At a press conference held this morning at the Holy See Press Office on the Holy Year of Mercy, Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, shared new developments with the press on what to expect.
This Extraordinary Jubilee, announced by Pope Francis on April 11, starts Dec. 8 on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, the day on which the Holy Door of Saint Peter’s Basilica will be opened, and ends Nov. 20, 2016, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. Between the two dates, a calendar of various events is being developed, he noted.
The Vatican official encouraged those gathered to re-read the Bull of Indiction of the Jubilee, Misericordiae vultus, in which Pope Francis details the aims of the Holy Year.
On how to stay posted on Holy Year developments, he noted the official website for the Jubilee has already been launched: www.iubilaeummisericordiae.va, saying it can also be accessed at www.im.va. Available in seven languages--Italian, English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, and Polish--, the site provides official information regarding the calendar of the major public events, information for participating in the events with the Holy Father, and all of the official communications regarding the Jubilee.
Moreover, through the site, dioceses will be able to receive information and pastoral suggestions, register pilgrimage groups, and relay to us their local diocesan projects. The website uses a number of social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus and Flickr) through which, he said, the Vatican will be able to provide updates on the Pope's initiative and follow in real time the major events as they take place.
He added that they are studying the possibility of an app with which to better integrate all this information.
“In order to avoid any misunderstanding, it is important to reiterate that this Jubilee of Mercy is not and does not intend to be the Great Jubilee Year of 2000. Therefore, any comparisons lack validity, for every Holy Year possesses its own unique nature and aims.
He also pointed out that the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy is unique from the other extraordinary jubilees. While they fell on anniversaries, this is based on a theme.
“It is the Pope’s desire that this Jubilee be celebrated in Rome as well as in the local Churches; this will give due focus to the life of individual Churches and their needs, in such a way that the initiatives will not place an extra burden on local Churches, but will blend into their calendars and usual activities very naturally.”
"Also, for the first time in the history of the Jubilee tradition, " he said, "there will be an opportunity for individual dioceses to open a Holy Door – The Door of Mercy – either in the Cathedral or in a church of special meaning or a shrine of particular importance for pilgrimages."
“We thought it would be important to gather together believers who live in a particular way the experience of mercy,” Archbishop Fisichella said, before outlining some specific events that will take place during the year.
You can read more about the press conference at Zenit and News.va
The motto of the jubilee year, is “merciful like the Father,”
The following calendar of events have been announced:
- January 19-21: days “dedicated to all those involved with the organization of pilgrimages”
- February 10 (Ash Wednesday): Pope presents mandate to Missionaries of Mercy
- April 3: “a celebration for those who in various ways are inspired by a charism of mercy (movements, associations, and religious institutes)”
- April 24: a day dedicated to youth of ages 13-16
- May 29: jubilee celebration for deacons
- June 3: jubilee celebration for priests
- June 12: “a large gathering for the sick and disabled, as well as for those who care for them”
- July 26-31: World Youth Day in Krakow
- September 4: day for charitable volunteers
- September 25: jubilee of catechists
- October 9: celebration in honor of Mary, the Mother of Mercy
- November 6: jubilee for those in prison