Tag Archives: pope’s prayer intentions 2013

Indulgences when there is no pope

emblem of the Papacy: Triple tiara and keys Fr...

We Catholics have confidence in the proper use of indulgences for flourishing of the spiritual life on earth and in purgatory. Indulgences are often more known in concept but not always with the needed exactitude with regard to the high religious ideals of theology and sacramentality in following Jesus Christ more closely in His Resurrection.

Catholics know that one of the conditions of gaining the gift of indulgence is prayer for the Pope’s intentions. But when there is no pope, how does one fulfill the requirements of the indulgence? Are indulgences unavailable to the faithful during the papal vacancy?

The Apostolic Penitentiary answered this question in 2005 at the papal vacancy, stating that indulgences are still available to the faithful during the interregnum, since the “intentions of the Holy Father” perdure past the life of the same Holy Father, therefore prayer for those intentions made known by the Apostolic See remain necessary and efficacious for the purposes of indulgences.

I note the Pope’s Intentions on the first day of the month here on the Communio blog, but the Apostleship of Prayer, whose ministry it is in the USA, makes these intentions available online and in a nicely printed pamphlet. The papal intentions for February 2013 are noted here.

In the text, The Gift of the Indulgence (2000), the Apostolic Penitentiary writes,

1. This is how an indulgence is defined in the Code of Canon Law (can. 992) and in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (n. 1471): “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”.

2. In general, the gaining of indulgences requires certain prescribed conditions (below, nn. 3, 4), and the performance of certain prescribed works (nn. 8, 9, 10 indicate those specific to the Holy Year).

3. To gain indulgences, whether plenary or partial, it is necessary that the faithful be in the state of grace at least at the time the indulgenced work is completed.

4. A plenary indulgence can be gained only once a day. In order to obtain it, the faithful must, in addition to being in the state of grace:

— have the interior disposition of complete detachment from sin, even venial sin;

— have sacramentally confessed their sins;

— receive the Holy Eucharist (it is certainly better to receive it while participating in Holy Mass, but for the indulgence only Holy Communion is required);

— pray for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff.

5. It is appropriate, but not necessary, that the sacramental Confession and especially Holy Communion and the prayer for the Pope’s intentions take place on the same day that the indulgenced work is performed; but it is sufficient that these sacred rites and prayers be carried out within several days (about 20) before or after the indulgenced act. Prayer for the Pope’s intentions is left to the choice of the faithful, but an “Our Father” and a “Hail Mary” are suggested. One sacramental Confession suffices for several plenary indulgences, but a separate Holy Communion and a separate prayer for the Holy Father’s intentions are required for each plenary indulgence.

6. For the sake of those legitimately impeded, confessors can commute both the work prescribed and the conditions required (except, obviously, detachment from even venial sin).

7. Indulgences can always be applied either to oneself or to the souls of the deceased, but they cannot be applied to other persons living on earth.

The grants of indulgence are contained in the Enchiridion Indulgentiarum (4th ed., 1999). You will see special grants of the Holy See, such as for the Year of Faith, World Day of the Sick, World Youth Day or some special observance in dioceses or religious orders.

Pope Benedict’s prayer intentions for February 2013

Benedict XVI (2005-present, Episcopal form of ...

February is a particularly difficult month for lots of people. The Pope names those who migrate from their country of origin in search for peace, job security, or just for meaning in life. Sometimes war is the good reason to provide for happiness. We need to be close to these people. As Catholics we walk not only in prayerful solidarity but also in human companionship. With Pope Benedict we lift these prayers to the Almighty.

The general intention

That migrant families, in particular mothers,
may be sustained and accompanied in their difficulties.

The missionary intention

That peoples
experiencing war and conflicts may be the protagonists in the building of a
future of peace.
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Pope Benedict’s prayer intentions for January 2013

English: Pope Benedict XVI during general audition

The first day of each month I will publish Pope
Benedict XVI’s prayer intentions for the year 2013. You will notice that the
2013 intentions include prayers for praying for the Year of Faith, World
Youth Day, global respect for human life and the environment and a prayer
request for the protection of families.

The Apostleship of Prayer, founded in 1844 by the Jesuits, to draw the faithful’s attention to be united with missionaries spreading the Good News through the praying for the Morning Offering. Each day is given to God; all of the good we do assists in working out our salvation. Remember that essential prayer? It was Pope Leo XIII who gave a ministry of praying for specific intentions with the Morning Offering, The Apostleship also promotes the devotion to the
Sacred Heart of Jesus

So, join me in praying the Morning Offering and for Benedict’s January intentions
on a daily basis.

The general intention

That during this “Year of Faith”
Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and joyfully
bear witness to the gift of faith in Him.

The missionary intention

That the
Christian communities of the Middle East, which frequently suffer
discrimination, may receive the strength of fidelity and perseverance of the
Holy Spirit.
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About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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