January 14, 2018

March for Life Plenary Indulgence

Catholics who participate in the 45th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., January 19, 2018 may be able to receive a plenary indulgence. Cardinal Donald Wuerl of the Archdiocese of Washington and Bishop Michael Burbidge of the Diocese of Arlington said in a joint letter: "In virtue of the authority granted by our Holy Father, Pope Francis... a plenary indulgence can be obtained under the usual conditions...by the Christian faithful who are truly penitential and compelled by charity, if they take part in the sacred celebrations, along with the great assembly of people, throughout the whole course of the annual event that is called 'March for Life'." (See the conditions for a plenary indulgence below.)

The prelates encouraged their brother bishops with the hope "that you will share this information with those entrusted to your pastoral care." The letter notes: "the aged, sick and all those who due to grave reason are not able to leave home" are also able to receive the plenary indulgence so long as they "spiritually join themselves to the holy ceremonies, while also having offered prayers and their sufferings or the ailments of their own life to the merciful God."

Conditions for Receiving a Plenary Indulgence

◗ Participate in the solemn celebrations of the March for Life.
◗ Say one "Our Father" and one "Hail Mary" for the Pope's intentions.
◗ Worthily receive Holy Communion [ideally on the same day].
◗ Make a sacramental confession within 20 days of New Year's Day.
◗ Have complete detachment from even venial sin.

Prayer for the Gift of Life

Father, maker of all. You adorn all creation with splendor and beauty, and fashion human lives in your image and likeness. Awaken in every heart reverence for the work of your hands, and renew among your people a readiness to nurture and sustain your precious gift of life. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever. Amen.

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