The Tridentine Profession of Faith

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Professio fidei Tridentina
The Tridentine Profession of Faith

One of the great works of the Council of Trent was to produce the Tridentine Profession of Faith, a statement of the Creed that clearly articulates the perennial Faith in the face of the heretical revolutionary doctrines of the Protestant so-called “Reformers.”

The “Professio fidei Tridentina”, also known as the “Creed of Pope Pius IV”, is one of the four authoritative Creeds of the Catholic Church. It was issued on November 13, 1565 by Pope Pius IV in his bull “Iniunctum nobis” under the auspices of the Council of Trent (1545 – 1563). It was subsequently modified slightly after the First Vatican Council (1869 – 1870) to bring it inline with the dogmatic definitions of the Council. The major intent of the Creed was to clearly define the Catholic faith against Protestantism. At one time it was used by Theologians as an oath of loyalty to the Church and to reconcile converts to the Church, but it is rarely used these days.

Find below the complete Tridentine Profession of Faith

I, ——-, with a firm faith believe and profess all and every one of the things contained in that Creed which the holy Roman Church makes use of: “I believe in one God, the Father Almighty,” etc. [The Nicene Creed]

I most steadfastly admit and embrace apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions, and all other observance and constitutions of the same Church.

I also admit the holy Scriptures, according to that sense which our holy mother Church has held and does hold, to which it belongs to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the Scriptures; neither will I ever take and interpret them otherwise than according to the unanimous consent of the Fathers.

I also profess that there are truly and properly seven sacraments of the new law, instituted by Jesus Christ our Lord, and necessary for the salvation of mankind, though not all for ever one, to wit: baptism, confirmation, the eucharist, penance, extreme unction, holy orders, and matrimony; and that they confer grace; and that these, baptism, confirmation, and ordination can not be reiterated without sacrilege. I also receive and admit the received and approved ceremonies of the Catholic Church, used in the solemn administration of the aforesaid sacraments.

I embrace and receive all and every one of the things which have been defined and declared in the holy Council of Trent concerning original sin and justification.

I profess, likewise, that in the mass there is offered to God a true, proper, and propitiatory sacrifice for the living and the dead; and that in the most holy sacrament of the eucharist there is truly, really and substantially, the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ; and that there is made a change of the whole essence of the bread into the body, and of the whole essence of the wine into the blood; which change the Catholic Church calls transubstantiation.

I also confess that under either kind alone [either the bread or the cup] Christ is received whole and entire, and a true sacrament.

I firmly hold that there is a purgatory, and that the souls therein detained are helped by the suffrages of the faithful. Likewise, that the saints reigning with Christ are to be honoured and invoked, and that they offer up prayers to God for us, and that their relics are to be had in veneration.

I most firmly assert that the images of Christ, and of the perpetual Virgin the Mother of God, and also of other saints, ought to be had and retained, and that due honor and veneration are to be given them. I also affirm that the power of indulgences was left by Christ in the Church, and that the use of them is most wholesome to Christian people.

I acknowledge the holy Catholic Apostolic Roman Church for the mother and mistress of all churches; and I promise and swear true obedience to the Bishop of Rome, successor to St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and Vicar of Jesus Christ.

I likewise undoubtingly receive and profess all other things delivered, defined, and declared by the Sacred Canons and General Councils, particularly by the holy Council of Trent; and I condemn, reject, and anathematize all things contrary thereto, and all heresies which the Church has condemned, rejected, and anathematized.

I do, at this present, freely profess and truly hold this true Catholic faith, without which no one can be saved; and I promise most constantly to retain and confess the same entire and inviolate, with God’s assistance, to the end of my life. And I will take care, as far as in me lies, that it shall be held, taught, and preached by my subjects, or by those the care of whom shall appertain to me in my office. This, I promise, vow, and swear – so help me God, and these holy Gospels of God.

Saint Stanislaus Kostka

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Saint Stanislaus Kostka

Jesuit, Patron of Youth
(1550-1568)

Saint Stanislaus Kostka was born in Poland in 1550, of a noble Polish family. At the age of fourteen he was sent with his older brother Paul to study at the Jesuit College in Vienna. Twice a day he would pray at length in the chapel, and he never failed to recite a crown of the Rosary. He avoided the company of students too free in their speech and behavior, and often fasted and inflicted on himself a rude discipline. His love for God did not cease to augment with these practices, and he decided to make a vow to enter the Company of Jesus. He told his confessor of it only six months later, as he wanted it to remain unknown until he would be in a position to carry it out.

He fell ill, and the demon appeared in his room under the form of a black dog which lunged at his throat. The young Saint drove him away with the sign of the Cross; but his illness was growing worse. He was lodged in the residence of a Protestant who would not permit the Blessed Sacrament to be brought to him. Saint Stanislaus remembered having read that those who invoked Saint Barbara never died without the Sacraments, and he begged that she would assist him in his danger and not permit that he die without the Viaticum. His prayer was answered; one night, when his life was despaired of, he saw this beautiful virgin-martyr, accompanied by two Angels, enter his room with the Blessed Sacrament. He was greatly consoled by this favor and another which immediately followed it; the Blessed Virgin also appeared and assured him that God wanted him to enter the Jesuit Society. Soon he felt better and was restored to complete health.

He was still too young to enter the Order in Vienna without his parents’ permission; he therefore determined to go to another province where it might be possible. Stanislaus had always been gentle and cheerful, and his sanctity was felt as a reproach by his brother Paul, who had been surveying him constantly and often spoke rudely to him, even going so far as to strike him. Stanislaus nonetheless succeeded in evading him when he left for Augsbourg, dressed as a beggar, to go to Father Peter Canisius, Provincial of Upper Germany, with letters of recommendation he had received from a Father of the Company. His brother, when he realized he had left, pursued him, but even though Stanislaus was on foot, passed him by without recognizing him. A little farther on, Paul’s horses refused to advance and he was obliged to return to Vienna.

Saint Peter sent Stanislaus to Rome, a very long distance in those days, over a rugged and dangerous road, where rocks, mountains and rivers made the journey very difficult. Saint Francis of Borgia received him in Rome as a treasure sent by God, and he was clothed in the Jesuit habit in October 1567. His father was very irritated, but the son answered his letters with modesty and firmness, and continued to apply himself to every practice that might lead him closer to God and religious perfection. In ten months it is said that he advanced more than many do over a period of fifty or sixty years. During those ten short months he always had Our Lady in his mind, in his heart and on his lips. A custom was introduced for the novices during his sojourn in Rome; they would turn toward Her church of Saint Mary Major and ask, kneeling, for Her benediction; this practice has been conserved in the Roman novitiate ever since that time.

The fervent novice ardently desired to be in heaven on the feast of Her Assumption; he fell ill of a fever on the 9th of August, and it was revealed to him that his desire would be fulfilled. In effect, his holy soul departed to rejoin His Heavenly Mother, when She came to claim him at a little after 3 o’clock on the morning of the 15th of August, 1568. He was eighteen years old. We often see him with the Infant Jesus in his arms, because when Our Lady came to cure him in Vienna with Her Divine Treasure in Her arms, She had placed the Infant Saviour on his bed. Many illnesses were cured at his tomb, and his body was found incorrupt three years after his death. He was soon considered as a Saint in Italy and Poland; in 1604 he was declared Blessed and was canonized in 1726. Paul Kostka wept for long years over his mistreatment of his younger brother, and was about to enter the Society of Jesus himself in 1607, when he died suddenly on November 13th, anniversary of the discovery of the incorrupt remains of Saint Stanislaus.

Reflection: Saint Stanislaus teaches us in every trial of life, and above all at the hour of death, to have recourse to Our Lady and our patron Saint, and to trust without fear in their aid.

Petite vie illustrée de Saint Stanislas Kostka (Éditions F. Paillart: Abbéville, 1925); Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 13