May 12, 2015 // Local

Plenary indulgence to be offered at Diocesan Vespers for Year of Consecrated Life

NOTRE DAME — At 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 31, in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at Notre Dame, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades will preside at a special celebration of Vespers (Evening Prayer) for religious communities within the diocese. This event is open to all, and anyone participating in this celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours fulfills the requirements established by Pope Francis for obtaining a plenary indulgence as part of the Year of Consecrated Life.

An indulgence is defined by the Catechism of the Catholic Church (No. 1471) as “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.”

Through indulgences, the infinite merits of Christ, as well as the merits of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints, are applied to our purification in this life or in the life to come (in purgatory). 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.

Those intending to obtain this plenary indulgence must also meet the following usual conditions:

1.) Being truly repentant and receiving sacramental absolution in the Sacrament of Penance

2.) Reception of Holy Communion

3.) Praying for the Holy Father’s intentions.

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

The first three actions may be fulfilled within 20 days.

In addition, as decreed by the Apostolic Penitentiary, those members of institutes of consecrated life who cannot be present at this event due to infirmity or other grave cause may still obtain the plenary indulgence — provided that they fulfill the aforementioned usual conditions and also make “a spiritual visit with deep desire and offer the infirmities and pain of their own life to the Merciful God through Mary.” They should then also pray the Our Father, the Profession of Faith in any legitimately approved form, and offer pious invocations to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

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