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St Malachy's timing is accurate.

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And these pages.



1. Why They Are Important.

2. Indulgences In History.

Indulgences are a great gift; a treasure of the Church, and a great treasure for us. However, they are so often overlooked today, because many do not know about them. And our era means that many want to detract away from them!

Theological basis:

What is an indulgence? Our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ has a "superabundance of merits;" His merits are infinite; limitless. And the Blessed Virgin Mary, being sinless, She gained a great abundance of merits. And the saints too, we can say of them that their merits outweighed whatever wrongdoing they did whilst they were on earth. Our heavenly family are alive and active in heaven, and they want to help us! And which they do!

It is the excess of merits that is the theological basis for indulgences. The merits are contained in what is known as the "treasury" of the Church and which the Church, as Minister of Redemption, draws upon under Her authority of "bounding and loosing;" the "Keys." (Mt 16:18-19.)

An indulgence draws on the treasury of these merits through an indulgence having been attached (this by Popes and also sometimes by others high ranking in the Church hierarchy, down through the centuries) to a good
work(s) i.e. prayers, sacrifices, devotions, vigils, pilgrimages, visiting a cemetery to pray for the dead etc.

Examples of Indulgences.

Many indulgences are long established. Particular examples of indulgences are the reading of scripture for half an hour daily, for which a partial indulgence is granted, the same is granted for visiting a cemetery with the intention of praying for the dead. Visiting a cemetery during the first eight days in November (the month of the Holy Souls) brings a plenary(full)indulgence. Other examples are the saying of the Rosary, publicly or privately, and the saying of the Stations of the Cross. Indulgences are attached to many prayers and actions.

Such good works must be undertaken to gain the full (plenary) indulgence (remission) or the partial indulgence (remission) of the punishment due for sin. Such punishment; the debt owed for sins that must be paid off to God's Justice either in this life or the next.

Gaining an indulgence:

To gain an indulgence one must be a baptized Catholic, must be in a state of grace; not in mortal sin, and must have confessed and received communion (the sin for which remission of punishment is sought must have been forgiven.) This is covered by regular confession and communion. There must be an intention to gain an indulgence. Indulgences cannot be bought, or transferred to another living person, but they can always be transferred to the dead.

The Church, as Minister of Redemption, grants an indulgence upon death to those who have prayed during their lifetime.

The Church, traditionally, attached a specific number of days to particular prayers/good works (they would attract a set number of days indulgence (remission.)The number of days related to days that would otherwise, at one time in the early Church, have been served as public penance for sins (publicly exhibited penance) and which in turn relates to an amount of time that would have been served in purgatory.

This also, of course, served the purpose of helping to ensure that lives were lived unto the goal of salvation; that the gifts of the Holy Spirit were sought in order to build a strong interior life; all focused on giving glory to God and living by His commandments. And all within a grace bringing sacramental environment; the “sacramental economy” of the Church.

The classification of years and days was abolished following on from Vatican II, in the Indulgentiarum Doctrina (Ist January1967.) Also excluded were a number of the prayers/good works previously included. Many Church groups were affected, for example, confraternities; pilgrimage sites etc. But more general prayers were now included.

The list of prayers and good works to which an indulgence(s) are attached are found in the Enchiridion Indulgentiarum.

The prayers to go with an indulgence that is sought are: The Our Father, The Hail Mary, and the Glory Be. And said “for the intentions of the Holy Father.” In this last era of the world as we know it (and which we have been in for some considerable time) and with all of the complexities that go with this era, indulgence prayers (intentions of the Holy Father) should be said (as I understand it) for the intentions of the highest ranking human in the Church who is in the right ways of the Faith. And for St Peter's intentions.

Note that, because of that foretold in scripture (ii)Thessalonioans(ii) and The Apocalypse, the Church has always taught that She would experience a period of trial just before Our Lord's Second Coming in Judgement. And a very real trial it is!

Indulgences in history.

Much is made of Pope Leo X's actions as concerns indulgences: Pope Leo X (p.1513-21) had judged it acceptable to permit the granting of an indulgence for a financial sacrifice, in certain circumstances; the money raised at that time being for works to buildings in St Peter's Square in Rome.

Indulgences are a beautiful gift to the church; entirely legitimate, and, as Pope, it was for Pope Leo X (and no one else) to determine as to the indulgences he authorized. And Our Lord knows the intention of the giver/indulgence seeker.

We are now very far into the very last times of the world as we know it. Please see this: Guide To Understanding The Apocalypse.
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