Indulgence Granted For World Day Of The Sick
ZENIT News Agency, The World Seen from Rome
Pope Grants Indulgences on World Day of Sick
Day Dedicated to Mentally Ill
VATICAN CITY, FEB. 3, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is offering the faithful a plenary indulgence on the World Day of the Sick, Feb. 11, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.
The indulgence was announced in a decree published in Latin today, and signed by Cardinal James Stafford, major penitentiary. This year's main celebration of the World Day is to take place at the Cathedral of St. Francis Xavier in Adelaide, Australia.
In his message written for the occasion, the Pope said that this year the World Day of the Sick will be dedicated in particular to the mentally ill.
The document grants a plenary indulgence to baptized persons who, "according to the prescribed conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic Communion and prayer in keeping with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff), with the soul completely removed from attachment to any form of sin, participate devoutly next Feb. 11 in the Cathedral of Adelaide or in any other place established by the ecclesiastical authority in a sacred ceremony celebrated to implore God for the ends of the World Day of the Sick."
Individuals who cannot take part in these celebrations because they are looking after the sick, "especially of those whose mental disorder calls for greater patience, diligence and care and, due to their service cannot participate in the ceremony indicated earlier, will obtain the same gift of the plenary indulgence, if on that day they generously give at least for an hour their charitable assistance to the sick as if they did it to the Lord Christ himself (cf. Matthew 25:40)."
Finally, the plenary indulgence may be obtained by those faithful who because of sickness, advanced age or any reason of this sort cannot take part in the ceremony, so long as "they unite themselves spiritually with desire in the mentioned celebration, pray devoutly for all the sick and offer God, through the Virgin Mary, 'health of the sick,' their physical and spiritual sufferings."
Moreover, the decree grants a partial indulgence "to all the faithful, from Feb. 9-11, each time that, with a contrite heart, they address devout prayers to the merciful God to implore the mentioned ends of help for the sick."