The Holy Year of Mercy
Pope Francis has officially proclaimed an upcoming extraordinary jubilee year of mercy which will begin on December 8th, the feast of the Immaculate Conception and will close on November 1, 2016, the feast of All Saints. Pope Francis also notes that December 8th will mark the 50th anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Council.
The Pope will begin the process of this holy year on December 8th by opening the special Holy Door at St. Peter's Basilica. He hopes that with its opening, the door "will become a Door of Mercy through which anyone who enters will experience the love of God who consoles, pardons, and instills hope."
A jubilee year is a special year called by the church to receive blessing and pardon from God and remission of sins. The Catholic Church has called jubilee years every 25 or 50 years since the year 1300 and has also called special jubilee years from time to time, known as extraordinary jubilee years.
To emphasize the special year is just not for those able to come to Rome, the Pope is asking every diocese to identify a similar "Door of Mercy" at a cathedral or other special churches to be opened during the year.
On December 13th at the noon Mass, Msgr. Burkard opened and blessed a "Door of Mercy" at the Basilica. Pilgrims from all over are invited to the Basilica, to enter through the Holy Door, and to pray for God's mercy, and to pray that they learn mercy toward others. Throughout the coming Holy Year, there will be special services centering on mercy at the Basilica. And, the Holy Year will come to a conclusion with the closing of the Holy Year Door, on the Feast of All Saints, November 1, 2016. All are, of course, invited to come and pray at the Our Lady of Victory Shrine.
The official logo and motto of the Holy Year of Mercy, Merciful Like the Father, is taken from the Gospel of Luke, 6:36 (Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful) and serves as an invitation to follow the merciful example of the Father who asks to follow the example of Luke 6:37-38 "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven". The logo is the work of Jesuit Father Marko I. Rupnik and is designed to express the way in which the Good Shepherd touches the flesh of humanity and does so with a love and power to change one's life.
To learn more about the Holy Year of Mercy you can visit the Jubilee of Mercy website by clicking here.
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