Monday, April 4, 2011

The Angelic Warfare Confraternity

Last year at Ignite Your Torch, I joined the Angelic Warfare Confraternity.
The Angelic Warfare Confraternity is a group of people-both religious and lay-who are spiritually united in prayer. Their goal is purity, for themselves and their fellow pray-ers. Following the example and asking the intercession of Saint Thomas Aquinas, each day the Confraternity members pray 15 Hail Marys and two chastity prayers:

Prayer of Saint Thomas for Purity:
Dear Jesus, I know that every perfect gift and especially that of chastity depends on the power of Your Providence. Without You, a mere creature can do nothing. Therefore, I beg You to defend by Your grace the chastity and purity of my body and soul. And if I have ever imagined or felt anything that can stain my chastity and purity, blot it out, Supreme Lord of my powers, that I may advance with a pure heart in Your love and service, offering myself in the most pure altar of Your divinity all the days of my life. Amen.

Prayer to Saint Thomas for Purity:
Chosen lily of innocence, pure Saint Thomas, who kept chaste the robe of Baptism, and became an angel in the flesh after being girded by two angels, I implore you to commend me to Jesus, the spotless Lamb, and to Mary, Queen of Virgins. Gentle protector of my purity, ask them that I who wear the holy sign of your victory over the flesh may also share your purity and that after knitting you on earth, I may at last come to be crowned with you among the angels.

They also wear either the medal of the Confraternity, or the cord (a slender belt with 15 knots: one for each mystery of the rosary. This hasn't changed, apparently, since the addition of the Luminous Mysteries, but it works just as well), at all times. I typically wear the medal on my Scapular. On special occasions, I sometimes wear the cord, because it fits underneath my clothes. Both must be blessed (I received mine upon initiation). Members' names are enrolled in the official register. Plenary Indulgences (under the usual conditions, of course) are available to members on the day of their enrollment and on Easter, Christmas, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, and All Saints Day. Partial Indulgences are available to them for wearing the medal or cord, and for saying the Prayer of St. Thomas.
The Confraternity is attached to the Dominican Order, and it was by a Dominican that I was brought into it... along with about sixty teenagers and adults. I am not the sort to join anything and everything. I don't say, "Oh, cool, a Confraternity! Quick, where do I sign?!"
But I have to admit, joining that day was quite an experience. It was a solemn reception into the Confraternity. It began with all of us kneeling and singing "Come Holy Ghost". Afterward, we continued to kneel, and responded to the questions asked us. It went something like this:

Director: Are you determined to observe faithfully the obligations of the Angelic Warfare Confraternity?

Us: Yes, Father, with God's help.

Director: Do you promise to guard holy purity, to seek the Truth, to honor Our Lady of the Rosary, and to take Saint Thomas Aquinas as your patron?

Us: Yes, Father, with God's help.

Our medals and cords were blessed, and we promised to say the Purity Prayers and the Hail Marys every day. It was solemn, so naturally everyone was solemn, and as we all stood together and promised to say the same prayers every day for the rest of our lives there was a great feeling of unity. We were all united in our Faith and in our personal goals, and in our concern for others. It forcibly reminded my of the Communion of Saints in the Church, and that impression remains with me. It probably always will. I'd recommend joining to anyone. If you wish to join, or just want more information, visit

I'll be praying for you... and with you...


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