Pope Francis has announced that the Filipino faithful will be able to receive plenary indulgences during the year-long celebration of 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines.
In a decree issued on February 25 to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), the Pope said that plenary indulgences will be given in the country’s designated “jubilee churches” from April 4, 2021, until April 22, 2022.
The decree was signed by Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, head of Vatican’s Apostolic Penitentiary. (Read: Vatican Publishes Compilation of ‘Lockdown Homilies’ by Pope Francis)
According to the Pope, the jubilee celebrations are a great opportunity to increase the Filipino Christians’ virtues of faith, hope, and charity. (Read: Manila Archdiocese Names 10 Pilgrim Churches for 500 Years of PH Christianity)
Currently, the Philippines has listed about 537 jubilee churches for the quincentennial celebration of Christianity in the Philippines. These will all serve as pilgrimage sites where the faithful are urged to go to confession, receive the Eucharist, and pray for the intentions of the Pope. (Read: The Pope’s Prayer Intention for March 2021)
Some of these churches include the National Shrine-Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage in Antipolo, the Our Lady of the Atonement Cathedral in Baguio City, the Saint Joseph Cathedral Diocesan Shrine in Agusan del Norte, the San Agustin Metropolitan Cathedral in Cagayan de Oro City, the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral in Cebu City, and the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Manila.
An indulgence, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “is the remission of the temporal punishment due to sins, which have already been forgiven.” It is exclusively gifted to the faithful who completed their intentions at a pilgrim church.
Amid pandemic, however, the gift of plenary indulgence may be given to the sick, the elderly, and all those who for legitimate reasons are unable to leave their homes. (Read: Pope Francis Grants Two-Year Indulgence to Calamba Parish in Laguna)
They too can obtain the plenary indulgence and “join themselves spiritually to the celebrations, offering their prayers and sufferings, or the inconvenience of one’s own life to the merciful God through Mary,” as said in the decree.