Earlier this month on Sober Catholic I wrote about “Second Chance Lent”, another period of penance and conversion not widely advertised in the Church but present nonetheless. After that post, I was introduced to yet another “Lenten” season by Michael Franzwa, of SFO Saint Francis Of Assisi Fraternity. He told me on Google+ that:
“Saint Francis of Assisi observed an annual ‘Lent of Saint Michael’, from the Feast of the Assumption of Mary (Aug. 15) to the Feast of Saint Michael The Archangel(September 29).
Francis had a special rapport with Mary and Michael from the early days of his conversion. He went to them often, for comfort and consolation, when things got rough. It was on one of these 40 day solitary retreats when, through meditating on the Passion of our Lord, Francis received the sacred stigmata, imprints of Jesus’ five wounds on his body.”
Tomorrow (August 15th) marks the Feast of Mary’s Assumption, and thus the beginning of this devotion.
The Our Lady of the Pearl Secular Franciscan Fraternity points out this:
“In the writings of St. Francis, such as the Volterra text (Letter to All the Faithful) which is included in The Rule of the SFO, we are reminded again and again that Franciscans are called to be penitents, to pray and fast. For these reasons this ancient tradition is important to us. St. Michael’s Lent is a period of 40 days, honoring Mary and St. Michael the Archangel. It begins on the Feast of the Assumption and ends on The Feast of the Archangels.
“[H]e wished along with the most faithful Brothers . . . to celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin (August 15) and then prepare himself by a forty days’ fast for the Feast of St. Michael (September 29). In common with the rest of the people of the Middle Ages, Francis nourished a special devotion to this Archangel, signifer santus Michaelis, the standard-bearer of the Heavenly Host, and the one who with his trumpet was to wake the dead in their graves on the last day . . . .” (St. Francis of Assisi by Jorgensen)”
(Via Our Lady of the Pearl.)
And so we are made mindful of the facts of our own resurrection on the Last Day and also of our subsequent Judgment. No sense in waiting until then to worry about it. If you haven’t started some “Second Chance” Lenten period of reflection and penance, you have another opportunity to do so beginning tomorrow!
Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books!
"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"
"The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"