How to obtain a plenary indulgence during Fatima’s centennial year

| Susan Klemond | May 2, 2017 | 2 Comments

Catholics can obtain a plenary indulgence this year marking the 100th anniversary of the Fatima apparitions. Pope Francis granted the indulgence opportunity, starting Nov. 27, 2016, and ending Nov. 26, 2017.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, an indulgence is “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.” A plenary indulgence can be gained only once a day.

Our Lady of Fatima statue. CNS

There are three ways to obtain the plenary indulgence after also meeting the ordinary conditions for an indulgence (going to confession, receiving Communion, detaching interiorly from sin and praying for the intentions of the pope): According to a statement from the Fatima shrine in Portugal:

1. Make a pilgrimage to the shrine in Fatima, Portugal.

To the faithful who make a pilgrimage to the Fatima Shrine in Portugal and participate in a celebration of prayer dedicated to the Virgin. In addition, the faithful must pray the Our Father, recite the Creed and invoke the Mother of God. (Those who travel to Fatima can obtain the indulgence multiple times each day of their pilgrimage.)

2. Pray before any statue of Our Lady of Fatima.

To the faithful who visit with devotion a statue of Our Lady of Fatima solemnly exposed for public veneration in any church, oratory or proper place during the days of the anniversary of the apparitions, on the 13th of each month from May to October 2017, and there devoutly participate in a celebration or prayer in honor of the Virgin Mary. They must also pray the Our Father, recite the Creed and invoke Our Lady of Fatima.

3. The elderly and infirm

To the faithful who, because of age, illness or other serious cause, are unable to get around, may pray in front of a statue of Our Lady of Fatima and must spiritually unite themselves to the jubilee celebrations on the days of the apparitions, the 13th of each month, between May and October 2017. They must also “offer to merciful God with confidence, through Mary, their prayers and sufferings or the sacrifices they make in their own lives.”

Catholics who don’t go on pilgrimage to Fatima can obtain the indulgence up to six times — on the 13th day of the month from May through October.

To help the faithful who can’t travel to Fatima fulfill requirements for the indulgence, the World Apostolate of Fatima — under direction from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and working with the Knights of Columbus — has organized monthly pilgrimages and celebrations that local parishes will host on the 13th of each month from May through October.

The events will include Mass, praying the Angelus and rosary, a talk on Fatima and indulgence prayers. Some parishes also may offer confessions and hospitality. A statue of Our Lady of Fatima will be displayed for each event.

The final pilgrimage stop will be the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul, where Archbishop Bernard Hebda will speak following the Archdiocesan Candlelight Rosary Procession.

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