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Pope Francis Grants Plenary Indulgence for COVID-19 Patients & Families, Health Workers

Updated: Mar 5, 2023

by Margaux Salcedo

"The gift of special Indulgences is granted to the faithful suffering from COVID-19 disease, commonly known as Coronavirus, as well as to health care workers, family members and all those who in any capacity, including through prayer, care for them."

- Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary

on the granting of special Indulgences to the faithful

in the current pandemic, 19 March 2020

The Pope granted plenary indulgence to:

1) Those who are suffering because of COVID-19, whether in hospitals or in their homes

"The Plenary Indulgence is granted to the faithful suffering from COVID-19 who are subject to quarantine by​ ​order of the health authority in hospitals or in their own homes."

The conditions are:

(1) a spirit detached from any sin

(2) uniting ​spiritually through the media to:

  • the celebration of Holy Mass

  • the recitation of the Holy Rosary

  • the pious​ ​practice of the Way of the Cross

  • other forms of devotion,

  • OR if at least they will recite the Creed, the Lord's​ ​Prayer and a pious invocation to the Blessed Virgin Mary, offering this trial in a spirit of faith in God and charity​ ​towards their brothers and sisters

(3) the will to fulfill the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic​ ​communion and prayer according to the Holy Father's intentions) as soon as possible

2. Health care workers, family members, and all those who, following the example of the Good Samaritan, expose ​themselves to the risk of contagion to care for the sick.

"Health care workers, family members and all those who, following the example of the Good Samaritan, exposing​ ​themselves to the risk of contagion, care for the sick of Coronavirus ... will obtain the​ ​s​​ame gift of the Plenary Indulgence under the same conditions."

For the sick and those at the point of death:

1. Know that the Church is praying for you

"The Church prays for those who find themselves unable to receive the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick and of the Viaticum, entrusting each and every one to divine Mercy by virtue of the communion of saints."

2. Plenary indulgence on the point of death

The Church ... "(grants) the faithful a Plenary Indulgence on the point of death, provided that they are duly disposed and have recited a few prayers during their lifetime (in this case the Church makes up for the three usual conditions required). For the attainment of this indulgence the use of the crucifix or the cross is recommended (cf.Enchiridion indulgentiarum, no.12)."

Call for Prayers

Pope Francis "renewed his invitation to pray incessantly for those who are sick with the Coronavirus" and so the Decree also grants Plenary Indulgence to:

1. The faithful who pray for the end of the epidemic

This Apostolic Penitentiary also willingly grants a Plenary Indulgence under the same conditions on the occasion​ ​of the current world epidemic, to those faithful who do any of the following:

(1) offer a visit to the Blessed Sacrament or Eucharistic​ ​adoration

(2) read the Holy Scriptures for at least half an hour

(3) recite the Holy Rosary

(4) do the​ ​pious exercise of the Way of the Cross

(5) recite the Chaplet of Divine Mercy

These are offered "to implore from Almighty​ ​God the end of the epidemic, relief for those who are afflicted and eternal salvation for those whom the Lord has​ ​called to Himself".

May the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and of the Church, Health of the Sick and Help of Christians, our Advocate, help suffering humanity, saving us from the evil of this pandemic and obtaining for us every good necessary for our salvation and sanctification.

What is a Plenary Indulgence

A Plenary Indulgence is the total remission of temporal punishment due to sin.

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Romans 12: 12).

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