Year of Faith – Plenary Indulgences

October 9, 2012

Thanks to the Pope having inherited the Keys of Peter, as of October 11 we will enter a year of special grace.  From October 11, 2012 until November 24, 2013, Catholics taking part in the Year of Faith will be able to earn plenary indulgences for doing specified acts of devotion.

From the Apostolic Penitentiary we have:

Since the primary objective is to develop sanctity of life to the highest degree possible on this earth, and thus to attain the most sublime level of pureness of soul, immense benefit may be derived from the great gift of Indulgences which, by virtue of the power conferred upon her by Christ, the Church offers to everyone who, following the due norms, undertakes the special prescripts to obtain them.

During the Year of Faith, which will last from 11 October 2012 to 24 November 2013, Plenary Indulgence for the temporal punishment of sins, imparted by the mercy of God and applicable also to the souls of deceased faithful [remember the Poor Souls in Purgatory, please], may be obtained by all faithful who, truly penitent, take Sacramental Confession and the Eucharist and pray in accordance with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff.

(A) Each time they attend at least three sermons during the Holy Missions, or at least three lessons on the Acts of the Council or the articles of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in church or any other suitable location.

(B) Each time they visit, in the course of a pilgrimage, a papal basilica, a Christian catacomb, a cathedral church or a holy site designated by the local ordinary for the Year of Faith (for example, minor basilicas and shrines dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Holy Apostles or patron saints), and there participate in a sacred celebration, or at least remain for a congruous period of time in prayer and pious meditation, concluding with the recitation of the Our Father, the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form, and invocations to the Blessed Virgin Mary and, depending on the circumstances, to the Holy Apostles and patron saints.

(C) Each time that, on the days designated by the local ordinary for the Year of Faith, … in any sacred place, they participate in a solemn celebration of the Eucharist or the Liturgy of the Hours, adding thereto the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form. 

(D) On any day they choose, during the Year of Faith, if they make a pious visit to the baptistery, or other place in which they received the Sacrament of Baptism, and there renew their baptismal promises in any legitimate form.

Diocesan or eparchal bishops, and those who enjoy the same status in law, on the most appropriate day during that period or on the occasion of the main celebrations, … may impart the papal blessing with the Plenary Indulgence.

So we must find out what our diocesan bishops will be designating for us.  Usually this information will be available through the chancery via a diocesan publication, appear in parish bulletins, and may be read from the pulpit.  We can be sure that they will be generous with opportunities.

This Pope, as did Pope John Paul II, has shown special care for the disabled and sick.  They, too, will be able to earn plenary indulgences even if they cannot get to the locations specified or perform some of the acts necessary.  The Penitentiary document says:

…if, united in spirit and thought with other faithful, and especially at the times when the words of the Supreme Pontiff and diocesan bishops are transmitted by television or radio, they recite … the Our Father, the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form, and other prayers that concord with the objectives of the Year of Faith, offering up the suffering and discomfort of their lives.

The usual conditions of making a good confession and receiving Holy Communion apply.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church has always led me into prayer.  Mine is filled with page markers and yellow highlights.  We must know our Faith to live it properly.  It is a serious and moral obligation we have if we are to call ourselves Catholic.  God speaks to us through these pages and leads us to a deeper understanding of His Word in sacred scripture.

This Year of Faith couldn’t come at a better time for devout Catholics.  The holier and more committed to Christ and the teachings of the Church we become, the more graces we can bring down upon this needy world and the more we will practice the virtue of charity so lacking around us.  How about inviting a fallen away Catholic to join you in studying the Faith this year and taking part in the activities in your diocese?

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V. Praised be Jesus Christ!

R. Now and forever!

(Click on the link above to read why I end my posts this way.)

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Tuesday, October 9th, 2012 Catholic Church

1 Comment to Year of Faith – Plenary Indulgences

  1. Barb, thank you for this! Being a convert, I have never really totally understood what indulgences were and when I heard about these plenary indulgences, I had no clue. So now I get it! God bless!
    Colleen recently posted..Thankful for Blessings – Gifts Galore!

  2. Colleen on October 11th, 2012

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