Special Indulgences Related to COVID-19 Announced

From the Apostolic Penitentiary on March 20, 2020:

“The gift of special Indulgences is granted to the faithful suffering from COVID-19 disease, commonly known as Coronavirus, as well as to health care workers, family members and all those who in any capacity, including through prayer, care for them.”

About Plenary Indulgences:

A plenary indulgence removes all of the temporal punishment due to sins and may be applied to oneself or to the souls of the deceased.

In addition to being in a state of grace, the following are the three requirements that must be met to attain a plenary indulgence:

  1. Performance of the indulgenced work with the intention of gaining an indulgence
  2. Meeting the three usual conditions:
    1. Being truly repentant and receiving absolution in the Sacrament of Penance
    2. Reception of Holy Communion
    3. Praying for the Holy Father’s
  3. Total detachment from any inclination to sin, even venial sins.

“A single sacramental confession suffices for gaining several plenary indulgences; but Holy Communion must be received and prayer for the intention of the Holy Father must be recited for the gaining of each plenary indulgence” (Manual of Indulgences, N20 §2.).

Even if all the requirements for a plenary indulgence are not met, if one is in a state of grace then it is possible still to gain a partial indulgence while seeking to perform a prescribed work.

Only one plenary indulgence can be gained in a day, except for when one is at the point of death, in which case it is always possible to gain another plenary indulgence.

The following are the four new indulgences being offered:

1.)   Plenary indulgence for those who are ill with COVID-19

The plenary indulgence “is granted to the faithful suffering from Coronavirus, who are subject to quarantine by order of the health authority in hospitals or in their own homes.”

This indulgence can be gained by the sick who “offer this trial in a spirit of faith in God and charity towards their brothers and sisters,” are in a state of grace, and meet the three requirements:

1.      Performance of the indulgenced work:

  • Unite spiritually through the media to the celebration of Holy Mass, the recitation of the Holy Rosary, to the pious practice of the Way of the Cross or other forms of devotion
  • Or at least recite the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer and a pious invocation to the Blessed Virgin

2.      The three usual conditions, “with the will to fulfill them as soon as possible”:

  • Being truly repentant and receiving absolution in the Sacrament of Penance
  • Reception of Holy Communion
  • Praying for the Holy Father’s

3.      Total detachment from any inclination to sin, even venial sins.

2.)   Plenary indulgence for health care workers and for family members caring for those ill with COVID-19

This indulgence is available to “health care workers, family members and all those who, following the example of the Good Samaritan,” are in a state of grace and meet the three requirements:

1.      Performance of the indulgenced work:

  • If, exposing themselves to the risk of contagion, they care for the sick of Coronavirus according to the words of the divine Redeemer: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn 15: 13).

2.      The three usual conditions, “with the will to fulfill them as soon as possible”:

  • Being truly repentant and receiving absolution in the Sacrament of Penance
  • Reception of Holy Communion
  • Praying for the Holy Father’s

3.      Total detachment from any inclination to sin, even venial sins.

3.)   Plenary indulgence for those who offer certain prayers for an end to the pandemic

This indulgence is available for as long as the pandemic lasts to any member of the faithful who is in a state of grace and meets the three requirements:

1.      Performance of the indulgenced work:

  • Offer one of the following “to implore from Almighty God the end of the epidemic, relief for those who are afflicted and eternal salvation for those whom the Lord has called to Himself”:
    1. A visit to the Blessed Sacrament or Eucharistic adoration
    2. Reading the Holy Scriptures for at least half an hour
  • Recitation of the Holy Rosary
    1. Pious exercise of the Way of the Cross
    2. Recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy

2.      The three usual conditions, “with the will to fulfill them as soon as possible”:

  • Being truly repentant and receiving absolution in the Sacrament of Penance
  • Reception of Holy Communion
  • Praying for the Holy Father’s

3.      Total detachment from any inclination to sin, even venial sins.

4.)   Plenary indulgence at the point of death for those unable to receive Anointing of the Sick or Viaticum

“The Church prays for those who find themselves unable to receive the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick and of the Viaticum, entrusting each and every one to divine Mercy by virtue of the communion of saints and granting the faithful a Plenary Indulgence on the point of death, provided that they are duly disposed and have recited a few prayers during their lifetime.”

The following are the requirements:

1.      Someone in a state of grace is at the point of death and is unable to receive Anointing of the Sick or Viaticum, and he or she has recited a few prayers at any point during his or her lifetime.

  • For the attainment of this indulgence, it is recommended that a crucifix or cross be provided to the dying

2.      For this indulgence, the Church makes up for the three usual conditions of Confession, Communion, and prayer for the Holy Father’s intentions – so they are not required.

3.      Total detachment from any inclinations to sin, even venial sins.

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