How to obtain a plenary indulgence at death


One of the ways in which the Church is most evidently a loving Mother is in the dispensation of indulgences, which encourage us to devotions most helpful to our salvation. 

There are ten plenary indulgences to be gained at the hour of death: 

The FIRST Of these ten, one most unusual indulgence can be gained NOW, and it will apply automatically at the moment of death: “The faithful who at any time in their lives, from a sincere spirit of love of God and with at least a contrite heart, express their intention of accepting calmly and gladly from the hand of God whatsoever manner of death it may please Him to send them, together with all its anguish and suffering.” 

O Lord my God, I now, at this moment, readily and willingly accept at Your hands whatever kind of death it may please You to send me, will all its pains, penalties and sorrows. Amen.

  When we realize that a plenary indulgence is the application by the Chuch of the Infinite treasury of Christ to the COMPLETE REMISSION OF ALL TEMPORAL PUNISHMENT DUE TO OUR SINS, we ought to immediately express our deepest gratitude to Almighty God for this wonderful gift of His mercy!

There are nine other ways to obtain a plenary indulgence at the hour of death, but all of them necessitate Confession and Communion shortly before death or at least a contrite heart, and the invocation of the name of Jesus verbally if possible while at the same time accepting death as the wage of sin. 

Of these nine ways, eight require daily, or at least “frequent”, recitation throughout life of certain prayers. 

EIGHT OF THESE ARE:


1. “May the most just, the most high and the most lovable will of God be in all things done, praised and evermore exalted.” 


2. The Acts of Faith, Hope, Charity and Contrition (all four); 

ACT OF FAITH

O MY GOD, I firmly believe that Thou art one God in Three Divine Persons, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. I believe that Thy Divine Son became Man, and died for our sins, and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived. 

ACT OF HOPE

O MY GOD, relying on Thy almighty power and infinite mercy and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of Thy grace, and Life Everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer. 

ACT OF CHARITY

O MY GOD, I love Thee above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because Thou art all-good and worthy of all love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of Thee. I forgive all who have injured me, and ask pardon of all whom I have injured. 

ACT OF CONTRITION

O MY GOD, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell; but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.


3. “Jesus”; 


4. “Mary”; 


5. Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, . . . 


6. “We fly to thy patronage, O holy Mother of God; despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O glorious and blessed Virgin.” 


7. “Angel of God, my Guardian dear, to whom His love commits me here; ever this day (or night) be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide, Amen.” 


8. (a) “The faithful who spend at least a quarter of an hour reading Holy Scripture with the reverence due to the Word of God and after the manner of spiritual reading, or 

(b) “who read at least a few verses of the Gospel and further kiss the book of the Gospels, devoutly reciting one of the following invocations: Through the Gospel’s words may our sins be blotted out—–May the reading of the Gospel be our health and protection—–May Christ, the Son of God, teach us the words of the Holy Gospel.” 

The TENTH 

The last way to gain a plenary indulgence at the hour of death can be obtained by doing something only ONCE DURING LIFE. If we have done this one thing, then, for invoking the name of Jesus with a contrite heart and with resignation to death as wage of sin, we may obtain a plenary indulgence at the moment of death. 

This one thing is to perform some special exercises of devotion in honor of the Immaculate Virgin Mary ON THE FIRST SATURDAY OF THE MONTH, in order to atone for blasphemies whereby the name and prerogatives of the same blessed Virgin are reviled, FOR EIGHT CONSECUTIVE MONTHS.


Moreover, each time that we make this practice we gain a plenary indulgence. This was proclaimed on June 13th, 1912, just five years to the day before Our Lady of Fatima appeared for the second time. 

In her apparitions Our Lady asked for reparation to her on the First Saturday of the month, and promised to COME AT THE HOUR OF DEATH to those who would do a certain thing on the first Saturday for ONLY FIVE consecutive months, namely: Say the Rosary, receive Holy Communion in a spirit of reparation, and spend fifteen minutes thinking about one or more mysteries of the Rosary. 


Three years after the apparitions of Fatima, Pope Benedict XV, without taking away the plenary indulgence each time anyone made an act of reparation in honor of Our Lady on a First Saturday, added the PLENARY INDULGENCE AT THE HOUR OF DEATH for those who would renew the practice on eight consecutive first Saturdays. 

Does it not seem that this devotion of the “First Saturdays” has more importance than some of us are wont to attach to it? 

And it is so easy! Just fifteen minutes of thought, which might even be made and related to attending Mass; the Rosary; and Holy Communion. 


Extraordinary, isn’t it? 

Why don’t you begin . . .

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