Loading
October 11, 2011
The ABC’s and D’s of indulgences
By Father Rocky Hoffman *

By Father Rocky Hoffman *

Does anyone remember the A-B-C-D indulgences that could be placed on rosaries when they were blessed?  This dates back to the fifties and I haven't heard of them since.  A, B, C, D stood for:  Apostolic, Benedictine, Carmelite and Dominican I believe.  Would love it if this practice was reinstated. 

I was born in 1959 and I never heard of it, but perhaps some of our readers have.  I do know that the practice and specification of indulgences was streamlined and simplified as a result of the Second Vatican Council (“Enchiridion Indulgentiarum,” June 29, 1968), but the fundamental strategy remains the same:  the Church wants to promote salutary spiritual practices and devotions, and for that reason she adds the ‘incentive’ of an indulgence to something we should be doing anyway.
 
The Church distinguishes between partial and plenary indulgences, which bear on the remission of temporal punishment due to our sins.  Four practices are specifically promoted for our own welfare:  recitation of the Rosary in family, a half hour of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, the Stations of the Cross, and a half hour of reading of Sacred Scripture.  Each practice merits a plenary indulgence.

As for the ABC and D’s you mention, here’s my take: “A” is for apostolic and an Apostolic indulgence is one conceded by the Holy See, especially when the Holy Father blesses the rosary during an audience; the Benedictine, Carmelite and Dominican indulgences (B,C,D), are special and unique to those religious orders and the lay faithful who are associated with those orders by way of third orders.
 
On Father Thompson, O.P’s website we read this claim:  “Until the promulgation of “Inter Oecumenici” in 1964, the blessing of rosaries was a reserved blessing, and only priests of the Dominican Order could bless them. That is why the older Roman Rituals did not contain a blessing for rosaries. Today any priest or deacon may bless a rosary using formulas in use from 1964 to 1984 or the formula found in the new “Liber Benedictionum” of 1984 (LB 506).”  That’s news to me.
 
While the plethora of categories of indulgences in vogue during the 50s may summon pious nostalgia, the graces and indulgences remain the same: plenary if you pray the rosary with two or more people, and partial if you pray it by yourself.  But then, in that case, you just might want to invite your guardian angel to pray it with you and ask our dear Lord if such angelic company qualifies for the plenary indulgence. 
 
Finally, remember, five conditions are required for gaining the plenary indulgence:  1. pray the rosary in family; 2.  Mass and Communion that week; 3.  Confession that week; 4.  pray for the Pope; and finally, the clincher is 5.  be completely detached from any desire to sin.
 
Have at it!  And please remember me in your daily rosary.

Rev. Francis J. Hoffman, JCD (Fr. Rocky) is Executive Director of Relevant Radio.  Ordained as a priest for Opus Dei in 1992 by Blessed John Paul II, he holds a doctorate in Canon Law from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, an MBA from the University of Notre Dame, and a BA in History from Northwestern University.  His Question and Answer column appears in several Catholic newspapers and magazines across the country.

« Previous entry     Back to index     Next entry »
Ads by Google
(What's this?)
blog comments powered by Disqus

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
23

Liturgical Calendar

April 23, 2014

Wednesday within the Octa ve of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:8-15

Gospel
Date
04/22/14
04/21/14
04/20/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 3:1-10
Gospel:: Lk 24:13-35

Saint of the Day

St. Adalbert of Prague »

Saint
Date
04/21/14
04/20/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 28:8-15

Homily
Date
04/22/14
04/21/14
04/20/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: