Extraordinary Ubi et Orbi blessing by Pope Francis

Tomorrow Friday, 27 March, at 5.00pm Irish time, the Holy Father Pope Francis will preside over an extraordinary global celebration (Statio orbis) of prayer.  It will take place on the sagrato of Saint Peter’s Basilica, Rome, the platform at the top of the steps immediately in from of the façade of the church.  The ceremony will consist of readings from the Scriptures, prayers of supplication, and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament; and will conclude with Pope Francis giving his Urbi et Orbi (to the City [of Rome] and to the world) blessing.  During this prayer ceremony the Pope will grant to participants all over the world a plenary indulgence in the context of the Coronavirus.

Archbishop Eamon Martin said, “In the midst of this horrendous COVID19 pandemic, I thank the Holy Father for his compassion, hope and solidarity by leading us in prayer with an extraordinary Urbi et Orbi blessing on Friday.  This blessing will be a very significant celebration of the mercy of God towards humanity, especially in these current and trying circumstances.  Pope Francis is encouraging us all to pray incessantly, and the plenary indulgence will be available to those sick with the Coronavirus, their families, healthcare workers and for all working at the front line exposing themselves to the risk of contagion by following the example of the Good Samaritan.”

Archbishop Eamon continued, “I gratefully acknowledge our national public service broadcaster, RTÉ, for facilitating the live broadcast of Pope Francis’ extraordinary Urbi et Orbi blessing at 5.00pm tomorrow on its News Now channel (6.00pm Rome time).  Urbi et Orbi is very a significant blessing which normally is only given by Pope Francis on Christmas and Easter.  The wide dissemination of his important message and blessing will be welcomed by the many, many people throughout Ireland as an opportunity to avail ourselves of Divine Grace.  I encourage everyone to watch this special broadcast.”

Plenary Indulgence

Plenary Indulgence is granted to the faithful suffering from Coronavirus, and to those caring for the sick and who are trying to contain and prevent the virus, if they unite spiritually through the media to the celebration of Mass, the recitation of the Holy Rosary, the practice of the Way of the Cross or other forms of devotion, or if they will recite the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer and a pious invocation to the Blessed Virgin Mary, offering this trial in a spirit of faith in God and charity towards their brothers and sisters, with the will to fulfil the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer according to the Holy Father’s intentions), as soon as possible.  The conditions for this plenary indulgence are set out here:  http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2020/03/20/200320c.html

Obtaining an indulgence 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, states:

1478: An indulgence is obtained through the Church, who by virtue of the power of binding and loosing granted her by Christ Jesus, intervenes in favour of individual Christians and opens for them the treasury of the merits of Christ and the saints to obtain from the Father of mercies the remission of the temporal punishments due for their sins.  Thus the Church does not want simply to come to the aid of these Christians, but also to spur them to works of devotion, penance and charity.

1479: Since the faithful departed now being purified are also members of same communion of saints, one way we can help them is to obtain indulgences for them, so that the temporal punishments due for their sins may be remitted.