Albertus Dei et Apostolice Sedis gratia Maguntinen[sis] [sic] et Magdeburgen[sis] Archiepiscop[us] ac Halberstaten[sis] ecclesiar[m] Administrator, Germanie Primas ... Indulgence
Albert, of Brandenburg, Archbishop and Elector of Mainz, Cardinal, 1490-1545
Indulgences were issued to defray the cost of building the basilica of St. Peter in Rome. Their distribution was often linked to the sacrament of penance, as believers were granted spiritual merits in exchange for financial donations. This particular indulgence, believed to be the only specimen of its kind thus far recovered, was issued specifically to clergy, granting them liturgical benefits in exchange for their contributions. The printing of this indulgence was probably ordered by Johann Tetzel himself and carried out by Melchior Lotter, the Elder, who was also to print an edition of Luther's ninety-five theses. This is the only copy of this edition of this indulgence recovered. J. Tetzel was responsible for the printing of 11 indulgences, issued in 15 editions. This copy was found within a book binding dated 1530, serving as an end paper, by the German bibliographer and Reformation scholar Fritz Beyer in 1937.
Thanks to Mr. C. Gregg Burch for providing financial support to subvene the cost of the indulgence and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans for providing financial support to subvene the publication of the indulgence in facsimile.
Transcription and translation by Dr. Joseph W. Goering, University of Toronto.