12 Ways to Gain an Indulgence in the Year of St Joseph
By Courtney Mares – We are now in the Year of St Joseph, decreed by Pope Francis, during which Catholics have the opportunity to obtain a special plenary indulgence. Until this special year ends on December 8, there are many new ways that Catholics can receive an indulgence, including by entrusting their daily work to the protection of St Joseph the Worker or reciting the rosary with their families.
These acts must be accompanied by sacramental confession, Eucharistic Communion, and prayer for the pope’s intentions — the usual conditions to obtain any plenary indulgence.
Plenary indulgences remit all temporal punishment due to sin and must be accompanied by full detachment from sin.
According to the decree issued by the Apostolic Penitentiary, there are several ways to receive an indulgence in the Year of St Joseph.
1) Participate in a spiritual retreat for at least one day that includes a meditation on St Joseph.
2) Pray for St Joseph’s intercession for the unemployed that they might find dignifying work.
3) Recite the Litany of St Joseph for persecuted Christians. Byzantine Catholics have the option of an Akathist (sung hymn) to St Joseph.
4) Entrust one’s daily work and activity to the protection of St Joseph the Worker.
5) Follow St Joseph’s example in performing a corporal work of mercy. These include feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, visiting the imprisoned, visiting the sick, and burying the dead.
6) Perform one of the spiritual works of mercy, such as comforting the sorrowful, counselling the doubtful, instructing the ignorant, admonishing the sinner, bearing wrongs patiently, forgiving injuries, and praying for the living and the dead.
7) Pray the rosary together with one’s family in order that “all Christian families may be stimulated to recreate the same atmosphere of intimate communion, love and prayer that was in the Holy Family”. Engaged couples can also receive an indulgence from praying the rosary together.
8) Meditate for at least 30 minutes on the Lord’s Prayer, because St Joseph “invites us to rediscover our filial relationship with the Father, to renew fidelity to prayer, to listen and correspond with profound discernment to God’s will”.
9) Celebrate the feast of St Joseph on March 19 with an act of piety in honour of St Joseph.
10) Pray an approved prayer to St Joseph on the 19th of any month.
11) Honour St Joseph with an act of piety or approved prayer on a Wednesday, the day traditionally dedicated to him.
12) Celebrate the feast of St Joseph the Worker on May 1 with an act of piety or prayer.
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