An indulgence is defined in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (n. 1471) as “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”.
This means that in gaining an indulgence, God, through His Church, removes some of the punishment that is due to you, as He sees fit. A plenary indulgence can be gained only once a day and means He removes ALL the punishments due to you but you must fulfil the following conditions: The faithful must
· be in the state of grace;
· have the interior disposition of complete detachment from sin, even venial sin;
· have sacramentally confessed their sins (in confession);
· receive the Holy Eucharist (it is better to receive Our Saviour during Holy Mass, but for the indulgence only Holy Communion is required);
· pray for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff.