The Apostolic Penitentiary issued a Decree granting plenary indulgences for the special year of St. Joseph proclaimed by Pope Francis for the Universal Church, from Dec. 8 2020 to Dec. 8, 2021. During this period, the faithful will have the opportunity to commit themselves “with prayer and good works, to obtain, with the help of St. Joseph, head of the heavenly Family of Nazareth, comfort and relief from the serious human and social tribulations that besiege the contemporary world today.”
There are multiple ways to obtain a plenary indulgence, which frees a person from all punishment due to sin. A person must do the act with a spirit detached from any sin, and it must be accompanied by the usual conditions: sacramental confession (within 8 days), Eucharistic Communion (if possible on the same day) and prayers for the Pope’s intention (A Creed, Our Father and Hail Mary).
- A plenary indulgence is granted to those who will meditate for at least 30 minutes on the Lord’s Prayer or take part in a Spiritual Retreat for at least one day that includes meditation on St. Joseph.
- Who perform a corporal work of mercy: feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, give shelter to travelers, visit the sick, visit the imprisoned and bury the dead.
- Who perform a spiritual work of mercy: instruct the ignorant, counsel the doubtful, admonish the sinner, forgive offences, bear patiently with those who wrong you, comfort the afflicted and pray for the living and the dead.
- Who recite the Holy Rosary in families or among engaged couples.
- Who entrust their daily activity to the protection of St. Joseph.
- Who invoke the intercession of St. Joseph for those seeking employment to find dignifying work.
- Who recite the Litany to St. Joseph (Latin tradition) or the Akathistos to St. Joseph (Byzantine tradition) for the persecuted Church and relief of all Christians suffering persecution.
- Who recite any legitimately approved prayer or act of piety in honor of St. Joseph on his feast days, March 19 and May 1; on the feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, December 27; on the 19th of each month; and on every Wednesday, a day dedicated to the memory of St. Joseph.
The gift of plenary indulgence is also extended to the sick, the elderly, the dying and all those who for legitimate reasons are unable to leave their homes. They can obtain the plenary indulgences if they are detached from sin and have the intention of fulfilling, as soon as possible, the three usual conditions and recite an act of piety in honor of St. Joseph, offering to God all the pains and hardships of their lives.