The Twelfth Session

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[Page 73]

Being the second under the Sovereign Pontiff, Julius III., celebrated on the first day of September, MDLI.

The sacred and holy, oecumenical and general Synod of Trent,-lawfully assembled in the Holy Ghost, the same Legate and nuncios of the Apostolic See presiding therein,-having, in [Page 74] the Session last held, decreed, that this next Session was to be on this day celebrated, and that further matters were to be proceeded with; whereas It has hitherto delayed to proceed, on account of the absence of the illustrious German nation,-whose interests are principally concerned,-and on account of the assemblage of the Fathers not being numerous; now rejoicing in the Lord, and giving deserved thanks to that same Almighty God, for the arrival, a little before this day, of our venerable brethren and sons in Christ, the Archbishops of Mayence and Treves,-electoral princes of the holy Roman Empire,-and also of several other bishops of that country and of other provinces; and conceiving a firm hope that very many other prelates, both of Germany and of other nations, will, impelled by the requirements of their office and by this example, in a few days arrive; (the Synod) indicts the next session for the fortieth day from this present, which will be the eleventh of October next:-and prosecuting the said Council in the state wherein it now is, whereas in the preceding Sessions decrees were passed touching the seven sacraments of the New Law in general, and on baptism and confirmation in particular, It resolves and decrees, that It will discuss and treat of the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist, and also, as regards Reformation, of the other matters which relate to the more easy and commodious residence of prelates. And It admonishes and exhorts all the Fathers, that, after the example of our Lord Jesus Christ, they meanwhile give themselves to fasting and prayer, so far at least as human weakness will permit, that so God, who is blessed for evermore, being at length appeased, may vouchsafe to bring back the hearts of men to the acknowledgment of His own true faith, to the unity of holy mother Church, and to the rule of righteous living.