Plenary Indulgence Days

An indulgence is a 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 certain defined conditions through the Church’s help. A plenary (meaning “full”) indulgence is a special type of indulgence that, if all the requirements are met, removes all temporal punishment due to one’s sin. The church uses the power of the keys given to St. Peter by Jesus in Scripture (Matthew 16:18) to remove temporal consequences that still remain from sins committed. Even if we have been forgiven of a particular sin, we still experience the consequences of that sin in our lives.

To obtain an indulgence, Catholics in the state of grace must:

  1. Go to confession
  2. Receive Holy Communion
  3. Pray for the intentions of the Holy Father

The faithful who devoutly visit the Basilica of Saint Mary (i.e., make a pilgrimage) and within it participate in any sacred rite or at least recite the Lord’s Prayer and the profession of faith may obtain a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions listed above.

  1. March 4 – The anniversary of the dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary  (Rev. Francis Ignatius Neale, SJ dedicated the church in 1827)
  2. June 29 – The Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles
  3. September 8 – The Birthday of Mary (chosen by Bishop Burbidge because of her special patronage to the parish)
  4. December 6 –  The anniversary of the official granting of the title of “minor basilica” by the Vatican
  5. Any day chosen by the faithful (such as a birthday, anniversary, or another appropriate occasion

A plenary indulgence, applicable only to the souls in purgatory, is granted to the faithful who visit a cemetery and pray for the departed on any and each day from November 1 to 8 or who devoutly visit a church or an oratory and recite an Our Father and the Creed on All Souls Day.


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