This post is going to sound a tad unusual.
As you might have noted from a previous post this year, the Holy Father has for the year of Mercy (which runs from Dec. 8, 2015, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception to Nov. 20, 2016) declared several available indulgences (under normal conditions) including one for going through any of the designated Holy Doors at multiple locations around the world.
It so happens that one of said doors is in my city so this year I have been taking advantage of this situation to the point where I have literally gone though every dead relative and friend or parents of friends that I can remember to obtain, by the grace of God, indulgences for them. Given I come from Sicilian parents born in the 1920’s that’s no easy feat but as I regularly go to daily mass and weekly confession obtaining daily indulgences has been less complicated than for most.
With over 150 days to go in the Holy Year I thought about going through the rotor for them all again (after all any attachment to sin turns a Plenary indulgence into a partial one so it’s can’t hurt to do it again) but I thought I’d do something different.
I am literally opening up the floor to readers. Do you have a dead relative or friend that you would like me to pray for and by the grace of God obtain an indulgence for? Simply leave their name in comments and I will make it a point to do so during this year of mercy.
I’m limiting the number to the first 100 names simply because I can’t guarantee that I will be in a position to go through the holy doors every day as I’ll be traveling a few times during this period and don’t know if there will be another Holy Door available nearby. Furthermore as one must be in a state of grace to earn an indulgence I can’t guarantee that I won’t succumb to temptation and thus lose days before obtaining sacramental confession and I don’t want to be in a position that I can’t do something I’ve promised.
Don’t worry BTW if you are not Catholic or your departed loved one was not, the existence of Purgatory is not dependent on either your or their beliefs in its existence. Furthermore if a person I’m praying for is either already in heaven (thus not needing the indulgence) or already in Hell (thus unable to benefit from it) said indulgence will go to the deposit of faith which will be used to good effect.
Finally if you want notification of when said indulgence was earned leave that information in your comment.
So start sending me the names and I’ll get praying and get though those doors for them.
And remember check with your local diocese, it’s very probable that such a door exists in your area as well, take advantage of it while you can as the next scheduled holy year doesn’t come until 2025.
FYI if you want to know the conditions to earn an indulgence the details are below the fold
To receive the Jubilee Year indulgence, you must fulfill the usual conditions, (specified below) and perform the indulgenced act: passing through a designated Holy Door during the extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy (between Dec. 8, 2015, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, and Nov. 20, 2016, the Solemnity of Christ the King) or performing one of the corporal or spiritual works of mercy.
As for the sick and the elderly, the Holy Father says, “For them it will be of great help to live their sickness and suffering as an experience of closeness to the Lord who in the mystery of his Passion, death and Resurrection indicates the royal road which gives meaning to pain and loneliness. Living with faith and joyful hope this moment of trial, receiving communion or attending Holy Mass and community prayer, even through the various means of communication, will be for them the means of obtaining the Jubilee Indulgence.”
For the imprisoned, the Holy Father says, “They may obtain the Indulgence in the chapels of the prisons. May the gesture of directing their thought and prayer to the Father each time they cross the threshold of their cell signify for them their passage through the Holy Door, because the mercy of God is able to transform hearts, and is also able to transform bars into an experience of freedom.”
The following conditions must be fulfilled whenever we seek to gain a Plenary Indulgence (complete remission of the temporal punishment due to sin). These general conditions are in addition to the specific conditions of the indulgenced work (e.g. a pilgrimage).
1. Be Baptized and not excommunicated
2. A subject of the one granting the indulgence. (Since it is the Pope granting the Jubilee Indulgence all Catholics of any Rite meet this condition.)
3. Be in the State of Grace, at least at the end of doing the indulgenced work.
4. Have at least a General Intention to gain the indulgence. (This can be fulfilled by making a general intention at the beginning of the day to gain the indulgences for which one is eligible that day, or, by making a specific intention at the time of doing the indulgenced work.)
5. Do the Prescribed Work. (This is the pilgrimage, charity, penitence, etc., and any conditions associated the specific indulgenced work.)
6. Sacramental Confession, several days before or after the indulgenced work. In a Feb. 2000 document on Indulgences the Apostolic Penitentiary stated that the allowable time should be considered to be “about 20 days.” One confession suffices for several plenary indulgences.
7. Communion, several days before or after (to “about 20 days”), but is most fittingly received on the day that the work is done. A unique Communion is necessary for each plenary indulgence.
8. Prayers for the Intentions of the Pope (such as a Creed, or an Our Father and Hail Mary, though no particular prayer is prescribed). These prayers may be made several days before or after, but are most fittingly made on the day the work is done.
9. Detachment from all sin, even venial sin. Incomplete detachment from sin would result in the receipt of only a partial indulgence for that work. It is this disposition to renounce all attachment to our sins which opens our heart to the receipt of the full remission of the temporal guilt of sin, which God desires to grant us through the Church.