Home Up Printer friendly page:

Indulgences

General remarks on indulgences

1. This is how an indulgence is defined in the Code of Canon Law (can. 992) and in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (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.

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.

Source: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/tribunals/apost_penit/documents/rc_trib_appen_pro_20000129_indulgence_en.html

Further informations regarding indulgences: Links

Explanations and background

bulletBasic info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indulgence

Competency

bulletApostolic Penitentiary: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/tribunals/apost_penit/index.htm and: http://ts.catholica.va:8081/http://paenitentiaria.catholica.va:90/paenitentiaria/index.php

Occasions

bulletSee also next chapter here
bulletChurch index of occasions of indulgences "Enchiridon Indulgentiarum": [Latest Version from 1999 in Latin only]: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/tribunals/apost_penit/documents/rc_trib_appen_doc_20020826_enchiridion-indulgentiarum_lt.html, [Version of 1968]: http://www.catholic.org/clife/prayers/indulgw.php
bulletOccasions for indulgences: http://www.ourladyswarriors.org/indulge/plenary.htm
bulletPlenary Indulgences: http://plenary-indulgences.webs.com/

Regulations and practical issues

bulletRules & regulations of indulgences: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indulgentiarum_Doctrina and: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/apost_constitutions/documents/hf_p-vi_apc_19670101_indulgentiarum-doctrina_en.html
bulletSpecial indulgent occasions: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/tribunals/apost_penit/index.htm 

 

Occasions for indulgences

1. Standard occasions

Indulgences for the All Souls Week

An indulgence, applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory, is granted to the faithful, who devoutly visit a cemetery and pray, even if only mentally, for the departed. The indulgence is plenary each day from the first to the eighth of November; on other days of the year it is partial.

A plenary indulgence, applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory, is granted to the faithful, who on the day dedicated to the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed [November 2 {as well as on the Sunday preceding or following, and on All Saints' Day}] piously visit a church. In visiting the church it is required that one Our Father and the Creed be recited.

To acquire a plenary indulgence it is necessary also to fulfill the following three conditions: sacramental Confession, Eucharistic communion, and prayer for the intention of the Holy Father. The three conditions may be fulfilled several days before or after the performance of the visit; it is, however, fitting that communion be received and the prayer for the intention of the Holy Father be said on the same day as the visit.

The condition of praying for the intention of the Holy Father is fully satisfied by reciting one Our Father and one Hail Mary. A plenary indulgence can be acquired only once in the course of the day.

Source: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2011-11-01#indulgence

Indulgence for poor souls with respect to the Flame of Love of the heart of the Virgin

Non-official prayer for the release of souls in the purgatory: This regulation is not yet listed in the church catalogue of indulgences "Enchiridion indulgentiarum" (from 1999):

The Blessed Mother said to Elizabeth Kindelmann in Hungary: “Whenever My Flame of Love is invoked and three Hail Mary’s are recited in My honor, a soul is released from Purgatory. During November, the month of the deceased, ten souls will be released from Purgatory for each Hail Mary recited. Suffering souls must also feel the effect of grace of the Flame of Love of My maternal Heart.” (October 13, 1962)

2. Special occasions

Special indulgent occasions are published by the Apostolic Penitentiary (Vatican):

See: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/tribunals/apost_penit/index.htm 

Last update of this page: 01.11.2014