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What is the Plenary Indulgence?

The next Jacobean Holy Year is just around the corner, and one of the things we will be able to “win” in 2021 will be, the Plenary Indulgence. Let’s discover what it is and how we can obtain it when we arrive at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela during the Holy Year 2021.

What is the Plenary Indulgence?

In Catholic theology, the Plenary Indulgence is considered in relation to the concepts of sin and penance. By the term sin, we refer to any voluntary action or omission against the commandments, that is, the law of God. On the other hand, penance consists of the penalty that sinners have to suffer in order to purge themselves of their sins.

The first examples of the practice of the Plenary Indulgence go back to the third century. The Plenary Indulgence can be granted by the Pope, the bishops or the cardinals to all Christians “vere penitentibus et confessis”, which means “truly repentant and confessed”. In this way, temporary punishment obtains a remission. This does not mean that the sin itself is forgiven, but that the faithful are exempted from the penalties that they would otherwise have paid with the sufferings in this life or with a time in purgatory.



Through the Church, which grants the Plenary Indulgence, all Christians can thus come closer to heaven by “winning the Jubilee” and thus avoid the penalty for sins committed and confessed until that moment. This gift that God gives to his faithful, though guilty of sin, is a demonstration of the philosophy of forgiveness that is at the base of the Catholic religion.

How can I earn the Plenary Indulgence?

Also, you can obtain only one Plenary Indulgence a day. To obtain a Plenary Indulgence, certain requirements must be met:

  1. Once the Way has been completed, when arriving in Santiago de Compostela, the faithful must visit the Tomb of the Apostle in the Cathedral of Santiago.
  2. Pray for the intentions of the Pope (Our Father or Creed).
  3. Go to confession (at most 15 days before or 15 days after the visit to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela) and receive the sacrament of Eucharistic Communion (one for each indulgence).
  4. Attend Holy Mass once they arrive in Santiago de Compostela.



Plenary Indulgence


All pilgrims who arrive in Compostela and fulfill the above conditions with sincerity and faith will automatically obtain the Plenary Indulgence.

How can I win the Plenary Indulgence for a deceased person?

The Plenary Indulgence is applicable to oneself or can be won for the soul of a deceased loved one, but cannot be passed on to another living being. If you want to ask for a Plenary Indulgence for a deceased person, so that he can leave purgatory, you must meet the same requirements as for the Plenary Indulgence, that is:

  • Visit a church or an oratory and pray the Creed and an Our Father for the Pope’s intentions.
  • Go to confession and receive the sacrament of Eucharistic Communion.
  • Attend the Mass.



Plenary indulgence xacobeo 2021

Walk the Camino in 2021 and get the Plenary Indulgence

At Galiwonders we believe that doing the Way of Saint James during the Holy Year is a unique occasion. You will be able to obtain the Plenary Indulgence after finishing your itinerary and share this moment with thousands of other faithful. Discover our 20 reasons for doing the Way in the Xacobean Year 2021 in this post and tell us what your reasons are.

For finding out the best itinerary for you to undertake in next Holy Year 2021, please do not hesitate in contacting us to receive an offer. At Galiwonders, we are your Local Experts on the Camino de Santiago.



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