This Christmas season, Catholics can receive a plenary indulgence by praying in front of a nativity scene located in a Franciscan church.
The indulgence will be available from December 8th, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, through February 2, 2024, the Feast of the Presentation in the Temple of our Lord Jesus Christ. Those wishing to receive the indulgence must pray in front of a nativity scene at a Franciscan church.
Catholics gathered at the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi on October 4 to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the approval of the Rule of St. Francis. As part of the celebration, the Conference of the Franciscan Family announced that they were asking Pope Francis to approve this indulgence.
“In order to promote the spiritual renewal of the faithful and increase the life of grace, we ask that the faithful receive plenary indulgence under the usual conditions. From December 8, 2023, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to February 2, 2024, the Feast of the Presentation in the Temple of Our Lord Jesus Christ, by visiting the churches run by Franciscan families throughout the world and stopping in prayer in front of the nativity scenes set up there,” the conference wrote to Pope Francis.
The pope accepted the request, acknowledging that Catholics will be able to receive the plenary indulgence under normal circumstances.
A plenary indulgence is a grace granted by the Catholic Church that removes the temporal punishment due to sin. When one receives an indulgence, it always washes away all temporal punishment, but it must be accompanied by a detachment from sin.
In order to receive a plenary indulgence, one must have a detachment from all sin, including venial; receive the Holy Eucharist and the sacrament of confession within 20 days of praying in front of a nativity scene. In addition, those attempting to receive the indulgence must pray for the intentions of the Holy Father.
“We ask you to share this “privilege” in all our locations, which fits in well with the special relationship that was established between Saint Francis and the Church when he asked the Pope for the indulgence of those who visited the Porziuncola, and we hope that It will be an opportunity for communion and spiritual renewal for every brother and sister. in the entire Franciscan family,” said the conference in a statement.
In 1223, St. Francis created the first nativity scene in Greccio, Italy, to marvel at the mystery of the incarnation.