(Vatican Radio) On Tuesday, the Apostolic Penitentiary – a tribunal of the Roman Curia
primarily responsible for issues relating to the forgiveness of sins – issued a decree
announcing Indulgences granted for participants at the upcoming World Youth Day in
Rio de Janeiro.
“The word indulgence is not very familiar to many people today, especially to the younger generation,” says Monsignor John Kennedy, an official at the Congregation of the Faith. “In fact, you might be surprised to know that the Christian meaning of the word indulgence really comes from Latin ‘indulgentia’ and it means kindness or tenderness, and refers, in this context to God’s kindness in forgiving the effects of sins.”
Msgr. Kennedy says indulgences “are linked to a theme that Pope Francis has spoken very frequently about since the moment of his election – that is to say, to the gift of God’s mercy.”
The decree grants a plenary indulgence for taking part in the “sacred rites and pious exercises” that will take place during World Youth Day, an indulgence that can be gained by those who cannot make it to Rio de Janeiro if they follow the events by radio, television or the new means of social communications. In order to gain the plenary indulgence, one must also make a sacramental Confession, receive the Holy Eucharist in Communion, and pray for the intentions of the Holy Father.
A partial indulgence can be gained throughout the period of World Youth Day every time one offers a “fervent prayer” to God and for pious devotions invoking Our Lady or the patron saints of the event.
The decree also encourages priests to make themselves available for Confession “In order that the faithful might more easily obtain these heavenly gifts.”
Below please find Vatican Radio’s translation of the complete text of the Decree of Indulgences, followed by the official prayer of World Youth Day:
RIO DE JANIERO
The gift of Indulgences is granted on the occasion of the XXIII World Youth Day, which will be celebrated in Rio de Janeiro during the current Year of Faith.
The Holy Father Pope Francis, desiring that young people, in union with the spiritual goals of the Year of Faith, announced by Pope Benedict XVI, can achieve the desired fruits of sanctification of the “XXVIII World Youth Day,” which will be held from 22 to 29 of the next month of July in Rio de Janeiro, and that has for its theme: “Go and make disciples of all nations (cf. Mt 28:19)”, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Major Penitentiary on June 3, demonstrating the maternal heart of the Church, from the Treasury of the satisfactions of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of all the Saints, has granted that young people and all the faithful who are properly prepared might enjoy the gift of Indulgences as follows:
- A plenary Indulgence, which can be obtained once
a day under the usual conditions (sacramental Confession, Eucharistic Communion, and
prayer according to the intention of the Supreme Pontiff), and applicable also by
way of suffrage to the souls of the faithful departed, is granted to the truly penitent
and contrite faithful who devoutly participate in the sacred rites and pious exercises
that will be held in Rio de Janeiro.
The faithful who are legitimately impeded can obtain the plenary Indulgence if, complying with the usual spiritual, sacramental and prayer conditions, with the purpose of filial submission to the Roman Pontiff, they participate spiritually in the sacred functions on the appointed days, provided they follow these same rites and pious exercises as they take place via television or radio, or, always with appropriate devotion, by the new means of social communication.
- A partial Indulgence is granted to the faithful, wherever
they may be during the above mentioned gathering, every time they, with at least a
contrite heart, lift up fervent prayers to God, concluding with the official prayer
of World Youth Day [see below], and pious invocations to the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Queen of Brazil, under the title of “Nossa Senhora da Conceiçao Aparecida,” [approx.:
“Our Lady of Conception Who Appeared”], and to the other Patrons and Intercessors
of the same gathering, in order to inspire the young people to reinforce them in the
Faith, and to lead a holy life.
In order that the faithful might more easily obtain these heavenly gifts, priests who are legitimately approved to hear sacramental confessions should make themselves available to receive them and propose to the faithful public prayers for the success of the same “World Youth Day”.
This decree is valid for this event. Anything to the contrary notwithstanding.
Given in Rome at the Seat of the Apostolic Penitentiary 24 June 2013, on the Solemnity of Saint John the Baptist.
Here is the Official Prayer for World Youth Day, mentioned in the decree of Indulgence:
Oh Father, You sent Your Eternal Son to save the world, and You chose men and women, so that through Him, with Him and in Him, they might proclaim the Good News of the Gospel to all nations. Grant us the necessary graces, so that, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the joy of being the evangelists that the Church needs in the Third Millennium may shine in the faces of all young people.
Oh Christ, Redeemer of humanity, the image of Your open arms on the top of Corcovado, welcomes all people. In Your paschal offering, You led us, by the Holy Spirit, to encounter the Father as His children. Young people, who are nourished by Eucharist, who hear You in Your Word and meet You as their brother, need your infinite mercy to walk along the paths of this world as disciples and missionaries of the New Evangelization.
Oh Holy Spirit, Love of the Father and of the Son, with the splendor of Your Truth and the fire of Your Love, shed Your Light upon all young people so that, inspired by their experience at World Youth Day, they may bring faith, hope and charity to the four corners of the earth, becoming great builders of a culture of life and peace and catalysts of a new world.