August 2 Plenary Indulgence


I write with a question about the August 2 plenary indulgence. From the Enchiridion of Indulgences:

  1. Visit to the Parochial Church. PLENARY INDULGENCE is granted to those who devoutly visit the parochial church either on its titular feast or on the 2nd of August when the indulgence of the "Portiuncula" occurs. In visiting the church IT IS REQUIRED that one Our Father and the Creed be recited. Both indulgences can be acquired either on the day designated above or on some other day designated by the Ordinary (bishop) for the benefit of the faithful. The same indulgences apply to the Cathedral church and, where there is one, to a Co-Cathedral church, even if they are not parochial churches; they apply to quasi-parochial churches also.

When I attended Mass this morning, I was unaware of this indulgence. When I tried to return to the church near my office this afternoon, it was locked, so I said the Our Father and Creed on the steps of the church. Do you think that this counts for saying the prayers "*n visiting the church," as required for the indulgence?

Many thanks!*


Didn't you recite the Our Father and Creed while at Mass?


Sorry, I should have addressed that. Yes to the Our Father, as usual. But there was no Creed, as it was a regular weekday Mass.


Ah, oops, forgot about that detail...I am not able to go to daily Mass so it's been a while. :)

I can't remember the source, but it was a solid one (like EWTN or Catholic Answers); I will keep looking if you're interested in reading this for yourself. Anyway, it said it counts as being at Mass as long as you're on the church property. I had to look this up once when we wanted to go to Mass during the Easter Triduum and even though we were VERY early, the building was packed to the rafters and we literally could not walk through the door. The source I found said that it does indeed count.

That said, I would assume that since you attempted to go to a church for this indulgence and, finding it locked, stayed there to pray, that the indulgence would apply to you.

I had a solid priest tell me that in cases like this, we should assume that God will make the most merciful choice. He can see your intention and effort and since we can trust in the fact that He wants us to be with Him in Heaven (since that is why He created us in the first place), we should also trust that He won't nit-pick our noble efforts.

Sorry, that's kind of a non-answer because there's no official Church teaching in there, but that's my educated opinion :)


Too much scrupulosity and extreme intention here.

I offered any and all Plenary Indulgences that I am in a position to receive (known to God and dependent upon my worthiness, can't take an oath that I'm always worthy although I try) to the soul of my daughter and, should she no longer need it, to any soul whom God chooses.

I've visited sacred shrines in Europe and will again soon, three times in one year. I've done work for Plenary Indulgence weekly since my daughter's death. I have offered any and all prayers said on behalf of my soul, both now and after my death, to my daughter and/or any soul in need of them. I now leave it in God's hands. Should I be in a situation where I am in a state of grace, have received the sacrament of Reconciliation (which I do every week), said the Creed (which I do with every rosary, every day), etc., well then it is up to God, is it not? If I walk around planning this stuff it's sort of ridiculous! "The best laid plans of mice and men..." I pray for the intentions and safety of Pope Francis daily regardless, as should we all.

If you attend a birthday celebration out of real joy and love but you have forgotten your gift, does your presence not count? If you approach God every day (and each day is different) with the greatest hope of pleasing and consoling HIm, even if your gift is lacking, does not that count? I think, yes, it does count. I think you receive the blessings whether or not you consciously intend them if you are so disposed and if it is in God's will. I would put it to rest there. Live as faithfully as you can. Keep a running, daily dialogue with Jesus (He likes that). Leave the "door" open and "listen", don't just pray: listen. And you will be an agent He can use and will use and does use and, in one millionth of a second as you pass from this life to the next, you will SEE before you the blessings you have given to others. One day at a time.


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