Did you know that on the 13th day of every month from May through October, 2017, Catholics can obtain an Indulgence in honor of the 100-year anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima?
First, a quick refresher on the Blessed Virgin Mary’s messages at Fatima, delivered to the three shepherd children, recently canonized Sts. Francisco and Jacinta Marto, and their cousin, Servant of God Lucia Santos:
The 13th of the Month Fatima Indulgence
Pope Francis declared that a Plenary Indulgence will be granted “to the pious faithful who visit with devotion an image of Our Lady of Fatima solemnly displayed for public veneration in any church, oratory or adequate place, during the days of the anniversary of the apparitions, and devotedly participate there in any celebration or prayer in honor of the Virgin Mary, pray the Our Father, recite the symbol of faith (i.e. the Nicene or Apostles Creed) and invoke (i.e. pray to) Our Lady of Fatima.” (source: Marians of the Immaculate Conception).
Furthermore, to be eligible for an indulgence, apart from the specifics (in this case, listed above for these 13th of the month days), one must:
– Be in a state of grace (have confessed any mortal sins).
– Have the interior disposition of complete detachment from sin (even venial).
– Have gone to Confession within 8 days before or after (other sources say within 20 days, but why not aim for the smaller window?).
– Receive Holy Communion (preferably in the context of attending Holy Mass).
– Pray for the intentions of the Holy Father (usually what I do is offer an Our Father, a Hail Mary, and a Glory Be for the Pope’s intentions that month as a form of closure to the indulgence effort. You can find the Holy Father’s official monthly intentions here.).
What is an indulgence, you ask? The short answer (from the Catholic Encyclopedia) is that an Indulgence is: “extra-sacramental remission of the temporal punishment due, in God’s justice, to sin that has been forgiven.” The word ‘plenary‘ means full, whereas a partial indulgence is just that – partial. For a more thorough treatment on indulgences, check out the Catholic Encyclopedia at NewAdvent.org.
More on Indulgences from The Vatican.
Finally, we recommend checking out your home diocese’s website and/or any Marian apostolates near you to see how they might be publicly commemorating the Jubilee Year of Fatima, in particular these 13th-of-the-month days. If you are truly blessed, you might even have access to something like what you see in the video above, taking Our Lady of Fatima to the streets in a most fitting and beautiful effort from Chicago’s St. John Cantius Church.