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".
Prayer for the intention of the Holy Father, all to be performed within days
of each other if not at the same time.
Works of mercy or charity:
Either visit for a suitable time their brothers or sisters in need or in
difficulty (the sick, the imprisoned, the elderly living alone, the handicapped,
etc.), as if making a pilgrimage to Christ present in them;
or support by a significant contribution works of a religious or social nature
(for the benefit of abandoned children, young people in trouble, the elderly in
need, foreigners in various countries seeking better living conditions);
or devote a suitable part of personal free time to activities benefiting the
community or other similar forms of personal sacrifice.
The Enchiridion of Indulgences
Issued by the Sacred Apostolic Penitentiary, 1968
+ Joseph Cardinal Ferretto,
Titular Bishop of the Suburban Church
of Sabina and Poggio Mirteto,
Originally published by Liberia Editrice Vatican,
Vatican City, 1968
This is a digest of the works and prayers listed in the Enchiridion of
Indulgences. The Enchiridion recites each indulgenced prayer in full.
Because most are recognizable they will only be listed by name. The un-
translated Enchiridion lists each work and prayer in alphabetical order by
their Latin names. The order shall remain the same in this listing. The
descriptions of the works and details regarding obtaining the indulgence
will be edited and abreviated in this listing. The following is not
represented to be an exact reprint of the Enchiridion but and accurate
digest of what constitutes an approved indulgenced work by the Sacred
In all but the plenary indulgence of In Articulo Mortis, at the moment of
death, a plenary indulgence mentioned below MUST be accompanied by the three
prerequisites of a plenary indulgence.
Prayer for the intention of the Holy Father, all to be performed within days
of each other if not at the same time.
Thus the formula for obtaining a plenary indulgence are the three constants
mentioned above plus any one of the variable works mentioned below as being
worthy of a plenary indulgence.
Direct, we beg you, O Lord.(Prayer from Roman Ritual) Partial indulgence.
Acts of the Theological Virtues and of Contrition. A partial indulgence is
granted to those who devoutly recite, according to any legitimate formula,
the acts of faith, hope, charity, and contrition.
ADORATION OF THE MOST BLESSED SACRAMENT. A PLENARY INDULGENCE is granted to
those who visit the Most Blessed Sacrament for at least one half hour (together
with the three prerequisites (constants) of a plenary indulgence. A partial
indulgence is granted to those who visit and adore the Most Blessed
Sacrament without the three constants or for any period less than one half
Hidden God (Adoro te devote) -- hymn, partial indulgence.
We have come (Adsumus) -- prayer, partial indulgence.
To you, O blessed Joseph (Ad te, beate Ioseph) --- prayer, partial
We Give You Thanks ---- prayer from Roman Breviary, partial indulgence
Angel Of God --- prayer, partial indulgence.
The Angel Of The Lord --- prayer, partial indulgence.
Soul of Christ (Anima Christi) --- prayer, partial indulgence.
Visit to the Patriarchal Basilicas in Rome. A PLENARY INDULGENCE to those
who devoutly visit one of the Patriarchal Basilicas in Rome and recite one
Our Father and the Creed,
On the titular feast of the Basilica;
On any Holy Day of Obligation;
Once a year on any other day of one's choice. (Remember the three constants
are also required to obtain ANY plenary indulgence.)
PAPAL BLESSING. A PLENARY INDULGENCE is granted to those who "piously and
devoutly" receive, even by radio, the Blessing of the Pope when imparted to
Rome and the world (Urbi et Orbi). (3 constants.)
Visit to a Cemetery. Only applicable to the souls in Purgatory when one
devoutly visits and prays for the departed. A PLENARY INDULGENCE is bestowed
for this work each day between November 1 and November 8.
Visit to a "Catacomb" (early Christian cemetery.) Partial indulgence.
Act of spiritual Communion according to any pious formula -- partial
Recitation of the Apostles Creed or the Nicene-Constantinopolian Creed --
ADORATION OF THE CROSS. A PLENARY INDULGENCE to those who in solemn
liturgical action of Good Friday devoutly assist in at the adoration of the
Cross and kiss it.
Office of the dead. A partial indulgence to those who devoutly recite Lauds
or Vespers of the Office of the Dead.
"Out of the Depths" (De profundis). Psalm 129. Partial indulgence to those
Christian Doctrine. Partial indulgence to those who take part in teaching or
learning christian doctrine.
"Lord God Almighty." (Roman Breviary.) Partial indulgence.
"Look down upon me, good and gentle Jesus." "Look down upon me, good and
gentle Jesus, while before your face I humbly kneel, and with burning soul
pray and beseech you to fix deep in my heart lively sentiments of faith,
hope and charity, true contrition for my sins, and a firm purpose of
amendment, while I contemplate with great love and tender pity your five
wounds, pondering over them within me, calling to mind the words which
David, your prophet, said of you, my good Jesus: "They have pierced my hands
and my feet; they have numbered all my bones." PLENARY INDULGENCE when
recited on a Friday in Lent and Passiontide, when recited after Communion
before an image of Christ crucified. On any other day the indulgence is
Eucharistic Congress. PLENARY INDULGENCE to those who devoutly participate
in the customary solemn eucharistic rite at the close of a Eucharistic
"Hear Us" (Roman Ritual) -- partial indulgence.
RETREAT. (Exercitia spiritualia). PLENARY INDULGENCE to those who spend at
least three (3) whole days in the spiritual excercises of a retreat.
"Most sweet Jesus --Act of Reparation" PLENARY INDULGENCE when this prayer
is publicly recited on the feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Otherwise the indulgence is partial.
"Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer -- Act of Dedication of the Human Race to Jesus
Christ King." PLENARY INDULGENCE when this prayer is publicly recited on the
feast of our Lord Jesus Christ King. Otherwise the indulgence is partial.
The Moment of Death (In articulo mortis). PLENARY INDULGENCE. EXCEPTION TO
THE THREE CONSTANTS. (Verbatim recitation of the grant follows:) "To the
faithful in danger of death, who cannot be assisted by a priest to bring
them the sacraments and impart the Apostolic Blessing with its plenary
indulgence (see can. 468, Sec.2 of Code of Canon Law), Holy Mother Church
nevertheless grants a plenary indulgence to be acquired at the point of
death, provided they are properly disposed and have been in the habit of
reciting some prayers during their lifetime. The use of a crucifix or a
cross to gain this indulgence is praiseworthy." The condition: 'provided
they have been in the habit of reciting some prayers during their lifetime'
supplies in such cases for the three usual conditions required for the
gaining of a plenary indulgence." The plenary indulgence at the point of
death can be acquired by the faithful, even if they have already obtained
another plenary indulgence on the same day."
Litanies. Partial indulgence to those who recite the following litanies: the
litany of the Most Holy Name of Jesus; The litany of The Most Sacred Heart
of Jesus; The litany of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ;
The litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary; The litany of St. Joseph; and the
litany of All Saints.
"The Magnificat". Partial indulgence.
"Mary, Mother of Grace." (Roman Ritual) Partial indulgence.
"The Memorare." (Remember, O Most gracious Virgin Mary.) Partial Indulgence.
"The Miserere" (Have mercy of me.) Psalm 50. Partial indulgence.
Novena Devotions. Partial indulgence to those who participate in a public
novena before the feast of Christmas or Pentecost, or the Immaculate
Use of Articles of Devotion. (Verbatim follows:) "The faithful, who devoutly
use an article of devotion (crucifix or cross, rosary, scapular or medal)
properly blessed by any priest, obtain a partial indulgence. "But if the
article of devotion has been blessed by the Sovereign Pontiff or by any
Bishop, the faithful, using it, can also gain a PLENARY INDULGENCE on the
feast of the Holy Apostles, Peter and Paul, provided they also make a
profession of faith according to any legitimate formula."
Little Offices. The following Little Offices are each enriched with a
partial indulgence: the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Most Sacred
Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St.
Prayer for Sacerdotal or Religious Vocations. Partial indulgence is granted
to those who recite a prayer approved by ecclesiastical Authority for the
Mental Prayer. Partial indulgence to those who spend some time in pious
"Let us pray for our Sovereign Pontiff" (Roman Breviary) Partial Indulgence.
"O Sacred Banquet" (Roman Breviary) Partial indulgence.
Assistance as Sacred Preaching. PLENARY INDULGENCE is granted to those who
attend a Mission, hear some of the sermons and are present for the solemn
close of the Mission. A partial indulgence is granted to those who assist
with devotion and attention at the sacred preaching of the Word of God.
FIRST COMMUNION. PLENARY INDULGENCE is granted to those who receive
Communion for the first time or to those who ASSIST at the sacred ceremonies
of a First Communion.
First Mass of a Newly Ordained Priest. PLENARY INDULGENCE granted to the
priest and to the faithful who devoutly assist at the same Mass.
"Prayer for Unity of the Church." Partial indulgence.
Monthly Recollection. Partial indulgence to those who take part in a monthly
"Eternal Rest." A partial indulgence only to the souls in purgatory.
"Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord, and let the perpetual light shine upon
them. May they rest in peace."
"May it Please you, O Lord." Partial indulgence. "May it please you, O Lord,
to reward with eternal life all those who do good to us for your Name's
RECITATION OF THE MARIAN ROSARY. (The following is verbatim.) "A PLENARY
INDULGENCE is granted, if the Rosary is recited IN A CHURCH OR PUBLIC
ORATORY OR IN A FAMILY GROUP, A RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY OR PIOUS ASSOCIATION; a
partial indulgence is granted in other circumstances. "Now the Rosary is a
certain formula of prayer, which is made up of fifteen decades of 'Hail
Marys' with an 'Our Father' before each decade, and in which the recitation
of each decade is accompanied by pious meditation on a particular mystery of
our Redemption. "The name 'Rosary,' however, is commonly used in reference
to only a third of the fifteen decades. "The gaining of the plenary
indulgence is regulated by the following norms: "
The recitation of a third part only of the Rosary suffices; but the five
decades must be recited continuously. "
The vocal recitation MUST be accompanied by pious meditation on the
In public recitation the mysteries must be announced in the manner customary
in the place; for private recitation, however, it suffices if the vocal
recitation is accompanied by meditation on the mysteries. "
For those belonging to the Oriental rites, amongst whom this devotion is not
practiced, the Patriarchs can determine some other prayers in honor of the
Blessed Virgin Mary (for those of the Byzantine rite, for example, the Hymn
'Akathistos' or the Office 'Paraclisis'); to the prayers thus determined are
accorded the same indulgences as for the Rosary."
Jubilees of Sacerdotal Ordination. A PLENARY INDULGENCE is granted to a
priest on the 25th, 50th and 60th anniversaries of his ordination when he
renews before God his resolve to faithfully fulfill the duties of his
vocation. If the priest celebrates a jubilee Mass, the faithful who assist
at it can acquire a Plenary Indulgence.
READING OF SACRED SCRIPTURE. While a partial indulgence is granted to those
who read from Sacred Scripture with the veneration which the divine word is
due, a PLENARY INDULGENCE is granted to those who read for at least one half
"Hail Holy Queen." (Roman Breviary.) Partial indulgence.
"Holy Mary, help the helpless." (Roman Breviary.) Partial indulgence.
"Holy Apostles Peter and Paul." (Roman Missal.) Partial indulgence.
Veneration of the Saints. Partial indulgence granted to those who on the
feast of any Saint recite in his honor the oration of the Missal or any
other approved by legitimate Authority.
Sign of the Cross. Partial indulgence.
A Visit to the Stational Churches of Rome. A partial indulgence is granted
to those who on the day indicated in the Roman Missal devoutly visit the
stational church in Rome named for that day' but if they also assist at the
sacred functions celebrated in the morning or evening, a PLENARY INDULGENCE
"We fly to your Patronage." Partial indulgence.
Diocesan Synod. PLENARY INDULGENCE is granted to those who during the time
of a diocesan Synod, devoutly visit the church in which it is being held and
there recite one Our Father and the Creed.
"Down in Adoration Falling" (Tantum ergo) (Roman Breviary) PLENARY
INDULGENCE when recited on Holy Thursday and the feast of Corpus Christi.
Otherwise a partial indulgence is granted for recitation.
The Te Deum. PLENARY INDULGENCE when recited publicly on the last day of the
year. Otherwise a partial indulgence is granted to those who recite the Te
Deum in thanksgiving.
"Come, Holy Spirit, Creator Blest." PLENARY INDULGENCE if recited on the
first of January or on the feast of the Pentecost. Otherwise, a partial
indulgence is granted to those who recite it.
"Come, Holy Spirit" Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and
enkindle in them the fire of your love. (Roman Missal) Partial indulgence.
EXERCISE OF THE WAY OF THE CROSS. PLENARY INDULGENCE. A Plenary indulgence
is granted to those who piously make the Way of the Cross. The gaining of
the indulgence is regulated by the following rules:
Must be done before stations of the cross legitimately erected.
14 stations are required. Although it is customary for the icons to
represent pictures or images, 14 simple crosses will suffice.
The common practice consists of fourteen pious readings to which some vocal
prayers are added.. However, nothing more is required than a pious
meditation on the Passion and Death of the Lord, which need not be a
particular consideration of the individual mysteries of the stations.
A movement from one station to the next is required. But if the stations are
made publicly and it is not possible for everyone taking part to go from
station to station, it suffices if at least the one conducting the exercise
goes from station to station, the others remaining in their places.
Those who are "impeded" can gain the same indulgence if they spend at least
one half and hour in pious reading and meditation on the Passion and Death
of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For those belonging to the Oriental rites, amongst whom this pious exercise
is not practiced, the respective Patriarchs can determine some other pious
exercise in memory of the Passion and Death for the gaining of this
"Visit, we beg you, O Lord." (Roman Breviary) Partial Indulgence.
Visit to the Parochial Church. PLENARY INDULGENCE is granted to those who
devoutly visit the parochial church either on its titular feast or on the
2nd of August when the indulgence of the "Portiuncula" occurs. In visiting
the church IT IS REQUIRED that one Our Father and the Creed be recited. Both
indulgences can be acquired either on the day designated above or on some
other day designated by the Ordinary (bishop) for the benefit of the
faithful. The same indulgences apply to the Cathedral church and, where
there is one, to a Co-Cathedral church, even if they are not parochial
churches; they apply to quasi-parochial churches also.
Visit to a Church or an Altar on the day of its consecration. PLENARY
INDULGENCE is granted to those who visit a church or an altar on the day
itself of its consecration, and there recite on Our Father and the Creed.
Visit to a Church or Oratory on All Souls Day. PLENARY INDULGENCE. A plenary
indulgence, applicable ONLY to the souls in purgatory, may be obtained by
those who, on All Souls Day, piously visit a church, public oratory, or -for
those entitled to use it, a semi public oratory. It may be acquired either
on the day designated as All Souls Day or, with the consent of the bishop,
on the preceding or following Sunday or the feast of All Saints. On visiting
the church or oratory it is required that one Our Father and the Creed be
Visit to a Church or Oratory of Religious on the Feast of the Holy Founder.
A PLENARY INDULGENCE is granted to those who piously visit a church or
oratory of a religious order on the feastday of its canonized founder, and
there recite one Our Father and the Creed.
Pastoral Visitation. Partial indulgence to those who visit a church during
the time that a pastoral visitation is being held. But a PLENARY INDULGENCE,
to be gained only once during the visitation, is granted if during the time
of the visitation they assist at a sacred function at which the Visitator
Renewal of Baptismal Promises. A partial indulgence is granted to those who
renew their baptismal promises according to any formula in use; but a
PLENARY INDULGENCE is granted if this is done in celebration of the Paschal
Vigil or on the anniversary of one's baptism.
of God Apostolate - The Church