What does the number of days attributed to indulgences mean?


#1

I come across indulgences that say “300 days” or some length of time. I made rosary beads this Christmas and the crucfix I used came with such indulgences (issued early last century). In my 1962 Missal I find many instances of this, such as “300 days if said while doing this and that.” Does the church still teach that? If so can you please explain. And did it mean say, 300 days you were supposed to have less in Purgatory?


#2

The Church no longer attaches a number of days to indulgences. An indulgence is now either partial or plenary – that is, it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due sin.

The number of days which used to be attached to indulgences did not refer to length of time in purgatory but, rather, to the period of penance one might undergo during life on earth.

Recommended reading:
Primer on Indulgences
Myths About Indulgences
Apostolic Constitution on Indulgences
The Handbook of Indulgences


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