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Frequently Asked Questions

Experts answer questions based on Church teachings, the Bible, and more.


Q. How can I explain to my parishioners the difference between the plenary indulgence available to the faithful on Divine Mercy Sunday, and the extraordinary graces of Divine Mercy Sunday mentioned in St. Faustina's Diary?

A. It is important to remember that both are available to your parishioners on Mercy Sunday.

The plenary indulgence for Mercy Sunday was something granted by the Church, whereas the special graces offered on Divine Mercy Sunday mentioned in St. Faustina's Diary were promised to the faithful through a revelation from Jesus Christ given to St. Faustina (Diary, 699).

Moreover, a plenary indulgence can only be received if the indulgenced acts (e.g., going on pilgrimage, or reciting special prayers) are undertaken out of pure love for God; otherwise the indulgence is only partial. The extraordinary grace of Divine Mercy Sunday, however, was promised to all those who receive Holy Communion on Divine Mercy Sunday in a state of grace, with trust in God's merciful love. Furthermore, a plenary indulgence can be obtained for oneself, or for the poor souls suffering in purgatory, whereas the special grace promised by our Lord for Divine Mercy Sunday can only be received for oneself.

Finally, a plenary indulgence removes any temporal punishment still remaining for sins already forgiven, whereas the extraordinary grace that our Lord promised to devout communicants on Mercy Sunday amounts to a complete renewal of baptismal grace in the soul.

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