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The Plenary Indulgence at the Porziuncola Chapel

Last week, there were many terrific pages in our own local Catholic paper re: our new Porziuncola, right here in San Francisco, on the people who had the vision and the determination to bring this little gem of a chapel, on the craftmen who built it and on all the ones who decorated it like a beautiful house of art, like the prayerful oasis that it will be, with many information on the history of the original Porziuncola in Italy, with insightful pages on the many gifts of Saint Francis and many, many photos. And especially, on the beautiful gift that is a plenary indulgence! Here are some parts of : Plenary indulgence announced for the Porziuncola Nuova - article by Dan Morris - Young in Catholic San Francisco and I added some excerpt from the Catechism of the Catholic Church

An indulgence nearly identical to the "Pardon of Assisi" has been authorized by the Church for the new San Francisco landmark. Announced by the Archdiocese of San Francisco and Archbishop George H. Niederauer, a plenary indulgence for pilgrims who visit the new archdiocesan shrine will be available to the faithful who visit the site and who fulfill the customary requirements - see list below:
Requirements for obtaining the Porziuncola plenary indulgence :
1 - To visit the Porziuncola Chapel between Sept 27 and Dec 31 2008;
2 - To spend time in prayer at the Chapel, reciting the Lord's prayer and the Creed;
3 - To celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation within a week;
4 - To receive the sacrament of the Eucharist within this time;
5 - To pray for the intentions of the Holy Father:

      which are, for November 2008 :
General Intention: Love of God and Neighbor.
That the testimony of love offered by the saints may fortify Christians in their devotion to God and neighbor, imitating Christ who came to serve and not to be served. This month Pope Benedict XVI points us to the saints of the Church, that all Christians may imitate them in their imitation of Christ. For this is the love of God and neighbor, to serve and not to be served.
Mission Intention: Church in Asia.
That the Christian communities of Asia, contemplating the face of Christ, may find the most suitable ways to announce Him, in full faithfulness to the Gospel.
Prayer of the Month
Father, all-powerful and ever-living God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks.
You are glorified in your saints, for their glory is the crowning of your gifts.
In their lives on earth, you give us an example.
In our communion with them, you give us their friendship.
In their prayer for the Church, you give us strength and protection.
This great company of witnesses spurs us on to victory, to share their prize of everlasting glory.
May we imitate their lives of service and daily give you all honor and glory. Amen.

5 - To be free of any attachment to sin, even venial sin. This is perhaps the most challenging requirement; however, if one still has some attachment to sin the indulgence would be partial not plenary. A plenary indulgence can remove all the temporal punishment due to forgiven sin.

Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome and Archbishop Emeritus of San Francisco, will officially proclaim the indulgence during the dedication rite. The indulgence will continue to be available at the local site indefinitely one day per year at a pilgrim's choosing or on Aug. 2 or Oct. 4. Aug. 2 is the anniversary of the dedication of the original Porziuncola. Oct. 4 is the solemnity of St. Francis. The chapel and shrine church are located on the 600 block of Vallejo Street.

According to Church teaching, a plenary indulgence can remove temporal punishment due to forgiven sin. It may be applied to persons receiving it or by them to a faithful departed. An indulgence does not apply to the actual forgiveness of sin, which is sought through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

The Porziuncola Indulgence or "Pardon of Assisi" refers to the well - known indulgence attached to the small church near Assisi, Italy, where St. Francis is said to have received his vocation on Feb. 24, 1208 and which largely served as his headquarters for the rest of his life.

The San Francisco Porziuncola, also referred to in Vatican documents as the Porziuncola Nuova, is a 78 percent scale, near duplicate of the original, said Angela Alioto, vice chair of the Renaissance Project. The Porziuncola is the first phase in the Renaissance Project which will also entail creation of a piazza on Vallejo Street, significant upgrades to the National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi Church which houses the Porziuncola in an adjacent building, and a wide range of programs. Those who visit the Porziuncola Shrine as part of an organized pilgrimage may also obtain a plenary indulgence.

The granting of an indulgence has nothing to do with the forgiveness of sin. God forgives us when we are truly sorry for our sins, and Christ instituted the sacrament of reconciliation as the ordinary means by which our sins are forgiven. If God forgives us freely, why must we do penance? To undo the harmful effects of sin on ourselves and others. We might think of sin as a kind of spiritual pollution Works of generosity restore the spiritual environment that has been damaged by selfishness. Prayer, fasting and works of mercy are traditional forms of penance and have always been central to Christian discipleship.

I am extremely grateful for having access to one plenary indulgence, right here in my City and right now, in the middle of a frantic political campaign and numerous national (and global) turmoils in the down-ward economy, the financial markets, the real estate bubble, the energy crises etc. If you seek the indulgence with the proper disposition, you will be spreading peace and hope, the love of God and the love of neighbor, in many ways and most of them are invisible to the naked eye... That's what I love about indulgence: it is the convergence of the visible and the invisible world and it is resting on the eyes of the soul, on the communion of saints, on us doing our part in prayers and sacrifices. What a blessing. What a lesson in trust and humility.

To understand what is the gift of an "indulgence", you need to have a correct understanding of sin and forgiveness. And to appreciate fully what "sin" is and what are its consequences, for us and for the world, you need to be able to go deeper than the surface of things and to comprehend forgiveness and its effect on us and the world, and, if you lift up one more layer, then you can see that it is in turn relying on a correct understanding of "freedom", of the love of God versus the love of self, of the sin of idolatry and the sin of indifference… It is all about the gift of the "freedom" offered by God in his love for us! Indulgence, sin, forgiveness, freedom, free-will, love, God, it's all linked together in us and through us, it is all part of the structure and Christ is the head!

Well, that's how I see it.
I am definitively a neophyte.
I hope I am expressing it correctly, if not, please do not hesitate to tell me.

 

Catechism of the Catholic Church


> X. INDULGENCES
§1471 The doctrine and practice of indulgences in the Church are closely linked to the effects of the sacrament of Penance. What is an indulgence? "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 prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints."81 "An indulgence is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due to sin."82 The faithful can gain indulgences for themselves or apply them to the dead.NT
The punishments of sin
1472 To understand this doctrine and practice of the Church, it is necessary to understand that sin has a double consequence. Grave sin deprives us of communion with God and therefore makes us incapable of eternal life, the privation of which is called the "eternal punishment" of sin. On the other hand every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called Purgatory. This purification frees one from what is called the "temporal punishment" of sin. These two punishments must not be conceived of as a kind of vengeance inflicted by God from without, but as following from the very nature of sin. A conversion which proceeds from a fervent charity can attain the complete purification of the sinner in such a way that no punishment would remain.83

1472 To understand this doctrine and practice of the Church, it is necessary to understand that sin has a double consequence. Grave sin deprives us of communion with God and therefore makes us incapable of eternal life, the privation of which is called the "eternal punishment" of sin. On the other hand every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called Purgatory. This purification frees one from what is called the "temporal punishment" of sin. These two punishments must not be conceived of as a kind of vengeance inflicted by God from without, but as following from the very nature of sin. A conversion which proceeds from a fervent charity can attain the complete purification of the sinner in such a way that no punishment would remain.83

1473 The forgiveness of sin and restoration of communion with God entail the remission of the eternal punishment of sin, but temporal punishment of sin remains. While patiently bearing sufferings and trials of all kinds and, when the day comes, serenely facing death, the Christian must strive to accept this temporal punishment of sin as a grace. He should strive by works of mercy and charity, as well as by prayer and the various practices of penance, to put off completely the "old man" and to put on the "new man."84

1474 The Christian who seeks to purify himself of his sin and to become holy with the help of God's grace is not alone. "The life of each of God's children is joined in Christ and through Christ in a wonderful way to the life of all the other Christian brethren in the supernatural unity of the Mystical Body of Christ, as in a single mystical person."85

1475 In the communion of saints, "a perennial link of charity exists between the faithful who have already reached their heavenly home, those who are expiating their sins in purgatory and those who are still pilgrims on earth. between them there is, too, an abundant exchange of all good things."86 In this wonderful exchange, the holiness of one profits others, well beyond the harm that the sin of one could cause others. Thus recourse to the communion of saints lets the contrite sinner be more promptly and efficaciously purified of the punishments for sin.

1476 We also call these spiritual goods of the communion of saints the Church's treasury, which is "not the sum total of the material goods which have accumulated during the course of the centuries. On the contrary the 'treasury of the Church' is the infinite value, which can never be exhausted, which Christ's merits have before God. They were offered so that the whole of mankind could be set free from sin and attain communion with the Father. In Christ, the Redeemer himself, the satisfactions and merits of his Redemption exist and find their efficacy."87

1477 "This treasury includes as well the prayers and good works of the Blessed Virgin Mary. They are truly immense, unfathomable, and even pristine in their value before God. In the treasury, too, are the prayers and good works of all the saints, all those who have followed in the footsteps of Christ the Lord and by his grace have made their lives holy and carried out the mission in the unity of the Mystical Body."88
1477 "This treasury includes as well the prayers and good works of the Blessed Virgin Mary. They are truly immense, unfathomable, and even pristine in their value before God. In the treasury, too, are the prayers and good works of all the saints, all those who have followed in the footsteps of Christ the Lord and by his grace have made their lives holy and carried out the mission in the unity of the Mystical Body."88

Obtaining indulgence from God through the Church
1478 An indulgence is obtained through the Church who, by virtue of the power of binding and loosing granted her by Christ Jesus, intervenes in favor of individual Christians and opens for them the treasury of the merits of Christ and the saints to obtain from the Father of mercies the remission of the temporal punishments due for their sins. Thus the Church does not want simply to come to the aid of these Christians, but also to spur them to works of devotion, penance, and charity.89

1479 Since the faithful departed now being purified are also members of the same communion of saints, one way we can help them is to obtain indulgences for them, so that the temporal punishments due for their sins may be remitted.

Copyright ©September2008 Michele Szekely

 

 


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