Divine Mercy Sunday. Plenary Indulgence.

This was first posted by Brother Burrito for Divine Mercy Sunday 2011:

Plenary Indulgence

This is an important announcement for all Catholics, especially for those who are falling or have fallen away from the Faith. Confess your sins and receive Holy Communion this Divine Mercy Sunday, and you will receive full remission of punishment for your sins. If you should then die, you will go straight to Heaven! Who but a fool could reject this gift? Here is the small print about Indulgences in general:


General Remarks On Indulgences
1. This is how an indulgence is defined in the Code of Canon Law (can. 992) and in the “../../../../archive/catechism/ccc_toc.htm” (n. 1471): “An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints”.

2. In general, the gaining of indulgences requires certain prescribed conditions(below, nn. 3, 4), and the performance of certain prescribed works (nn. 8, 9, 10 indicate those specific to the Holy Year).

3. To gain indulgences, whether plenary or partial, it is necessary that the faithful be in the state of grace at least at the time the indulgenced work is completed.

4. A plenary indulgence can be gained only once a day. In order to obtain it, the faithful must, in addition to being in the state of grace:

— have the interior disposition of complete detachment from sin, even venial sin;
— have sacramentally confessed 
their sins;
— receive the Holy Eucharist (it is certainly better to receive it while participating in Holy Mass, but for the indulgence only Holy Communion is required);
— pray for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff.

5. It is appropriate, but not necessary, that the sacramental Confession and especially Holy Communion and the prayer for the Pope’s intentions take place on the same day that the indulgenced work is performed; but it is sufficient that these sacred rites and prayers be carried out within several days (about 20) before or after the indulgenced act. Prayer for the Pope’s intentions is left to the choice of the faithful, but an “Our Father” and a “Hail Mary” are suggested. One sacramental Confession suffices for several plenary indulgences, but a separate Holy Communion and a separate prayer for the Holy Father’s intentions are required for each plenary indulgence.

6. For the sake of those legitimately impeded, confessors can commute both the work prescribed and the conditions required (except, obviously, detachment from even venial sin).

7. Indulgences can always be applied either to oneself or to the souls of the deceased, but they cannot be applied to other persons living on earth.

From the Official Vatican website

 Cardinal William Wakefield Baum
Major Penitentiary
Bishop Luigi De Magistris
Titular Bishop of Nova
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Divine Mercy Sunday. Plenary Indulgence.

  1. johnhenrycn says:

    Yes, we mustn’t forget ” the prayer for the Pope’s intentions”, and I say that with only an itsy bitsy teeny weeny tinge of sarcasm. I do pray for him and his intentions. Seriously I do. Yes I do. And there are times when I publicly exhort several hundreds of other Catholics to do likewise, as I will tomorrow.


  2. Good post. Thank you for the detailed information.


  3. Mary Salmond says:

    Thank you!


  4. Toad says:

    ”I do pray for him and his intentions. Seriously I do. Yes I do.”

    Regardless of what the pope’s intentions are?


  5. geoffkiernan says:

    JH: You pray for the Popes Intentions???? Can you please tell me what his intentions are? Can anyone….? Please.
    How can anyone avail themselves of the benefits of a Plenary Indulgence when a prime requirement is that we have to pray for the Popes intentions?
    Please pray FOR the Pope and the Church.


  6. mmvc says:

    Geoff, it is still possible to pray for the Pope’s intentions by adding ‘in as far as they conform to the Divine Will”.


  7. johnhenrycn says:

    Very lawyerly of you, MMVC 😉
    I take it as a given: God knows that qualifier is intended even if one does not say the words. So too, when a Mass intention is offered for a deceased relative and the priest mispronounces Siobhan, Aoife, Sinead or Saoirse, God knows for which departed daughter of Ireland the Mass is being said.


  8. johnhenrycn says:

    It should further be noted (pace Geoff’s scruples) that, according to The Enchiridion of Indulgences; Norms and Grants published in English by the Sacred Apostolic Penitentiary in 1968:

    “The condition of praying for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff is fully satisfied by reciting one Our Father and one Hail Mary; nevertheless, each one is free to recite any other prayer according to his piety and devotion.”

    (Page 9, paragraph 29) https://www.basilica.ca/documents/2016/10/Sacred%20Apostolic%20Penitentiary-The%20Enchiridion%20of%20Indulgences.pdf


  9. geoffkiernan says:

    I agree with you JH…. very typically lawyerly of you, mmvc. The point you make is double edged and pointed and dressed in ambiguity that only a Lawyer could assert and with a lack of clarity that has bedeviled the legal profession from the beginning of time.( smiley face here with dexter eyelid shut, maybe)
    Confusion is endorsed and perpetuated in our nice (c)atholic Church.
    May I suggest that mmvc’ point and your example are as disparate as could possible be.
    As much as I hate to admit it, I agree with the frog.


  10. johnhenrycn says:

    …at the very least, however, in order to fulfill this requirement for an indulgence, I take it as read one must tell God the reason for which the Our Father and Hail Mary are being said. Viz: “I offer for the intentions of Pope __________ the following prayers:”


  11. johnhenrycn says:

    “(smiley face here with dexter eyelid shut, maybe)”

    Tell me, Geoff: Do you have violent philosophical objections to the use of emojis, or have you just never learned how?

    They do tend to be overused (Toad can’t get enough of them) but they’re a real time saver:
    Thus, a smiley face is made by typing the colon symbol : and then putting a closed bracket ) right next to it… and a smiley face “with dexter eyelid shut” is made by typing a semi-colon ; and then putting the closed bracket symbol ) right next to it.

    But you are quite wrong when you speak of the dexter eyelid – and this is existentially very important because the ‘winky’ emoji shuts his sinister eyelid:

    “The terms dexter and sinister mean merely “right” and “left.” A shield [heraldic coat of arms] is understood to be as if held by a user whom the beholder is facing. Thus the side of the shield facing the beholder’s left is the dexter, or right-hand side, and that opposite it is the sinister, or left-hand side.”

    Famous battles have been lost when ensigns and other junior officers have confused dexter and sinister 😉


  12. mmvc says:

    …. very typically lawyerly of you, mmvc

    Not typical of me at all, Geoff. I confess that the idea of the caveat in praying for the pontiff’s intentions is not mine but my hubby’s and he really does have a lawyerly mind. ;o)

    I do agree with you, JH, that God doesn’t need our ‘qualifiers’. As a protestant hospital chaplain once said to me, ‘He takes our crumbs and makes sandwiches from them’.


  13. geoffkiernan says:

    My comment , ‘ Confusion is endorsed and perpetuated in our nice (c)atholic (c)hurch,’ has been ignored, yet it lies at the heart of this ‘debate’ , despite attempts to have it consigned to the outer. Instead we have mmvc referencing two impeccable sources and JH expending time and effort in the dubious art of emojis use. Wow!! (smiling face)
    The fact remains we have a Pope whose sole purpose it seems is the disintegration of the OHC and A Church and it is ‘suggested’ we pray for his intentions. We still haven’t established how that works, IMHO.
    My dexter eyelid reference is borrowed from our Banjo Patterson ‘The Man from Ironbark ‘. Banjo also tells us, ‘the barber man was keen on repartee’.
    Please pray FOR the Pope and especially the Church…..That is the ‘Bride’ of Christ, not the other one. (smiling face)


  14. johnhenrycn says:

    A pretty piece of poesy that was, Geoff. Reminds me of our own ‘Bard of the Yukon’, Robert W. Service (1874-1958) whose The Cremation of Sam McGee and The Shooting of Dan McGrew grace my little library. But let’s analyse the relevant line from your ‘Banjo’ Paterson’s Man From Ironbark:

    “To them the barber passed the wink, his dexter eyelid shut…”

    Yes, it’s clear that ‘Banjo’ means the barber’s right eyelid. But the thing is: when yesterday you were impersonating Winky Face Emoji “(smiley face here with dexter eyelid shut, maybe)”, you failed to consider things from Winky Face Emoji’s point of view whence it’s equally clear he is shutting his sinister eyelid, and that was very hurtful. A rank case of cultural appropriation if I may be so bold. It’s not all about you, you know 😦

    But I think I may add The Man From Snowy River to my Amazon Wish List, as I’ve just found a decent hardback copy (“Light rubbing wear to cover, spine and page edges. Very minimal writing or notations in margins not affecting the text. Possible clean ex-library copy…”) on sale for one penny 😉


  15. mmvc says:

    My comment , ‘ Confusion is endorsed and perpetuated in our nice (c)atholic (c)hurch,’ has been ignored, yet it lies at the heart of this ‘debate’ , despite attempts to have it consigned to the outer.

    I understand your frustration Geoff, but I hope you can appreciate that most of us here at CP&S are painfully aware of the confusion in our beloved Church. Rather than ignore the many disturbing developments, we try to keep our readers updated with them whilst recognising the need to balance this with voices of reason (from trustworthy prelates such as ++Burke and +Schneider), frequent invitations to prayer and, for the sake of sanity, a sprinkle of humour! Just as those gathered at the foot of the cross prayed and joined their profound sorrow and grief to the sufferings of Our Lord without giving in to despair, so must we patiently keep watch, pray and sacrifice during the Passion of the Mystical Body of Christ.

    Instead we have mmvc referencing two impeccable sources…

    I’ll try to summarise my thoughts on prayers for the pope’s intentions more clearly:
    The Lord alone sees the hearts and souls of faithful and sincere Catholics trying to pray for this pope’s intentions in these times of trial. However these prayers are offered (traditional prayers or improvised, with or without ‘qualifiers’, in the context of gaining indulgences or otherwise) I trust that Our Lord, in His unfathomable mercy and love, will surely accept and perfect them.

    The devotion and in particular the Feast of Divine Mercy is all about Christ’s invitation to each one of us to turn away from sin and despair, towards the Fount of Mercy, in good times and in bad, saying with love and confidence: Jesus, I trust in You!


  16. geoffkiernan says:

    Please JH address the matter at hand. You seems fixated on these emoji’ s to a bizarre extent. Are you a lawyer by any chance? If not you should be.


  17. mmvc says:

    JH’s emojis – 🙂 😉
    mmvc’s emojis – :o) ;o) :o(
    and this magnificent emoji from Fr Z – o{]:¬)


  18. geoffkiernan says:

    mmvc: Thank you for trying to explain the problem I have with praying for the Popes intentions. I can be convinced otherwise and I certainly pray that I will be if I am in the wrong. I feel my problem is one shared by many others and should not be treated in an offhanded or flippant manner.
    We have just completed the Divine Mercy Novena. To pray for the Pope’ intentions to gain a plenary indulgence seemed strangely at odds with the spirit of the Novena.
    Again thanks for your courtesy and your sincere response


  19. johnhenrycn says:

    Oh lighten up, you 76 year old, or I’ll be forced to play some Lawrence Welk YouTube hits.


  20. geoffkiernan says:

    So you are a Lawyer…. (smiling face here) …74 yesterday


  21. mmvc says:

    Belated ‘Happy Birthday’, Geoff! x


  22. johnhenrycn says:

    Well, well, well! My heartiest felicitations, friend. I don’t know about ‘Banjo’ Paterson, but you share your April 9th birthday with the very great poet, Charles Baudelaire.


  23. geoffkiernan says:

    Thank mmvc, very kind of you. JH: Lawrence Welk…..? I think not…..More like Meatloaf, Stevie W, (That’s what friends are for) Babs Streisand, The three Tenors, Slim Dusty, M Robbins, H Reddy
    and (what’s her name again?)….Her from ‘dont sleep in the subway darlin’. ( I can hear some grimacing from here) And best of all, Gregorian Chant.
    There was a time when I would burst into verse ( Banjo’ of course) after only a sip of the Red.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s