World Youth Day 2011 runs from August 16 through August 21 in Madrid, Spain. Pope Benedict XVI will arrive on Thursday, August 18, and will celebrate a special public Mass on August 21.
While tens of thousands of young people from around the world are expected to converge on Madrid, many, many more are not able to attend. But now they, and indeed all Catholics, can participate spiritually in World Youth Day, and receive an indulgence for doing so.
On August 11, the Vatican announced that Pope Benedict has authorized two indulgences, one plenary and one partial, for those who take part in World Youth Day (WYD). According to the official WYD site,
- The plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful who devotedly participate at some sacred function or pious exercise taking place during the XXVI World Youth Day in Madrid, including its solemn conclusion, so that, having received the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and being truly repentant, they receive Holy Communion, and devoutly pray according to intentions of His Holiness.
- The partial indulgence is granted to the faithful, wherever they are during the above-mentioned WYD, if, with a contrite spirit, they will raise their prayer to God the Holy Spirit, so that young people are drawn to charity and given the strength to proclaim the Gospel with their life.
So, while those who participate directly in World Youth Day can receive a plenary indulgence (full remission of the temporal punishment for their sins), any Catholic in a state of grace who is repentant of his sins and offers a prayer to the Holy Spirit on behalf of those participating in World Youth Day can receive a partial indulgence.
It's a wonderful opportunity for those of us stuck at home during World Youth Day. You can take advantage of it by praying one of these prayers to the Holy Spirit, or by offering a prayer in your own words.
More on World Youth Day:
- Turning the Tide: World Youth Day 2011
- Official Site of World Youth Day 2011
- Vatican Site for World Youth Day 2011 and Pope Benedict's Apostolic Journey to Spain