Many have never heard of the pardon crucifix or the incredible graces attached to it.
Most sites online present a deluge of misleading claims about this sacramental.
The pardon crucifix is an incredibly powerful spiritual tool. I personally keep it on me at all times. A common misconception is indulgences attached to it. When it first was propagated, the pardon crucifix was attached to many powerful indulgences including:
- Whoever carries on his person the Pardon Crucifix, may thereby gain an indulgence.
- For devoutly kissing the Crucifix, an indulgence is gained.
- Whoever says one of the following invocations before this crucifix may gain each time an indulgence: “Our Father who art in heaven, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” “I beg the Blessed Virgin Mary to pray to the Lord our God for me.”
- Whoever, habitually devout to this Crucifix, will fulfill the necessary conditions of Confession and Holy Communion, may gain a Plenary Indulgence on the following feasts: On the feasts of the Five Wounds of our Lord, the Invention of the Holy Cross, the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, the Immaculate Conception, and the Seven Sorrows (Dolors) of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
- Whoever, at the moment of death, fortified with the Sacraments of the Church, or contrite of heart, in the supposition of being unable to receive them, will kiss this Crucifix and ask pardon of God for his sins, and pardon his neighbor, will gain a Plenary Indulgence.
Most websites explaining or selling the pardon cruxific list the above with no disclaimer. According to the current Enchiridion Of Indulgences the above indulgences are no longer in effect. These practices, however, still grant those who use them many graces. In addition, these following indulgences do apply to any crucifix:
- The faithful, who devoutly use an article of devotion (crucifix or cross, rosary, scapular or medal) properly blessed by any priest, obtain a partial indulgence.
- To the faithful in danger of death who cannot be assisted by a priest to bring them the sacraments and impart the apostolic blessing with its attendant plenary indulgence (according to canon 468, 2 of the Code of Canon Law) Holy Mother Church nevertheless grants a plenary indulgence to be acquired at the point of death, provided they are properly disposed and have been in the habit of reciting some prayers during their lifetime. To use a crucifix or cross in connection with the acquisition of this plenary indulgence is a laudable practice.
Today’s effective indulgences are listed in the Apostolic Penitentiary’s Enchiridion of Indulgences, in addition to those declared by the Holy Father. (The Apostolic Penitentiary is a department within the Vatican responsible for items relating to the forgiveness of sins).
This is not to say that the pardon crucifix is not a beautiful and worthy sacramental to bring into one’s life. It is, but one must be careful not to use it as a tool in a fruitless quest for indulgences. Indulgences are a wonderful gift from Christ and His Church, but without a genuine pursuit of His Heart we might find ourselves lost. Indulgence’s and sacramentals should be used as a tool as we seek to draw closer to Christ, or should be applied to other souls needing Christ’s grace.