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Reparation (theological)

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Reparation is a theological concept closely connected with those of atonement and satisfaction, and thus belonging to some of the deepest mysteries of the Christian Faith. Christian theology teaches that man is a creature who has fallen into original sin from an original state of grace in which he was created, and that through the Incarnation, Passion, and Death of Jesus Christ, he has been redeemed and restored again in a certain degree to the original condition.

Christian theology asserts that it was by voluntary submission that Jesus Christ died on the cross to atone for man's disobedience and sin and that his death made reparation for the sins and offenses of the world. By adding their prayers, labours, and trials to the redemption won by Christ's death, Christians can attempt to make reparation to God for their own offenses and those of others.

The theological doctrine of reparation is the foundation of the numerous confraternities and pious associations which have been founded, especially in modern times, to make reparation to God for the sins of men. The Archconfraternity of Reparation for blasphemy and the neglect of Sunday was founded 28 June, 1847, in the Church of St. Martin de La Noue at St. Dizier in France by Mgr. Parisis, Bishop of Langres. With a similar object, the Archconfraternity of the Holy Face was established at Tours, about 1851, through the piety of M. Dupont, the "holy man of Tours". In 1883 an association was formed in Rome to offer reparation to God on behalf of all nations. The idea of reparation is an essential element in the devotion of the Sacred Heart, and acts of reparation were once common public devotions in Roman Catholic churches. One of the ends for which the Eucharist is offered is for reparation. A pious widow of Paris conceived the idea of promoting this object in 1862. By the authority of Pope Leo XIII the erection of the Archconfraternity of the Mass of Reparation was sanctioned in 1886.

This article incorporates text from the entry Reparation in Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913, a publication now in the public domain.

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