Rome (AsiaNews) Pope Benedict XVI has issued a plenary indulgence for tomorrow, Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vatican Council II.
"On this Solemnity," the decree reads, "when the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI will be paying a public tribute of praise to the Immaculate Virgin, he deeply desires that the heart of the whole Church be united with him so that all the faithful, gathered in the name of our common Mother, may be further strengthened in the Faith, bound with greater devotion to Christ, and love their brothers and sisters with more fervent charity: as the Second Vatican Council taught with great wisdom, this results in works of mercy for the indigent, the observance of justice, and the defence and search for peace."
According to the decree, to receive the indulgence, in addition to the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayers according to then intentions of the Supreme Pontiff), the faithful, "in a spirit that is completely detached from affection for any sin", must participate in the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception "in a sacred rite in its honour or at least offer an open witness of Marian devotion before an image of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception", displayed for public veneration, adding the recitation of the Our Father and the Creed and exclamatory invocations to Mary Immaculate, such as "You are All Fair, Mary, and in you there is no stain of original sin!", or "O Queen, conceived without original sin, pray for us!".
"[A]ll the faithful who are prevented from participation by ill health or by another just cause, may obtain on that same day the same gift of the Plenary Indulgence at home or wherever they may be, as long as, with their minds detached from any sin and with the resolution to fulfil the above-mentioned conditions as soon as possible, they are united with spiritual resolve and desire with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff in prayer to Mary Immaculate and recite the Our Father and the Creed."