By Vatican News staff writer
On the mandate of Pope Francis, the Apostolic Penitentiary has extended the possibility to Catholics across the world to obtain a plenary indulgence as they celebrate the 125th Anniversary of the Coronation of Our Lady of Guadalupe, from home, on 12 December.
With the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City closed for her feast to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Pope said the faithful can receive a plenary indulgence for their Marian devotion if they follow certain conditions.
Mexico City Cardinal Carlos Aguiar Retes issued a letter announcing the indulgence. His letter was accompanied by the formal proclamation by Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary.
How to receive an indulgence
To receive an indulgence, a remission of the temporal punishment of one's sins, the following conditions must be met. A person must:
- Prepare an altar or place of prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe at home.
- Watch a livestream or televised Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City on 12 December "actively participating… with devotion and with exclusive attention to the Eucharist."
- Complete the usual conditions for an indulgence by praying for the Pope's intentions, being in a state of grace after confession, attending a full Mass and receiving Communion.
The letter specifies that the last three conditions "can be fulfilled when public health guidance allow."
A devotion that goes well beyond the borders of Mexico
The indulgence would be for anyone in the world, but Cardinal Aguiar acknowledged that people in the United States and the Philippines have special devotions to Our Lady of Guadalupe, whose feast is on 12 December.
However, the Cardinal writes “Aware of the fact that the devotion to the Virgen Morena goes beyond our borders, the Holy Father thought it appropriate to offer this indulgence to all the Catholic faithful of the world to join in our celebration by adhering to the requirements of the Indulgence.”
He also expresses his wish that those who desire “seek the comfort, protection and tenderness of Our Most Holy Mother, to take advantage of this grace that Pope Francis has granted us and which extends to the faithful who have died.”
“Let us allow Our Lady to visit us in our homes this year. Let us open our doors to her and lift up our hearts so that she may bless us and cover us with her mantle. May Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Most Holy Mother, Saint Mary of Guadalupe, continue to accompany us and bless us on this painful journey for all the people of God who wander in our archdiocese and throughout the world.”
The Apostolic Penitentiary had already extended until October 12, 2021 the Jubilee Year dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe that began in September 2019 and that was supposed to end on 12 October, but has been strongly impacted by the pandemic with thousands of pilgrims unable to visit the Marian Shrine.
On Saturday 12 December, Pope Francis will celebrate Holy Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica to celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe.