The Jubilee of Mercy

 The Jubilee of the Holy year 2015 was announced by Pope Francisco Bergoglio with the papal bull Misericordiae Vultus and will officially open on the 8th of December, 2015, anniversary of the Immaculate Conception, to end with the liturgical solemnity of Jesus Christ Lord of the Universe, on November 20th, 2016.
The liturgical feast of the Immaculate Conception is dedicated to the Mother of the Redeemer and the Holy Father and will symbolically open the Holy Door on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the conclusion of the Ecumenical Council of the Vatican II.
This is an act that demonstrates how the Church feels the need to keep this event alive.
Later, the Holy Door will be opened in the Cathedral of Rome, S. Peter's Basilica and in the other 3 Papal Basilicas: S. Giovanni in Laterano, S. Maria Maggiore and S. Paolo Fuori le Mura. In all of these, there’s a Holy Door, besides the papal altar.
This tradition was initiated in the year 1423 by Pope Martino V, who opened the Holy Door in the Basilica di S. Giovanni Lateran.

For the first time in the history of the Church, the Pope with his bull Misericordiae Vultus has established that:

“In every particular Church, in the Cathedral that is the Mother Church for all the faithful, or in the Co-Cathedral or in a church with a special meaning, a Door of Mercy shall be opened for the whole Holy Year.”

This means that, even in Sanctuaries, such as the one in Collevalenza, it will be possible to open a Door of Mercy for the whole year, so that anyone who wishes to cross its threshold will be able to find comfort in grace and plenary indulgence.

Merciful like the Father

logo giubileo 2015The Logo of the Jubilee of Mercy, a drawing made by the Jesuit Father Marko I. Rupnik, portrays the Son, who takes the lost man on his shoulders, to demonstrate the love of Christ who brings the mystery of his incarnation to completion through Redemption.

The three concentric ovals highlight the movement of Jesus who wants to turn the man away from the darkness of sin and the death of the soul, saving him.

“Merciful like the Father” (taken from Luke’s Gospel, 6,36) is the motto that suggests to live Mercy by following the example of the Father who asks not to judge and not to condemn, but to forgive and give love and forgiveness without measure (cfr. Lc 6,37-38).

The Deeper Meaning

Why did the Pope dedicate the Jubilee Year of 2015 to Mercy, insisting on its necessity? This is what he says, in a passage of his bull Misericordiare Vultus:

“We need constantly to contemplate the mystery of mercy. It is a wellspring of joy, serenity, and peace. Our salvation depends on it. Mercy: the word reveals the very mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. Mercy: the ultimate and supreme act by which God comes to meet us. Mercy: the fundamental law that dwells in the heart of every person who looks sincerely into the eyes of his brothers and sisters on the path of life. Mercy: the bridge that connects God and man, opening our hearts to the hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness.”

The Pope therefore gives a central role in the Church’s work to the need to act in the name of Mercy, concluding with a beautiful declaration that our Congregation completely agrees with:
“I trust that this Jubilee year celebrating the mercy of God will foster an encounter with these religions and with other noble religious traditions; may it open us to even more fervent dialogue so that we might know and understand one another better; may it eliminate every form of closed-mindedness and disrespect, and drive out every form of violence and discrimination.”

You can be pilgrims of Mercy as well!

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