Besides the Anima Fraternity, the Archconfraternity of the Sorrowful Mother of God is also of historical and social importance. As Novice 2020 I am proud to be able to participate in the events of the Archconfraternity already now. The following text is intended to give a brief overview of the history, the goals and the admission to Archconfraternity,
History of the Archconfraternity
On the site of today’s Campo Santo was the Circus of Caligula and Nero in the Roman Empire. According to the writings of Tacitus, many people died there during the persecution of Christians, including, according to tradition, the apostle Peter.
The Archconfraternity, which since 1576 has borne the name Archconfraternity to the Sorrowful Mother of God of the Germans and Flemings, is a member association under canon law and owner of the Campo Santo. The Archconfraternityis a community with religious and social claims. It currently has about 120 members. In addition to the full members, about 100 devotional brothers and sisters are closely connected to the Archconfraternity, but they live outside Rome or abroad.
The Görres Society came to the college at Campo Santo in 1887 and still runs the Roman Institute there today. The Görres Institute and the College jointly maintain the library of the Campo Santo Teutonico and the archives of the Archconfraternityand the College of Priests.
Tasks and goals of the Archconfraternity
The Archconfraternity of the Sorrowful Mother of God is a community with religious and social aspirations.
According to Art. 2 of the Statutes of the Archconfraternity of 14.11.2003, the following objectives are set: a) to cultivate the Christian fraternity, to guarantee the celebration of the German-language service, c) to guarantee the existence and preservation of the cemetery (Campo Santo Teutonico) and to cultivate the Christian memory of the dead, d) to guarantee the existence and preservation of the College of Priests, and e) to provide spiritual and material assistance to elderly and sick members of the Archfraternity and to specific pilgrims.
All members are invited to actively support the goals of the Fraternity. Regular visits to church services, spiritual exchange and joint activities are just as much a part of this as mutual help, visits to the sick, or the support of members in need of help in dealing with authorities.
Admission to the Archconfraternity
Every member of the fraternity has free access to the cemetery area and to the church, and the full members also have the right to be buried in the cemetery. All members are encouraged to keep the Campo Santo alive as a time-honored institution and as a place of faith and encounter, of common Christian striving and help.
Candidates are recruited only by members of the Archconfraternity. The Board of Directors decides on admission. A probationary year as a so-called novice is obligatory and ends with a solemn admission on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. Men then receive the black Sacco, while women receive a medal on ribbon.
Historical materials about the Archconfraternity in private library
Website of the Archconfraternity
Fischer, Hans-Peter (2016); Der Campo Santo Teutonico – Eine deutschsprachige Exklave im Vatikan; Schnell & Steiner.