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Requirements for Obtaining Indulgences in the Year of Mercy

Door of Mercy at St. Mary Cathedral in Gaylord

“It is indeed my wish that the Jubilee be a living experience of the closeness of the Father, whose tenderness is almost tangible, so that the faith of every believer may be strengthened and thus testimony to it be ever more effective …I wish that the Jubilee Indulgence may reach each one as a genuine experience of God’s mercy, which comes to meet each person in the Face of the Father who welcomes and forgives, forgetting completely the sin committed.”

--Pope Francis 

Letter to Archbishop Rino Fisichella
President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization
September 1, 2015


Requirements for obtaining indulgences

 The usual conditions for gaining an indulgence apply. They are:

  • Be baptized, not excommunicated, and in a state of grace
  • Have the intention of gaining the indulgence.
  • Perform the work or offer the prayers as described.
  • Exclude all attachment to sin
  • Three conditions:
    • Go to individual sacramental confession
    • Receive the Eucharist.
    •  Pray for the intentions of the Holy Father.
      If any component is lacking, the indulgence will be partial.

 In addition to fulfilling the regular conditions for indulgences outlined above, to experience and obtain the Jubilee Indulgence, the faithful are called to make a brief pilgrimage and pass through a Holy Door of Mercy. (See list of pilgrimage churches in the Diocese of Gaylord)

Once having crossed through the Door of Mercy, the faithful should stop in prayer to fulfill the final actions asked for:

  • Make a Profession of Faith
  • Pray for the Holy Father and his intentions. This may be at least  an “Our Father” but could be more
  • Pray the Prayer for the Jubilee by Pope Francis
  • Conclude with an invocation to the merciful Lord Jesus (for example, “Merciful Jesus, I trust in You”).

Pope Francis also expressed his desire that those who unable to make a pilgrimage also experience the love of the Father and receive the Indulgence.

The sick and elderly who are unable to go on pilgrimage may receive the Jubilee Indulgence by “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.”

Those who are incarcerated, “may obtain the Indulgence in the chapels of the prisons.” The Holy Father adds: “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.”

Those who perform the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. (“Each time that one of the faithful personally performs one or more of these actions, he or she shall surely obtain the Jubilee Indulgence. Hence the commitment to live by mercy so as to obtain the grace of complete and exhaustive forgiveness by the power of the love of the Father who excludes no one.”)

The deceased. The Holy Father reminds us that we may gain the Jubilee Indulgence not only for ourselves, but for the deceased as well. He states: “…as we remember them in the Eucharistic celebration, thus we can, in the great mystery of the Communion of Saints, pray for them, that the merciful Face of the Father free them of every remnant of fault and strongly embrace them in the unending beatitude.”