Unions of Prayer.—A tendency to form unions of prayer among the faithful has recently manifested itself in the establishment of organizations like the following:
(1) The Association of Prayer and Penitence in honor of the Heart of Jesus, founded at Dijon in 1879, transferred to Montmartre, and made an archconfraternity by Leo XIII, April 10, 1894.
Its purposes are: to offer reparation, by prayer and penitence, for sin, and for outrages against the Church and the pope; to obtain the welfare of the Church, the freedom of the pope, and the salvation of the world. (2) The Archconfraternity of Our Lady of Compassion for the Return of England to the Catholic Faith, founded at Saint-Sulpice, Paris, by Brief of Leo XIII "Compertum est" (August 22, 1897). Jean-Jacques Olier had always been zealous for the conversion of England; and the ministry of his congregation was favorable to the spreading of this confraternity. The Brief exhorts the faithful every-where to join this confraternity, and authorizes its directors to unite with all other similar confraternities, and communicate to them its indulgences. The "Statutes" were published, August 30, 1897, by Decree of the Congregation of Bishops and Regulars. The solemn inauguration took place, October 17, 1897, by the Cardinal Archbishop of Paris, in the presence of the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster. About 1000 confraternities, in France, England, Italy, Belgium, Australia, and elsewhere, have become united with the archconfraternity. By Apostolic Letter of February 2, 1911, Pius X extended the scope of the prayers of the archconfraternity from Great Britain to the whole of the English-speaking world. (3) Pious Union of Prayer to Our Lady of Compassion for the Conversion of Heretics, founded at Rome, November 7, 1896, in St. Marcellus. Similar unions may be formed in any church where there is an altar and a statue of Our Lady of Compassion. The director-general is the Father-General of the Servites, who names a general secretary from his order. (4) Archconfraternity of Prayers and Good Works for the Reunion of the Eastern Schismatics with the Church, under the patronage of Our Lady of the Assumption, founded at the Church of the Anastasis at Constantinople. Organized by Emmanuel d'Alzon, the founder of the Assumptionists, it was developed under his successor Francois Picard to such a degree that even some Eastern schismatics were induced to pray for the same intentions. Leo XIII in the Brief "Cum divini Pastoris" (May 25, 1898) made it an archconfraternity prima-primaria. It is established at the church of the Assumptionists, under the title of Anastasis of Constantinople. Affiliated confraternities may be formed wherever there is an Assumptionist church and house, with the same privileges as the archconfraternity. The "Statutes" were approved May 24, 1898, by Decree of the Congregation of Bishops and Regulars. (See also Apostleship of Prayer; Paris. Famous Pilgrimages; (2) Notre-Dame-des-Victoires.)
C. F. WEMYSS BROWN