Plenary indulgence granted to faithful who devoutly receive the blessing
VATICAN CITY — Tens of thousands of faithful and pilgrims gathered in Saint Peter’s Square on Sunday morning to take part in the solemn celebration of Easter Sunday Mass with Pope Francis. Following the liturgy, the Holy Father at noontime delivered his traditional message and blessing Urbi et Orbi — to the City [of Rome] and to the World, from the central Loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica.
The Church grants a plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions, to those who “devoutly receive” the blessing the Pope imparts Urbi et Orbi. The usual conditions for receiving any indulgence are: sacramental confession and Eucharistic communion, and praying for the intentions of the Pope. To gain a plenary indulgence, a person must also exclude any affection for sin, even venial sin.
Since 1985, this indulgence is granted not only to the faithful present in St. Peter’s Square, but also to all those who, though unable to be physically present, “piously follow” the Urbi et Orbi by radio or television.
With the “new media technologies,” this has now been extended to all who receive the blessing via Internet, as expressed in an announcement made by the Cardinal Protodeacon before the blessing is imparted: “His Holiness Pope Francis grants a plenary indulgence in the form laid down by the Church to all the faithful present and to those who receive his blessing by radio, television and the new communications media. Let us ask Almighty God to grant the Pope many years as leader of the Church and peace and unity to the Church throughout the world.”
Here below is the official English translation of the Holy Father’s message Urbi et Orbi.
EASTER URBI ET ORBI MESSAGE
to the City and to the World
5 April 2015
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Jesus Christ is risen!
Love has triumphed over hatred, life has conquered death, light has dispelled the darkness!
Out of love for us, Jesus Christ stripped himself of his divine glory, emptied himself, took on the form of a slave and humbled himself even to death, death on a cross. For this reason God exalted him and made him Lord of the universe. Jesus is Lord!
By his death and resurrection, Jesus shows everyone the way to life and happiness: this way is humility, which involves humiliation. This is the path which leads to glory. Only those who humble themselves can go towards the “things that are above”, towards God (cf. Col 3:1-4). The proud look “down from above”; the humble look “up from below”.
On Easter morning, alerted by the women, Peter and John ran to the tomb. They found it open and empty. Then they drew near and “bent down” in order to enter it. To enter into the mystery, we need to “bend down”, to abase ourselves. Only those who abase themselves understand the glorification of Jesus and are able to follow him on his way.
The world proposes that we put ourselves forward at all costs, that we compete, that we prevail… But Christians, by the grace of Christ, dead and risen, are the seeds of another humanity, in which we seek to live in service to one another, not to be arrogant, but rather respectful and ready to help.
This is not weakness, but true strength! Those who bear within them God’s power, his love and his justice, do not need to employ violence; they speak and act with the power of truth, beauty and love.
From the risen Lord we ask the grace not to succumb to the pride which fuels violence and war, but to have the humble courage of pardon and peace. We ask Jesus, the Victor over death, to lighten the sufferings of our many brothers and sisters who are persecuted for his name, and of all those who suffer injustice as a result of ongoing conflicts and violence.