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Months, Special Devotions for

MONTHS, SPECIAL DEVOTIONS FOR

Special devotions for months is a nonliturgical practice developed in the Church in recent centuries, by which the months of the calendar are dedicated to special devotions. In some of these casesfor example, the dedication of May to the Mother of Christ the Church recognized and blessed what had been a popular practice. In other casesfor example, the dedication of October to the Rosarythe practice was initiated by the Holy See. In each of the recognized dedications the Church grants indulgences for the saying of special prayers during the month in question. (see indulgences.)

January is dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus, with devotions indulgenced by Leo XIII; March, to St. Joseph with indulgences granted by Pius IX and Pius XI for devotions; May, to the Virgin Mary, with indulgences granted by Pius XII for devotions; June, to the Sacred Heart of Jesus with indulgences granted by Pius IX, Leo XIII, Pius X, and Pius XI for devotions; July, to the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ, with indulgences granted by Pius VII, Pius XI, and Pius XII for devotions; August, to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, with indulgences granted by Benedict XV and Pius XI for devotions; September, to Mary, under the title Our Lady of Sorrows, with indulgences granted by Leo XIII and Pius XI for pious exercises; October, to the rosary, with indulgences granted by Leo XIII and Pius XI for daily or regular recitation of the rosary; November, to the souls of the faithful departed, with indulgences granted by Pius IX, Leo XIII, and Pius XI to those who pray for the dead; and December, to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, with special indulgences granted by Pius X and Pius XI for exercises of piety.

There are a number of other dedications of given months to particular mysteries; for example, January, to the Holy Childhood of Jesus; March, to the Holy Family; and October, to the Holy Angels. These, and other like dedications, are a result of local, popular devotions and are not formally recognized by the Church.

Bibliography: Enchiridion indulgentiarum (Rome 1952) 118, 175, 217, 219, 253, 325, 364, 381, 389, 398, 466, 589. f. g. holweck, The Catholic Encyclopedia, ed. c. herberbman et al., 16 v. (New York 190714; suppl. 1922) 10:542543. a. mercati and a. pelzer, Dizionario ecclesiastico, 3 v. (Turin 195458) 2:948.

[p. f. mulhern]

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