Pope grants indulgences for participants in Eucharistic Revival

The Apostolic Penitentiary, acting on a mandate from Pope Francis, issues grants of indulgence for participants in the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage and the National Eucharistic Congress, taking place in the United States this summer as part of the National Eucharistic Revival.

Apr 13, 2024

Grant of Indulgence for those taking part in the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage ( Penitenzieria Apostolica)

By Christopher Wells
Catholics taking part in the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage and the National Eucharistic Congress in the United States this summer will have the opportunity to gain plenary indulgences, thanks to a concession granted by the Apostolic Penitentiary at the request of Archbishop Timothy Broglio.

In a statement announcing the indulgences, Archbishop Broglio, the president of the US Bishops’ Conference, said, “It is with gratitude to the Holy Father that we receive his Apostolic Blessing upon the participants in the National Eucharistic Congress, and for the opportunity for Catholics in our country to obtain a plenary indulgence by participating in the events of the Eucharistic Revival

The events are part of the National Eucharistic Revival, an initiative promoted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and aimed at renewing the Church by enkindling a living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.

“Through the efforts of the revival over the last two years, we have been building up to the pilgrimage and congress that will offer Catholics a chance to experience a profound, personal revival of faith in the Eucharist,” Archbishop Broglio said in the USCCB statement. “Pope Francis continues to encourage and support us as we seek to share Christ’s love with a world that is desperately in need of Him.”

The Revival began on the feast of Corpus Christ 2022, which opened a year of Diocesan Renewal (June 2022 – June 2023), and was followed by a year of Parish Renewal (June 2023 – July 2024). The year of Parish Renewal will culminate in the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage, from May 17 to July 16, and the National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis from July 17 -21.

Opportunities for Plenary Indulgences
The Catholic faithful who participate in the Pilgrimage at any point will be able to gain a plenary indulgence, which is also granted to the elderly, those who are ill, and anyone who is unable to physically take part, provided they participate in spirit. 

The grant of indulgence specifies that the usual conditions of sacramental Confession, Eucharistic Communion, and prayer for the Pope’s intentions are necessary to receive the indulgence, which can also be applied in suffrage to the souls in Purgatory.

In decree conceding the indulgence, the Apostolic Penitentiary encourages all priests with faculties to hear confessions to make themselves “willingly and generously available” to do so for all who participate. 

The National Eucharistic Pilgrimage will follow four separate routes beginning in the north, east, south, and west of the country. The various pilgrimages will ultimately converge on Indianapolis, Indiana, in the heart of the country for the National Eucharistic Congress.

An historic moment
This summer’s gathering will be the first National Eucharistic Congress to take place in the United States in more than 80 years – the last took place in Minneapolis-St Paul in 1941. Philadelphia hosted International Eucharistic Congress in 1976. 

For this year’s Congress, the Apostolic Penitentiary has granted Archbishop Broglio, or another Bishop chosen by him, the faculty to impart the Papal Blessing with a Plenary Indulgence at the end of the Congresses closing Mass. 

Faithful who participate in the liturgy, as well as those who, due to “reasonable circumstances and with a pious intention” follow the Mass via the media, can receive the Plenary Indulgence when the Blessing is given, provided they are “truly repentant” and are motivated by charity, and fulfill the usual conditions.

Following the Congress, the Church in the United States will observe a “Year of Missionary Sending,” in which American Catholics will be “sent out” to share the love of Christ they’ve received in their encounter with the Eucharistic Lord.

What is a plenary indulgence?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, quoting Pope Saint Paul VI, explains that “an indulgence is the remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under prescribed conditions through the action of the Church, which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of satisfactions of Christ and the saints.”

Continuing to quote Paul VI, the Catechism goes on to clarify that “an indulgence is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due to sin.”--Vatican News

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