Do you think plenary indulgences are hard to earn? Below are three simple ways to obtain them in your daily life.
According to the Manual of Indulgences of the Church, a plenary indulgence is the total remission “before God of the temporal punishment for sins, whose guilt is forgiven” and can be earned for oneself or for a deceased relative in purgatory.
The faithful may gain a plenary indulgence once per day, and it always requires the fulfillment of three basic conditions: sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion, and prayer for the Pope’s intentions. The individual must also be completely detached from sin in order to obtain a plenary indulgence. If he or she is not detached, the indulgence becomes partial.
“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,” the manual says.
In addition, it points out that the three conditions can be met days before or after the requested work, but “it is convenient that communion and prayer for the intentions of the Holy Father take place on the same day that the work is completed.”
“The condition of praying for the intention of the Holy Father is fully satisfied by reciting one Our Father and one Hail Mary; nevertheless, one has the option of reciting any other prayer according to individual piety and devotion, if recited for this intention,” the manual adds.
3 ways to earn indulgences daily
1. Adore the Blessed Sacrament for at least half an hour
“Plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful who visit the Blessed Sacrament for adoration for at least half an hour,” the manual says.
2. Pray the Rosary in a group or with the Holy Father
The manual indicates that a plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful who devoutly recite the Rosary “in a church or oratory, or in a family, a religious community, or an association of the faithful, and in general when several of the faithful gather for some honest purpose.”
You can also gain indulgences by devoutly participating “in the recitation of the rosary while it is being recited by the Supreme Pontiff and broadcast live by radio or television.”
To gain indulgence in both circumstances, the five mysteries must be prayed in a row and a pious meditation must be added to each of them.
“In public prayer, the mysteries must be enunciated in accordance with the custom accepted in each place; in private prayer, it is enough for the faithful Christian to combine meditation on the mysteries with vocal prayer,” the manual adds.
3. Read Holy Scripture for at least half an hour
“A plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful who read the Sacred Scriptures as spiritual reading, from a text approved by competent authority and with the reverence due to the divine word, for at least a half an hour,” the manual indicates.
In addition, it emphasizes that, if for reasonable reasons the faithful cannot read, the indulgence will be granted if “the text of Sacred Scripture is listened to while another person is reading or if it is heard by means of a video or audio recording.”