Since Christmas there have been numerous testimonies of the joy of receiving the Jubilee indulgence ; requested either for oneself or for a deceased person. And there are in fact many ways of seeking this indulgence, all of them within our reach.
We have the example of a mother whose son suffers from a serious illness : on reading the Jubilee bull carefully, she discovered that she could offer up the time she devotes to the difficult treatment she administers to her son as a way of receiving the indulgence. She offered this indulgence for a person she knows and who has recently died. At this very moment a man has told me that he has just come from Saint Louis dAntin a church near the Gare Saint Lazare in Paris which is one of the eight churches designated by the Archbishop for the Jubilee. He made a pilgrimage to this church specially for a television personality whose death was announced a few days ago.
So, not only can we ask for and receive a Jubilee plenary indulgence for ourselves, but we can also request one and offer it for the souls of the departed. By doing this, according to the Jubilee Decree, we accomplish " a special act of supernatural charity, by virtue of the link through which, in the mystical Body of Christ, the faithful who are still making the pilgrimage on earth are united with those who have completed their earthly pilgrimage. " And do you know how often you can receive an indulgence ? Up to once a day ! So let us examine on what conditions and how to go about it ; where ? when ? how ?
HOW TO OBTAIN THE JUBILEE INDULGENCE
1° SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION (CONFESSION) IN ALL CASES
in addition to receiving the Eucharist and praying for the Popes intentions. It is not necessary to make ones confession each time one asks for an indulgence. But we are asked " to receive the grace of the sacrament of Reconciliation frequently in order to make progress in the conversion and purity of our hearts " (Decree).
However, it is required that one should participate in the celebration of the Eucharist on the same day that one requests the indulgence (but not necessarily in the " place " of the pilgrimage. (See following text)
2° THESE TWO HIGH POINTS must be combined above all with witness to communion with the Church, expressed by prayer for the intentions of the Roman Pontiff as well as acts of charity and penance (see above). These acts should intend to be the expression of that true conversion of heart which leads to communion with Christ in the sacraments "
" Christ is the indulgence and the victim offered for our sins ". The Holy Spirit " which is the forgiveness of sin " is poured into our hearts through the Eucharist and Confession ; he moves us to " a filial and trusting encounter with the Father of all Mercies ". The result of this encounter will find expression in " undertakings of conversion and renewal ", " ecclesial communion " and " charity towards our brothers and sisters ".
3° WHICH PILGRIMAGES TO MAKE ? WHICH CHURCHES TO VISIT ?
A Rome :
Visit one of the 4 so-called " Patriarchal " Basilicas, namely :
- Saint Peters Basilica, in the Vatican
- The Lateran, Saint Saviours Basilica
- Saint Mary Major
- Saint Paul Outside-the-Walls
Also Holy Cross of Jerusalem, Saint Lawrence Outside-the-Walls, The Madonna of Divine Love, the Christian Catacombs.
B Holy Land :
The Holy Sepulchre, in Jerusalem ;
The Church of the Nativity, in Bethlehem ;
The Church of the Annunciation , in Nazareth.
C In every diocese in the world
1° The Cathedral
2° Certain other churches, chapels or places of pilgrimage designated by the Bishop.
4° WHAT TO DO IN THE CHURCH ?
- attend the Holy Mass
- join in a liturgical celebration such as Lauds, or Vespers..
- undertake a pious exercice such as the Stations of the Cross, the Rosary, the Hymnos Akathistos
- or, outside of any common ceremony, a certain period of Eucharistic adoration and pious meditation, to be concluded by the Our Father, the Creed and a prayer to the Virgin Mary.
5° OTHER POSSIBLE WAYS (without a pilgrimage or visit to a specific church)
It is of course necessary to have made ones confession recently as stipulated in 1° and to have received Holy Communion on the day. And, as stated in 4°, it is necessary to pray for the Holy Fathers intentions and to say the prayers of the Christian faith in order to show ones communion with the Church (Our Father, Creed, Prayer addressed to Our Lady).
A. Visits to persons in need : The Sick, Prisoners, The Elderly and the Lonely, Handicapped people, etc.
B. Generous penitential initiatives :
For example, abstaining from superfluous things for a day :
like tobacco, alcoholic drinks ; fasting according to the general norms of the Church
and giving a proportionate amount to the poor.
C. Donation of a large amount to religious and social works. Particularly for the benefit
of abandoned children ; young people in difficulty ; needy elderly people ;
foreigners in the countries where they are seeking better living conditions
D. Devoting a suitable length of free time to activities which are in the interests of the community, or other comparable forms of personal sacrifice.
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