In this very special Year of the Priests and the Year of Consecration to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary; faithful Catholics, Christians and Devotees of the Two Most Holy Hearts have a very special reason to rejoice.
The Apostolic Penitentiary, by the faculties granted to it by the Supreme Pontiff, grants a plenary indulgence, with the usual conditions (Sacramental Confession, reception of the Eucharist, and prayer for the Supreme Pontiff's intentions) properly fulfilled, to the Christian faithful, truly penitent, on whatever day it is earned, if in the form of a pilgrimage, they piously visit the Manila National Sanctuary of the Sacred Heart,
And there, in accord with the spiritual purpose of the Year of the Priest established by Pope Benedict XVI, they devoutly perform some sacred act, or at least in keeping with the amount of time, they should piously reflect, offering prayers for the priests of the Church to the eternal High Priest, Jesus Christ, so that He may sanctify them and do so according to His Heart, ending with the Lord's Prayer, the Creed, and invocations to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Holy Cure of Ars.
Valid through the entire Year of the Priest. Anything contrary is not withstanding.
Given in Rome, from the Office of the Apostolic Penitentiary, 29 August, in the year of the Lord's Incarnation, 2009.
By order of His Eminence
JOANNES FRANCISCUS GIROTTI, O.F.M. Conv.
Titular Bishop of Metensis, Regens
What is the definition of indulgence? Here is the Catholic Encyclopedia definition of indulgence:
The word indulgence (Latin indulgentia, from indulgeo, to be kind or tender) originally meant kindness or favor; in post-classic Latin it came to mean the remission of a tax or debt. In Roman Law and in the Vulgate of the Old Testament (Isaiah 61:1); it was used to express release from captivity or punishment. In theological language also the word is sometimes employed in its primary sense to signify the kindness and mercy of God. But in the special sense in which it is here considered, an indulgence is a remission of the temporal punishment due to sin, the guilt of which has been forgiven. Among the equivalent terms used in antiquity were pax, remissio, donatio, condonatio.
An indulgence is the extra-sacramental remission of the temporal punishment due, in God's justice, to sin that has been forgiven, which remission is granted by the Church in the exercise of the power of the keys, through the application of the superabundant merits of Christ and of the Saints, and for some just and reasonable motives.
The most important distinction, however, is that between plenary indulgence and partial. By a plenary indulgence is meant the remission of the entire temporal punishment due to sin so that no further expiation is required in Purgatory. A partial indulgence commutes only a certain portion of the penalty; and this portion is determined in accordance with the penitential discipline of the early Church.
Briefly summarizing, for one to fully avail of the benefits of this Special Decree of Plenary Indulgence as hereby granted, the following conditions must be satisfied:
1. The usual conditions of Sacramental Confession, Reception of the Eucharist, and Prayer for the Supreme Pontiff's intentions are properly fulfilled.
2. The Christian faithful is truly penitent.
3. They piously visit the National Shrine of the Sacred Heart and within they devoutly perform some sacred act, or spend some amount of time, piously reflecting and offering prayers for the Priests of the Church.
4. They finally end their reflection with the Lord's Prayer, the Apostles Creed, with invocations to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Holy Cure of Ars (St. John Marie Vianney).
Recitation of Prayers:
Apostles Creed, I believe in God . . .
Our Father (For the intentions of the Pope)
Hail Mary (For all Priests)
Glory Be . . .
Conclude with these invocations:
Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on us;
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Pray for us;
St. John Marie Vianney, Pray for us.
5. Finally this plenary indulgence to be valid may be earned on any day within the entire Year of the Priest with a specific instruction that anything contrary is not withstanding.
Through the granting of this plenary indulgence, the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary are pouring out these Graces of Divine Mercy from their Two Most Holy Hearts by extending their invitation to each and every one of us to avail of God's Supreme Mercy; and actively participate in His Divine Plan of eternal salvation for humankind.
For those intending to go on a group pilgrimage to the National Shrine of the Sacred Heart, please arrange your tour schedules prior to visit dates with Ms. Tess Cando at Phone 632-8956331 and Telefax 632-8996340. The complete address of the Manila National Shrine of the Sacred Heart is at Sacred Heart Street corner Kamagong, San Antonio Village, Makati City, Philippines.