughts and actions’.

Indeed, it is imperative to always make a deep and sincere examination of one’s conscience and behaviour towards ourselves and others during the period before participating in a sacred ceremony, recognising and acknowledging the bad deeds one has done or the resentment in your heart, promising never to repeat these mistakes again and to change ones mental and ethical attitude.

But it is, above all, up to the person who does this to decide what is right or wrong, as it is our own principles that govern us. So, if the person is Catholic they will go to their confessor who will listen to them, forgive them and set the number of invocations of forgiveness that they must sincerely repeat before being allowed to take Holy Communion.

Therefore it is just and necessary to participate at mass or any other religious ceremony in an unsuperficial and selfless manner. And if after a sincere examination of their conscience someone realises that they are not fully ready, they must honestly, for the good of all, avoid participating so they do not ‘pollute’ the atmosphere and above all to allow the other participants to pray with the just and necessary intensity. It is a work of self-conscience, which, when correctly and continually applied, has unquestionable psychological and practical beneficial effects, and these, on a subconscious level, almost always unknowingly effect our personal behaviour and relationships.

I recently took part in a  religious ceremony in Rome. I was particularly struck by a young, officiating priest who, during the Homily, brought to our attention that many of the older people confessed, textually affirming that they had not committed any sins that needed to be forgiven by the Lord, and he replied to each and every one of them, saying:
"But what positive things have you done for yourself and above all for others as a practising Catholic, by setting an example yourselves?

These are the same ethical and moral codes of the prayer of Saint Escriviá, founder of the Opus Dei (Work of God), who cites a thought that Benedict XVI desired to underline in a recent Homily:
"Before those who seek to adapt the Christian faith to the times, Jesus will not content himself with a superficial and formal sense of belonging, but invites us to make a radical choice for life.”

Heart  to Heart

And here is the Papal Bull of Celestine V:

From Bishop Celestine, servant of the servants of God, to all those faithful to Christ who read the present letter, may good health and the apostolic blessing be upon you.
Among the solemn commemoration of the saints, the memory of Saint John the Baptist must be even more solemnly remembered, because he, born from the womb of a barren woman, was rich with virtues and a fertile source of sacred teachings.
Saint John the Baptist became the voice of the apostles, concluding the prophetic cycle, and, with the sound of his word, and the admirable pointing of his finger, announced the presence on earth of the shadows of ignorance and the presence of Christ, the light in a world darkened by fog. From here his glorious martyrdom, imposed by the treacherous intentions of an immodest woman, for which he received a blessing from the sky.
We, the order of Saint Benedictine, who in the L’Aquila Church of Santa Maria Collemaggio, have received the great crown upon our heads, on the same commerative day that Saint John the Baptist was beheaded, desire that this same beheading is honoured with more veneration, anthems, songs and devoted prayer of the believers. If the devoted followers of our Lord exalt and extraordinarily honour the beheading even more fervidly and devotedly, the more the prayers of those who seek the Lord will be able to discover the treasures of the church, shining with the spiritual gifts that will make our entrance into the eternal tabernacles of Paradise easier, invoking the mercy of the omnipotent Lord and trusting in the authority of his blessed apostles, Peter and Paul, we will annually absolve from every blame and punishment for all the sins and misdeeds committed, to the worthy who enters the aforesaid church from sundown on the eve of the festival until sundown the following day.
"Issued in L’Aquila, on 29 September 1294, the first year of our Papacy.”


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This initiative is promoted on SOS COLLEMAGGIO web site that has been specially designed to preserve the spirit of Celestine V and to recover the energy of the Triple 8 (>8<8>8<) that was lost in the earthquake of April 6 2009, at 3.32 am