Creche Indulgence
Plenary Indulgence

What is the Christmas Creche and why is it important this year?

This year the Franciscan family and Catholics around the world celebrated both the 800th anniversary of St. Francis' Rule of 1223 as well as the 800th anniversary of Francis' first reenactment of the Nativity scene, also called a creche, at Greccio. As a result, the Conference of the Franciscan Family requested that Pope Francis approve a special plenary indulgence "in order to promote the spiritual renewal of the faithful and increase the life of grace."

The Apostolic Penitentiary granted the request allowing the faithful to receive a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions. The indulgence may be gained from December 8, 2023 through February 2, 2024.

What is a plenary indulgence?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (n.1471) defines an indulgence in this way: "An indulgence is 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." An indulgence can be either partial or plenary (full).

How do I gain this plenary indulgence?

The gaining of an indulgence requires various prescribed conditions and prescribed works. First, it is necessary that the faithful be in the state of grace at least at the time the indulgenced work is completed. The other conditions are as follows:

  1. Receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation (confession within 20 days of the indulgenced act)
  2. Receive Holy Communion (again, within 20 days of the indulgenced act)
  3. Pray for the intentions of the Holy Father
  4. Have the interior disposition of complete detachment from sin, even venial sin
  5. Pray and venerate the Christmas Creche (Nativity scene) at a Franciscan church. Prayers should include the Our Father, the Profession of Faith and invocations to the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, Joseph and St. Francis of Assisi.

Those who are ill or unable to physically be present at a Nativity scene, may obtain the indulgence by offering up their sufferings to the Lord and carrying out practices of piety. It is also important to note that indulgences can always be applied either to oneself or to the souls of the deceased, but they cannot be applied to other persons living on earth.

Where can I gain this plenary indulgence?

The faithful may gain this plenary indulgence by praying and venerating the Christmas Creche (Nativity scene) at any Church run by Franciscan families throughout the world. The following is a list of Capuchin Franciscan churches within our province:

Annunciation Catholic Church
3601 Humboldt St, Denver, Colorado 80205

Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church
2715 E Pikes Peak Ave, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80909

The Catholic Center at the Citadel Mall
750 Citadel Dr. E #3056, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80909

St. Fidelis Basilica
900 Cathedral Ave, Victoria, Kansas 67671

St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church
1234 Kentucky St., Lawrence, Kansas 66044

St. Aloysius Catholic Church
615 E Wyandotte St, Meriden, Kansas 6651

St. Theresa Catholic Church
203 E 3rd St, Perry, KS 66073

Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church
1214 Stonewall St., San Antonio, Texas 78211

St. Joseph Catholic Church
535 New Laredo Hwy, San Antonio, Texas 78211