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Plenary Indulgence for Divine Mercy Sunday
In a decree dated August 3, 2002, the Apostolic Penitentiary announced that in order “to ensure that the faithful would observe this day (Divine Mercy Sunday) with intense devotion, the Supreme Pontiff himself established that this Sunday be enriched by a plenary indulgence…so that the faithful might receive in great abundance the gift of the consolation of the Holy Spirit. In this way, they can foster a growing love for God and for their neighbor, and after they have obtained God’s pardon, they in turn might be persuaded to show a prompt pardon to their brothers and sisters.”
The plenary indulgence is granted (under the usual conditions of a sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and a prayer for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff) to the faithful who, on Divine Mercy Sunday, in a spirit that is completely detached from the affection for a sin, even a venial sin, recite the Our Father and the Creed, and also adding a devout prayer (e.g. Merciful Jesus, I trust in you!).
Additional provisions are offered for those who are impeded from fulfilling these requirements, but who wish to acquire a plenary indulgence.
How to Celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday
During the Mass of canonization of St. Faustina on April 30, 2000, the year of the Great Jubilee, Pope John Paul II proclaimed: "It is important then that we accept the whole message that comes to us from the word of God on this Second Sunday of Easter, which from now on throughout the Church, will be called Divine Mercy Sunday." The readings on that Sunday are always about mercy, trust and the forgiveness of sins. By the words "the whole message," the Holy Father was referring to the strict connection between the "Easter Mystery of the Redemption" -- the suffering, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Christ, followed by the sending of the Holy Spirit -- and this Feast of Divine Mercy, on the Octave Day of Easter.
The first decree which established the Feast states that the normal readings for that Sunday are always to be used. They are already perfect as they are and reflect what the Image of Divine Mercy portrays.
The second decree is for the plenary indulgence for Divine Mercy Sunday that was issued on June 29, 2002. This decree also states what the specific duties of Priests are to be: inform the parishioners, hear confessions, and lead the prayers. The indulgence decree also asks Priests to gently encourage the Faithful to practice works of charity or mercy as often as they can, following the example of Christ.