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Asking for an Indulgence only for oneself – or for others also ?

1. Asking for a plenary indulgence for oneself is an act of Conversion, Reparation and Charity.

an act of Conversion : because when you ask for an indulgence you admit you are a sinner, you confess your sin and desire with all your heart to love more and better in the future.

• an act of Reparation : every fault, every failure to love on my part has repercussions on the world. There is great solidarity between men. If one man, Jesus Christ, saves all men, each man, with Adam, through his sins, is responsible for a lack of love in the world. But, by humbly receiving the gift of an indulgence, not only am I myself restored in love, but with this love, in union with Jesus Christ, I raise up the world.

" On his road of conversion, the Christian is not alone. In Christ and through Christ, his life is united through a mysterious link to the life of all other Christians in the supernatural unity of the Mystical Body. "

" So it is that a wonderful exchange of spiritual wealth among the faithful comes about, by virtue of which the holiness of one brings to others a benefit greater than the harm that the sin of one causes the other. " (Bull, n°10 – see complete paragraph)

" This is part of the greatness of Christ’s love not leaving us in the state of passive receivers, but involving us in his salvific action and especially in his passion. " " Bull, no° 10)

" I complete what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ in my flesh for his Body which is the Church " (Cor.1 :24)

It must be concluded

+ 1°) that one cannot " apply " the Jubilee indulgence to another living person ;
+ 2°) but that, when one requests an indulgence for oneself, through this step of conversion, and especially through the Gift of God voluntarily received, we bring to others additional love.

2. One can ask for the plenary indulgence for the souls of the departed

" The plenary indulgence may be applied to the souls of the departed by means of franchise.
In doing this, a great act of supernatural charity is accomplished, by virtue of the link through which , in the Mystical Body of Christ, the faithful who are still on their earthly pilgrimage are united with those whose earthly journey is ended ." (Decree on the obtaining of the Jubilee indulgence)

Is it " automatic " ?

No. We offer this special grace to God. We do not give him orders. But we place all our trust in God’s mercy for the salvation of the soul of a certain person. This is what is meant by " by way of franchise ".
We can request the indulgence for the soul of a deceased person every day ; for relatives, friends… and enemies. It is a good opportunity to offer an act of charity for those who did not like us – or that we don’t like. It is the opportunity to forgive them, with Christ, the evil they did to us, and to be healed of this suffering.

Key words :
Indulgences, deceased, departed souls, purgatory
Résumé : We can request indulgences : for ourselves or for the departed : the souls of the dead : those in purgatory.

To find out more :

- Jubilee Indulgences – the Father’s forgiveness

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