Can a person gain an indulgence without knowing it?


If a person says a prayer included in the Handbook of Indulgences, but does not specifically ask for the indulgence, are they automatically given the benefit? For example, one not knowing about indulgences, would they still get the benefit? Thanks


Code of Canon Law (CIC) states, “To gain indulgences… a capable subject must have at least the general intention of acquiring them” (CIC 996.2).

This does not mean that there is no benefit whatsoever gained from saying such prayers but simply that indulgences are not gained without the required intent.

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