1. Why are indulgences only granted by the Pope during certain occasions or feast days?
  2. Why does the Pope have rights to grant indulgences?
  3. Can I obtain an indulgence by doing all the requirements of indulgence during ordinary days without being granted by the Pope?

First of all, there are many ways to obtain an indulgence. Only a very selective group of indulgences are limited to particular days. Many of them can be applied every day. Here are some examples:

  • pray the Rosary with a group in a church or a public oratory
  • read and meditate on the Bible devoutly for half an hour
  • keep a holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament
  • visit a Church or a shrine on the feast day of its namesake; e.g., visit St. Joseph’s Church on St. Joseph’s feast day.

An indulgence is a gift of God’s remission on the temporal punishment even after our sins have been forgiven. This is because our sins have two effects: they damage our relationships with God, self, others and nature, but also deprive the world of God’s blessings that would have come through us. Confession heals the relationship, but we must continue to repair the harm our sins caused.

An indulgence is the Church applying the merits stored up from Jesus’ Passion and the merits of all the saints, to pay up the reparation still unfinished by a soul. This responsibility has been entrusted to the Pope. He alone therefore has the jurisdiction to regulate it.