Commentary on the Decree
SOME COMMENTS ON THE INDULGENCE GRANTED
FOR THE YEAR OF THE HOLY NAME:
BY FR AIDAN MCGRATH OFM
A. The concession of the Indulgence in general:
1. His Eminence, the Cardinal Penitentiary, explains that Pope Francis has granted a Jubilee Year in response to the request for a Plenary Indulgence.
2. He outlines the general conditions for obtaining the Plenary Indulgence, namely:
- sacramental confession,
- Eucharistic Communion,
- and prayers for the Pope’s intentions.
3. The Plenary Indulgence may be gained by the faithful once in each day, if they are truly repentant of their sins.
4. The faithful may apply the Indulgence for themselves or for the souls of the faithful departed in Purgatory.
5. Apart from the three general conditions already mentioned, the Indulgence may be gained when:
- the faithful have devoutly taken part in any Jubilee Celebration or pious exercise in honour of the Most Holy Name of Jesus;
- whenever they have given over a suitable space of time for pious reflection, concluding with the Lord’s Prayer, the Profession of Faith and invocations of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi.
B. The gaining of the Indulgence more precisely:
The Cardinal goes on to explain more precisely how and when the Indulgence may be gained:
1. Each individual Friar and Poor Clare Sister may gain the Indulgence, as often as they devoutly visit the church or principal chapel attached to the friary or the monastery. Of course, this must be understood in the light of the general condition that the Indulgence may be gained only once in each day.
2. Any member of the faithful may gain the Indulgence once in the year, by visiting any of the churches or chapels attached to the friaries or monasteries. Once again, the usual general conditions apply here and, in the course of the visit, the faithful should either take part in a celebration in honour of the Holy Name, or else dedicate some appropriate amount of time for reflection, concluding in the manner indicated in n. 5 above.
3. In addition, any member of the faithful may gain the Indulgence, if they take part in the centenary celebrations on the following feast days in 2014: the Holy Name of Jesus (3rd January), St Bernardine of Siena (20th May), St Clare (11th August), St Bernard of Clairvaux (20th August), the Seraphic Father St Francis (4th October), St John Capistran (23rd October). This concession includes the Tridua preceding these feasts, and other days to be properly determined. It will be important to liaise with the local Bishop in order to be sure which other days have been determined.
4. Finally, the Cardinal adds that any member of the faithful may gain the Indulgence in Galway, by visiting and venerating the image of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, exposed in the public chapel of the Poor Clare Monastery. Since the devotion itself originated here, it is appropriate that the Indulgence may be gained by visiting this particular Monastery.
C. The gaining of the Indulgence by the elderly and the sick
In the document promulgating the Indulgence, the Cardinal makes it clear that the members of the faithful who are impeded by old age or ill health are not excluded from being able to obtain the Plenary Indulgence. He points out that, even if they are not able physically to participate in the Jubilee Celebrations, these members of the faithful, if they are thoroughly repentant of every sin and have the intention of fulfilling the three usual conditions, as soon as they are able to do so, may obtain the Indulgence if they join spiritually with the jubilee celebrations, offering their prayers and sufferings to God through Mary.
D. The gaining of the partial Indulgence:
Finally, in addition to the Plenary Indulgence, the Cardinal makes it clear that all of the faithful, even several times on the same day, may gain a partial indulgence, if they apply those works of mercy, penance or evangelisation proposed by the Bishop of Galway and Kilmacduagh, provided that they have at least a contrite heart and invoke the Most Holy Name of Jesus.