On 20 March, the Apostolic Penitentiary issued a decree granting plenary indulgences (click here to read degree) to all those who are suffering from the current pandemic to healthcare workers who are treating those affected, and to all the lay faithful. A plenary indulgence is the remission of the entire temporal punishment due to sin so that no further expiation is required in Purgatory.
In order to obtain the plenary indulgence, Catholics must have the will to fulfill the usual conditions as soon as possible and do one of the following spiritual acts:
The Decree grants a plenary indulgence to COVID19 patients quarantined by health authorities in hospitals and in their homes if, with a spirit detached from any sin, they unite themselves spiritually:
- through the media to the celebration of the Holy Mass
- the recitation of the Holy Rosary
- to the pious practice of the Way of the Cross or other forms of devotion
A plenary indulgence is also granted to healthcare workers, family members and all those who, “exposing themselves to the risk of contagion, care for the sick” under the same conditions stated above.
The plenary indulgence can also be obtained by the faithful who:
- visit to the Blessed Sacrament, or Eucharistic adoration, or
- read the Holy Scriptures for half an hour, or recite the Holy Rosary, or
- the pious exercise of the Way of the Cross, or the recitation of the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy” while praying for an end to the pandemic will be granted a plenary indulgence.
- With the will to fulfill the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer according to the Holy father’s intentions), as soon as possible.
May the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and of the Church, Health of the Sick and Help of Christians, our Advocate, help suffering humanity, saving us from the evil of this pandemic and obtaining for us every good necessary for our salvation and sanctification.