To commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the proclamation of St. Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church, Pope Francis has declared the Year of St. Joseph which began December 8, 2020 and will go to December 2021. Read his Apostolic Letter about this here. Many plenary indulgences* are available to the faithful during this here. You can read about them here.
All sin has two consequences it either kills (mortal sin) or weakens (venial sin) the life of grace which is our union with God the Blessed Trinity. Even after forgiveness that sin leaves a wound. This wound is the unhealthy attachment to creatures which must be purified. In other words our love for God must be purified of rival loves which exist in opposition to Him and harm our relation with Him. An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins already forgiven, which the faithful Christian, duly disposed, can gain under certain prescribed conditions. It is either plenary or partial.
We do not go it alone in our need to make up for our sins. Every Christian is joined to Christ but he or she is joined to all the other Christians who make up the Body of Christ, the family of the Church including those being purified in Purgatory and the angels and saints in heaven.
Hence there is an everlasting link of love which joins all Christians together. In this exchange the holiness of one profits the other.
This holiness includes Christ’s merits and all the spiritual goods of all the members of Christ’s Body especially the prayers and good works of the Virgin Mary and the saints. They are truly immense, and pristine in their value before God. The Church through her power to bind and loose in Christ’s name through an indulgence gives the Christian a special share in the holiness of the treasury of the Church to help heal his or her own wounds from sin but also can be applied to those of our family who are being purified in the afterlife in the state called purgatory.
Hence indulgences involve shared love flowing from the mercy of God which heals.
To gain the plenary indulgence, the person performs the task indicated by the Church; goes to Confession and Communion within the week; prays for the Holy Father, the Pope; and is free from all attachment to sin, even venial sin. Only God knows if the indulgence is gained.BACK TO LIST