Our Holy Father Benedict XVI has decided to establish a special Year for Priests on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the death of St. John Mary Vianney, the Curé d’Ars, a shining example of the priesthood and the model pastor faithful to the service of the people of God.
During this Year for Priests, beginning June 19, 2009, and ending on June 19, 2010, a special indulgence will be given to all priests and to all the faithful people of God:
To the truly repentant priests who, on any day, devoutly recite at least morning Lauds or Vespers before the Blessed Sacrament, exposed for public adoration or replaced in the tabernacle, and who, after the example of St. Vianney, offer themselves with a ready and generous heart for the celebration of the sacraments, especially confession, are mercifully granted the plenary indulgence.
They may also apply it to their deceased brethren in suffrage, if, in conformity with current norms, they receive sacramental confession and the eucharistic banquet and pray for the supreme pontiff’s intentions.
The plenary indulgence is granted to all the faithful who are truly repentant who, in church or chapel, devoutly attend the divine sacrifice of the Mass and offer prayers to Jesus Christ the eternal high priest, for the priests of the church, and any other good work which they have done on that day, so that he may sanctify them and form them in accordance with his heart, as long as they have made expiation for their sins through sacramental confession and prayed in accordance with the supreme pontiff’s intentions.
The plenary indulgence will likewise be granted to the elderly, the sick and all those who, for any legitimate reasons, are confined to their homes, provided they intend to fulfill the three usual conditions as soon as possible.
Lastly, the partial indulgence is granted to all faithful whenever they devoutly recite five Our Fathers and Hail Marys and Glorias, or another expressly approved prayer, in honor of the sacred heart of Jesus, to obtain that priests be preserved in purity and holiness of life.
On the feast of St. John Mary Vianney, and, it is recommended on the first Thursday of the month, throughout the Year for Priests that priests in charge of pastoral care publicly direct these exercises of devotion, to celebrate holy Mass and to hear the confession of the faithful.
Cardinal James Francis Stafford
May 20, 2009