This Sunday is August 1st, the first Sunday in August, and you will have the special opportunity of gaining the beautiful Portiuncula Indulgence. The Portiuncula Indulgence was given by the Blessed Mother through St. Francis of Assisi in 1221. It is the first plenary indulgence that was ever granted in the Church. “All that is required to gain it is worthily to receive the Sacraments of Penance and of the Blessed Eucharist and to say in a church of the Franciscans, or in the parish church, the customary prayers for an indulgence…One who gains the Portiuncula indulgence is freed from all temporal punishments and becomes as pure as after holy baptism.” I’d say that was a pretty good deal.
To receive this Indulgence you need to:
- Go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation within 8 days before or after the first Sunday of August.
- With a contrite heart, go to a parish church and attend Mass and receive the Blessed Sacrament on the First Sunday of August.
- Pray the Our Father, the Apostles Creed, and a prayer of your choice for the intentions of the pope. Here are some Beautiful Prayers you can use for this occasion.
I first heard of this indulgence listening to an old podcast by Franciscan Friar, Fr. Seraphim Beshoner of Catholic Under the Hood. You can listen to this on your iPod, any mp3 player, or just on your computer. He has some good information there. Other good sources of the entire story behind this indulgence can be found at the FriarsMinor.org site and Penitents.org.