On Fridays during Lent, there is a beautiful way to obtain a plenary indulgence: reciting the prayer before a crucifix.

Lent is the time of year when Catholics focus especially on repentance, penance, and the search for reconciliation with God.

In addition to a time of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving in preparation for Holy Week, Lent is also a time when the Church provides different ways to obtain a plenary indulgence.

What is a plenary indulgence?

According to the Manual of Indulgences , a plenary indulgence is the total remission "before God of the temporal punishment for sins, whose guilt is forgiven" and can be earned for oneself or for a deceased relative in purgatory.

Praying the Stations of the Cross, the Holy Rosary, going to Eucharistic Adoration, or reading or listening to the Holy Scriptures are some additional ways to access these treasures of mercy.

However, there is another little-known alternative to obtaining a plenary indulgence on Fridays during Lent: reciting the prayer, "En ego, O bone et dulcissime Iesu," before a crucifix.

According to the Manuel of Indulgences, Fourth Edition, "a plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful who on any of the Fridays of Lent devoutly recite after Communion the prayer, 'En ego, O bone et dulcissime Iesu,' before a crucifix."

Also, a partial indulgence can be obtained if the prayer is recited on another day of the year as thanksgiving after communion.

The Prayer Before a Crucifix to Jesus Christ Crucified ("En ego, O bone et dulcissime Iesu"):

Behold, O kind and most sweet Jesus,
I cast myself upon my knees in thy sight,
and with the most fervent desire of my soul,
I pray and beseech thee that thou wouldst impress upon my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope, and charity, with true contrition for my sins and a firm purpose of amendment; while with deep affection and grief of soul I ponder within myself and mentally contemplate thy five wounds, having before my eyes the words which David the prophet put on thy lips concerning thee: “My hands and my feet they have pierced, they have numbered all my bones.”

In addition to this prayer, to obtain the plenary indulgence, the faithful must also meet three usual conditions.

What are the three usual conditions of a plenary indulgence?

1) Go to Confession
2) Receive Communion
3) Pray for the pope’s intentions (The Church suggests one Our Father and one Hail Mary.)

The individual must also be completely detached from sin to obtain a plenary indulgence. If he or she is not detached, the indulgence becomes partial.

Let us not waste this treasure of mercy!

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