Plenary Indulgences

The Indulgences and the Shrines

In this jubilee year every pilgrim that comes to our Schoenstatt Shrines may receive the Plenary Indulgences, and earn them either for him or herself, or for a poor soul in purgatory (a deceased person). Since this gift is so extraordinary let us take some time to clarify a few things: where do we receive the Plenary Indulgences; who actually receives them; and most of all, how do we receive them?

With regards to the place, the document from the Apostolic Penitentiary (i.e. the document from Rome at the beginning of this newsletter), states that the Plenary Indulgences become effective:  …on any given day in Schoenstatt, on certain feast days to be determined in the city of Rome and in all the Schoenstatt Shrines throughout the world.

The Schoenstatt Shrines in the United States where we may receive the Plenary Indulgences are the following. The most recently blessed Schoenstatt Shrine is located in Florida. We also have a Shrine in Nebraska, another one in Minnesota, one in New York, two in Texas and four in Wisconsin. If you travel to the Caribbean, you will be able to find three in Puerto Rico and two in the Dominican Republic. If you travel to Mexico, you will be able to visit  four Schoenstatt Shrines.

That means that we cannot ordinarily gain Plenary Indulgences in our home shrines, wayside shrines, side chapels and images of the Pilgrim MTA. The document does mention some exceptions: “if the Schoenstatt member is impeded to participate due to poor health or some serious cause can also obtain a Plenary Indulgence wherever they happen to be presuming they are free of attachment to sin and have the intention of fulfilling the customary three conditions as soon as they are able (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion, and prayers for the intention of the Holy Father).”

The Indulgences  and Our Effort

Under normal circumstances, we must work hard to gain the Plenary Indulgences. The Church requires that the faithful make a sincere effort to obtain the Plenary Indulgences by fulfilling the usual conditions. To obtain this indulgences in this jubilee year the faithful should:

  • Participate in any of the celebrations of the Jubilee Year or
  • Perform some other pious devotion,
  • Concluding with the Lord’s Prayer, the Profession of Faith (creed), and invocations of the Three Times Admirable Mother, Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt.

These actions can be performed:

  • On any given day in Schoenstatt, Germany
  • On certain feast days to be determined in the city of Rome
  • In all the Schoenstatt shrines throughout the world.

Conditions for receiving the Indulgences:

  • Sacramental confession
  • Eucharistic communion
  • Prayers for the intention of the Holy Father
  • Sincere sorrow for one’s sins

In former times people would make pilgrimages to such privileged altars precisely to gain plenary indulgences. The journey itself required so many sacrifices that the whole process became part of the purification of the soul. The meaning behind the effort a pilgrim makes on his or her way to the altar, where prayers are presented and answered, shall find a most fitting reply in this jubilee year through the Plenary Indulgences.

The fact that the two shrines: the Exile Shrine in Milwaukee, and the International Shrine in Waukesha, also celebrate a jubilee year, draws our attention to the idea of pilgrimaging to receive special graces in a jubilee year. Our MTA invites us to come to her Shrine, not just to celebrate at a distance.

From October 18, 2013, to October 26, 2014, we are invited to set out in pilgrimage to the privileged altars of our Schoenstatt Shrines in the USA and throughout the whole world. Come to the MTA! She waits for you in her Schoenstatt Shrines!

She calls us to fill up the Capital of Grace with all the sacrifices connected with our pilgrimage, with our ardent life of prayer and faithful deeds in everyday life. We are also summoned to the sources of life and grace of our Schoenstatt Family, with the hope of opening a new epoch of grace and holiness. That would certainly be the best jubilee gift!