What is the Jubilee Year of Mercy?
On March 13, 2015, Pope Francis declared that the Church will celebrate an extraordinary jubilee Holy Year of Mercy beginning Dec. 8, 2015, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, and ending Nov. 20, 2016, the feast of Christ the King.
“I have often thought about how the Church might make clear its mission of being a witness to mercy,” the pontiff said during a homily at a Vatican reconciliation service. “It is a journey that begins with a spiritual conversion. For this reason, I have decided to call an extraordinary jubilee that is to have the mercy of God at its center. It shall be a Holy Year of Mercy. We want to live this year in the light of the Lord’s words: ‘Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful’ (Lk 6:36).”
His Holiness is asking the Church in this Jubilee Year to rediscover the richness encompassed by the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. In his announcement of this special year, Pope Francis said, “I hope the Church will be able to find in this Jubilee the joy of rediscovering and rendering fruitful God’s mercy, with which we are all called to give comfort to every man and every woman of our time.”