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What is the correct way of offering an Indulgence

Feb 09, 2016

Peace be with you Father.

I have been for a while searching for the correct way of offering an Indulegence during this Year of Mecry. My understanding is that an Indulgence can only be offered for the forgivenss of oneself’s sins and/or souls in purgatory. I have also asked a couple of priests that could not give me an answer.

My questions are:

1. Can I offer the one indulgence for myself and a suffering soul in purgatory simultaneously?

2. Can I offer the indulgence to ALL sufferg souls in purgatory or must I offer it for one specific soul?

3. Can I offer the indulgence instead to Our Lady for her to assign it for the most needy in purgatory?

Many thanks in advance on your clarification and may God’s blessings be always with you.


Asked at 08:39 am on February 09th 2016

Hi Charles,

Indulgences aren’t offered for the forgiveness of sins-that’s brought about by God’s response to our own acts of contrition, and especially in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Rather, they’re meant to apply all the graces that firstly Jesus, Our Lady and the saints have gained for the Body of Christ to what are called the ‘vestiges’ or remnant attachments to sin that we have even after the sins have been forgiven. And of course, the greater the love by which the conditions for gaining the indulgence, the more effective it will be, since the whole point of indulgences is to unite us all more closely to the Body of Christ.

I’d suggest you check out on the internet Blessed Paul VI’s Apostolic Constitution, Indulgentiarum Doctrina (The Doctrine of Indulgences), of January 1, 1967 for perhaps the best modern expression of the Church’s teaching on indulgences.

To answer your questions: 1: Doesn’t make sense to me I’m afraid, it’s the kind of spiritual mathematics Paul VI’s document was meant to get rid of (as it did of various numbers of days in purgatory indulgences were supposed to remit-100, 300, and so on).

2: That’d be a great act of love for our sisters and brothers in purgatory-Jesus died for all of us, as well as for each of us individually, so I can’t see why you couldn’t offer the indulgence for all souls in purgatory.

3: And I’m certain Our Lady would make gracious use of your act of love and apply it to the soul in purgatory who needs it mostafter all, she’s the Mother of the whole of humanity as well as of the Church.

Very best, Fr Brendan

Replied at 09:19 pm on February 11th 2016

Very many thanks Fr Brendan for the clarification. My searches on the internet got me more confused. Got more concerned when priests could not give me an answer. Your answers confirms the little voices I kept hearing in my head and heart. Again thanks and God Bless


Replied at 05:33 am on February 12th 2016