Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

From the November AD 1996
Our Lady of the Rosary
Parish Bulletin
Selections from the Scripture, the Fathers,
Doctors, Popes, and other great spiritual writers appropriate to the Church in our time.

Benedictus Deus 
Pope Benedict XII -- 29 January 1336

    By this constitution which is to remain forever in force, We with Our apostolic authority, make the following definition: In the usual providence of God the souls of all the saints who departed from this world before the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, and also those of the holy apostles, martyrs, confessors, virgins, and others of the faithful who died after receiving the holy baptism of Christ -- provided that they had no need of purification at the time of their death, or will not have such need when they die at some future time; or else, if they did then have or will have need of purification, after they have been purified after death -- all these souls soon after their death and, in the case of those needing it, after the purification We have mentioned, have been, are, and will be in heaven, in the kingdom of heaven and the celestial paradise with Christ, joined to the company of the holy angels. This holds true, after the Ascension of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into heaven, even before these souls take up their bodies again and the general judgment. We define that since the passion and death of the Lord Jesus Christ, they have seen and do see the divine essence with an intuitive and even face to face vision, without the interposition of any creature in the function of object seen; rather, the divine essence manifests itself to them plainly, clearly, openly. The same thing is true of the souls of children who have been reborn with the baptism of Christ and to those to be baptized after they shall have been baptized, when they die before attaining the use of free will. We also define that those who see the divine essence in this way take great joy from it, and that because of this vision and enjoyment the souls of those who have already died are truly blessed and possess life and eternal rest. We define, further, that the souls of those who will hereafter die, will see the same divine essence and enjoy it before the general judgment. We define that this vision of the divine essence and the enjoyment of it do away with the acts of faith and hope in those souls, insofar as faith and hope are theological virtues in the proper sense. And We define that after this intuitive and face to face vision has or will have begun for those souls, the same vision and enjoyment remains continuously without any interruption or abolition of the vision and enjoyment and will remain up until the final judgment, and from then on forever.

    Moreover, we define that, according to the general decree of God, the souls of those who die in actual mortal sin go down into hell soon after their death, and there suffer the pains of hell. Nevertheless, on the Day of Judgment, all men will appear with their bodies before the tribunal of Christ to render an account of their personal deeds, that "each one may receive what he has won through the body, whether good or evil" (II Cor. 5:10).


Dei via est íntegra
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