Close this search box.

Apostolic Movement

How to receive the Plenary Indulgence on the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly

This Sunday, July 23, you have a special opportunity to renew yourself spiritually. According to a decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary, it is possible to receive a Plenary Indulgence on the World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly.

What is a Plenary Indulgence?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (1471) defines:

“An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints”.

According to the CCC, “the indulgence is partial or plenary according to whether it frees from the temporal punishment due for sins in part or in full”.

In short, it can be said that by receiving a plenary indulgence, a person is totally exempt from the temporal penalties of their sins. These are the penalties they would pay in purgatory.

And, as the Church indicates, “the faithful can gain indulgences for themselves […] or apply them to the deceased”.

The World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly

This commemoration became part of the Church’s calendar in 2021, instituted by Pope Francis. It is celebrated every year on the fourth Sunday of July. In 2023, its motto is “His mercy from generation to generation”.

How to receive the plenary indulgence on Grandparents’ Day

According to the official decree, the Apostolic Penitentiary “grants the plenary indulgence of the heavenly treasures of the Church, under the usual conditions of sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer according to the intentions of the Holy Father, to grandparents, the elderly and all the faithful who, moved by a true spirit of penance and charity, participate on July 23, on the occasion of the III World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly, in the solemn celebration that Pope Francis will preside over in St. Peter’s Basilica, or in various events that will be celebrated throughout the world. The plenary indulgence may also be applied as suffrage for the souls in purgatory.”

In summary, to obtain the indulgence it is necessary to complete the following:

1) Sacramental confession

2) Eucharistic Communion

3) Prayer for the Pope

4) Fulfill one of the following conditions:

a) to participate, on July 23, in the solemn celebration that Pope Francis will preside in St. Peter’s Basilica; or
b) participate in one of the celebrations that will take place throughout the world; or
c) visit in person or virtually through the means of communication, elderly brothers and sisters in need or in difficulty (such as the sick, the abandoned, the disabled…).

How can the elderly receive the indulgence?

The bedridden or disabled elderly will also receive the indulgence by following these indications:

They will be able to obtain the Plenary Indulgence “on condition that they detach themselves from all sin and have the intention of fulfilling the three usual conditions as soon as possible. These people will have to spiritually unite with the celebrations of this World Youth Day offering to the Merciful God their prayers, their sorrows and the sufferings of their lives, especially while the words of the Holy Father and the various celebrations are being broadcast by the media.”

And so that divine grace may be distributed to the various people, the Apostolic Penitentiary asks priests to be prepared to minister to the faithful.

Information from


with your loved ones

Related articles that may interest you

Pope proclaims Jubilee: ‘May hope fill our days!’

At a ceremony in St Peter’s Basilica on Ascension Thursday, Pope Francis solemnly proclaims the upcoming Jubilee Year 2025, consigning the Bull of Indiction – “Spes non confundit. Hope does not disappoint” – to the Archpriests of the Papal Basilicas and representatives of the world’s bishops.

Read More »