Pope Francis has issued a decree granting indulgences for participants in the upcoming World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro.
Monsignor John Kennedy of the Congregation of Faith explains, “The word indulgence is not very familiar to many people today, especially to the younger generation. In fact, you might be surprised to know that the Christian meaning of the word indulgence really comes from the Latin ‘indulgentia’ and it means kindness or tenderness, and refers, in this context, to God’s kindness in forgiving the effects of sin.”
The decree grants a plenary indulgence for taking part in the “sacred rites and pious exercises” that will take place during World Youth Day. It can also be gained by those who cannot make it to Rio if they follow the events by radio, television or the new means of social communications.
In order to gain the plenary indulgence one must also make a sacramental Confession, receive the Holy Eucharist in Communion, and pray for the intentions of the Holy Father.
A partial indulgence can also be gained throughout the period of World Youth Day every time one offers a “fervent prayer” to God and for pious devotions invoking Our Lady or the patron saints of the event.
There is a list of all the patrons and intercessors for World Youth Day, including St Sebastian (Soldier, Martyr of the Faith), St Rose of Lima (True to the Will of God), and soon to be saint, Blessed John Paul II (Friend of the Youth), and the list can be accessed by clicking here.