By Olivia Obijiaku
A Resident Priest in Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish Fegge Onitsha, Rev Fr Anthony Igwenagu has named knowledge, intention and right state as the three basic conditions for the reception of indulgence. The priest who presided over the last Mass of All Souls in the parish, Thursday, 2nd November 2023 distinguished between partial and plenary indulgence, listing studying the Bible for thirty minutes, praying the Rosary under certain circumstances as some of the channels of plenary indulgence.
“Partial indulgence is partial absolution from consequence that awaits someone in purgatory ” He catechised. “Plenary indulgence is total absolution of the sufferings that are awaiting for someone in purgatory. In order to receive indulgence, you must know that the prayer has indulgence, you must have the intention of receiving indulgence through the prayer and. you must be in the state of grace when saying the prayer. If you say the prayer when you are not in the state of grace, you have to make effort to be in the state of grace within two weeks from the day of prayer or you will not receive any of the indulgence. You can receive plenary indulgence when you study the Bible for thirty minutes, when you pray the Rosary with the religious and when you pray the Rosary as a family. But it is only those who meet the necessary conditions who receive the indulgence.”
On his part, the Parish Vicar and homlist at the Mass, Rev Fr Peter Areh charged the participants to make the most of praying for the dead for the souls in purgatory and for themselves. He defended that even though there is no repentance in the grave, the mercy of God knows no bounds just as His hands not short to save.
His words. “The Church teaches that we receive indulgence by praying for the dead. And this is very simple. Visit the chapel and pray ‘Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be to the Father.’ It is possible that if you continue this way, you can release one or two souls from purgatory because in that state, they can no longer help themselves. They are counting on you and me. So, why not make use of this opportunity to pray for them and get your indulgence too? It is for your own good. The Church gives us many gifts, so you will blame yourself if you do not make it to heaven. Make sure you avail yourself of every opportunity to save your soul. Go for confession, go and pray for them in the chapel and receive your indulgence. “