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Indulgences granted on occasion of the 14th World Day of the Sick

The Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI, motivated by the deep desire that human sickness and pain, borne with resignation and offered to the Eternal Father through the Virgin Mary together with the sufferings of her Son the Redeemer, may produce abundant spiritual fruits, and sustained especially by the hope that works and projects of Christian piety and social solidarity for the sick may be encouraged, particularly for those affected by some mental handicap who are more easily marginalized by society and by their own family, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Major Penitentiary on 2 January this year, has disposed that special Indulgences be granted to the faithful as follows, on the occasion of the "14th World Day of the Sick", 11 February 2006, the liturgical Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes, which will culminate in the Eucharistic celebration in the Cathedral of St Francis Xavier in Adelaide, Australia.

A. A Plenary Indulgence is granted to members of the faithful who, on the usual conditions (sacramental Confession, Eucharistic Communion, prayers for the Holy Father's intentions) and in a spirit of total detachment from any inclination to sin, take part devoutly this 11 February in the Cathedral of Adelaide or in any other place established by the ecclesiastical Authority, in any sacred ceremony celebrated to implore from God the aims of the "World Day of the Sick".

The faithful in public hospitals or in any private home who charitably care for the sick as "Good Samaritans", especially those who due to some mental handicap require greater patience, diligence and attention, and, because of their service are unable to take part in the ceremony mentioned above, will obtain the same gift of the Plenary Indulgence if on that Day, at least for a few hours, they generously devote their charitable assistance to the sick as if they were tending Christ the Lord himself (cf. Mt 25: 40), in a spirit of total detachment from any inclination to sin and with the determination to fulfil as soon as possible the conditions required for obtaining the Plenary Indulgence.

Lastly, members of the faithful who, due to sickness, advanced age or other such reasons, are prevented from taking part in the above-mentioned ceremony, will obtain the Plenary Indulgence provided that, in a spirit of total detachment from any inclination to sin, with the intention of fulfilling the usual conditions as soon as possible and the desire to take part in spirit with the Holy Father on that day, they pray devoutly for all the sick and offer their physical and spiritual suffering to God through the Virgin Mary, "Health of the Sick".

B. A Partial Indulgence is granted to all the members of the faithful who, from 9 to 11 February 2006, at any time, address fervent prayers to God with a contrite heart, to implore the above-mentioned aims for the benefit of the sick.

This present Decree is in force for this occasion. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary.

Given in Rome at the Offices of the Apostolic Penitentiary, 18 January 2006, beginning of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Cardinal James Francis Stafford
Major Penitentiary

Fr Gianfranco Girotti, O.F.M. Conv.