NEW YORK – Recent decrees issued by the Vatican office in charge of granting plenary indulgences, and approved by Pope Francis, grant a plenary indulgence to Catholics who participate in the upcoming National Eucharistic Pilgrimage and National Eucharistic Congress.

Archbishop Timothy Broglio, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, announced the news on April 9. A plenary indulgence offers remission of the temporal punishment due to sins already forgiven, which can be applied to oneself or to souls in Purgatory.

“It is with gratitude to the Holy Father that we receive his Apostolic Blessing upon the participants in the National Eucharistic Congress, and for the opportunity for Catholics in our country to obtain a plenary indulgence by participating in the events of the Eucharistic Revival,” Broglio, Archbishop of the Archdiocese for Military Services, USA, said in a statement.

Broglio requested to the Apostolic Penitentiary – the office within the Roman Curia that is charged with granting and use of indulgences as expressions of divine mercy – that a plenary indulgence be granted to those who participate in the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage, and National Eucharistic Congress.

One decree issued by the Apostolic Penitentiary and approved by Pope Francis indicates that the plenary indulgence will be granted to the Christian faithful who participate in the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage at any point between May 17 and July 16. It will also be granted to the elderly, infirm, and all those who cannot leave their homes for a serious reason who participate “in spirit” in the pilgrimage.

A second decree issued by the Apostolic Penitentiary and approved by Pope Francis states that Broglio, or another bishop may impart the Papal Blessing with a plenary indulgence to the Christian faithful who participate in the National Eucharistic Congress.

Both indulgences are granted under the usual conditions of confession, receiving the Eucharist, and praying for the intentions of the Holy Father.

“Through the efforts of the revival over the last two years, we have been building up to the pilgrimage and congress that will offer Catholics a chance to experience a profound, personal revival of faith in the Eucharist,” Broglio said. “Pope Francis continues to encourage and support us as we seek to share Christ’s love with a world that is desperately in need of him.”

In a statement to Crux, Bishop Andrew Cozzens of Crookston, Minnesota, who is the chair of the board of directors of the National Eucharistic Congress, highlighted that the tradition of giving an indulgence for pilgrimages and celebrations is ancient.

“We are grateful to the Holy Father through the Apostolic Penitentiary that offers this blessing to those who are seeking to grow in greater purity of heart through the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage and Congress,” Cozzens said. “These events will be great moments of conversion which this indulgence points to as we seek to be free from the effects of our sins.”

In the words of Broglio, the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage and National Eucharistic Congress are “milestone moments” in the U.S. bishops’ three-year Eucharistic Revival initiative that launched in 2022 and runs through 2025.

The National Eucharistic Pilgrimage kicks off May 19. On that day, 48 Catholics spread out at four separate locations across the country will embark on a two-month pilgrimage to Indianapolis. They will arrive there on July 16, the day before the National Eucharistic Congress begins.

The pilgrimage routes will cover roughly 6,500 miles, and run through 65 dioceses. Event organizers anticipate those 48 Catholics will encounter more than 100,000 fellow Catholics along the way.

The National Eucharistic Congress, meanwhile, is the culmination of the National Eucharistic Revival efforts to date. Scheduled for July 17-21 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, the congress will include daily opportunities for Mass, adoration and confession, as well as notable Catholic speakers. Event organizers expect that 80,000 Catholics will attend. A spokesperson for the Congress told Crux April 11 that so far they have sold more than 30,000 five-day passes.

Following the Congress, the National Eucharistic Revival will continue through 2025. The last year of the initiative has been billed a “Year of Missionary Sending.”

Follow John Lavenburg on Twitter: @johnlavenburg