Eight centuries after St. Francis of Assisi created the first crèche in Greccio, Italy, Pope Francis has granted a Plenary Indulgence for “visiting the churches run by Franciscan families throughout the world and stopping in prayer in front of the Nativity scenes set up there.” Bishop Golka has confirmed our parish as one of them.
What is an Indulgence? Even though confessed and forgiven sins restore us to grace, the consequences remain on earth or in purgatory. An indulgence frees you from those consequences. A partial indulgence covers part of the punishment due for sins; a plenary indulgence removes all of it. Both kinds of indulgence come from the merits of Jesus, the Blessed Mother and the saints. To grant indulgences, the Church draws on a great treasury of merits: the infinite value of Christ’s Passion, death and Resurrection, and the prayers and good works of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints – including all of those on earth who live holy lives.
The Plenary Indulgence may be gained here before our Christmas Crèche until February 2, under the usual conditions (Sacramental Confession, Holy Communion, Prayer for the Pope, and detachment from all sin). Anyone who is sick and those unable to participate physically may also receive the plenary indulgence by offering their sufferings to the Lord or carrying out practices of piety.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us!