Yesterday, Pope Francis made a special address and gave a special blessing called Urbi et Orbi. Typically this solemn blessing is made at Easter and Christmas each year. This year however, an empty St. Peter's square and empty basilica are the backdrop to a prayer that has become a plea to God for respite from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Indeed Pope Francis has dispensed some of the normal conditions for receiving a plenary indulgence, which is imparted as part of the blessing. One merely must participate in the prayer and have the intention of receiving it as well as praying for the intentions of the Pope. In this case we are praying for the end to the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are two effects of sin: on one hand a broken relationship with God, on the other hand our sins damage the world and our relationships with others. As we know, Confession forgives the guilt of sin and heals the division created by sin between our hearts and Jesus. An indulgence is typically a prayer or act that the Church describes as beneficial in healing the worldly (temporal) damage made by our sins. That by our prayers and acts of piety we may inwardly be transformed from ways of error.
You can watch here this beautiful address and prayer:
Husband, father, parish leader, and life-long student. Reflecting and contemplating on life as it comes at us. All glory and praise to Jesus Christ King of Kings! May the Mother of Jesus intercede for us all, and Saint Joseph lead us in ways most pleasing to our Heavenly Father.