The New Evangelization:

Pope Francis Inagurates

'The Jubilee Year of Mercy'

Continuing the era of The New Evangelization, in this the Year of Witness, Pope Francis announces an extraordinary Jubilee to begin December 8th, 2015, which will be dedicated to a theme close to the pontiff’s heart: Mercy.

“Dear brothers and sisters, I have thought about how the Church can make clear its mission of being a witness of mercy,” ... “It's a journey that starts with a spiritual conversion. For this reason I have decided to declare an Extraordinary Jubilee that has the mercy of God at its center. It will be a Holy Year of Mercy.”

The biblical passage for the Holy Year's theme is from Luke Chapter 6 verse 36, in which Jesus tells his disciples, “Be merciful as your Father is merciful.”

“I am convinced that the whole Church will be able to find in this Jubilee the joy of rediscovering and making fruitful the mercy of God, with which we are all called to give consolation to every man and every woman of our time,” Francis said, and entrusted the Holy Year to Mary, Mother of Mercy ...

An initiative of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, the event is designed to widen access to the Sacrament of Confession by having parishes open their doors for an extended period of time with priests available to those who come.

It [The Yra of Mercy] will also coincide with the 50th anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Council in 1965. The Jubilee will be organized by the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization.

Each of the four papal basilicas in Rome has a holy door, which are normally sealed shut from the inside so that they cannot be opened. The doors are only opened during Jubilee years so that pilgrims can enter through them in order to gain the plenary indulgence that is connected with the Jubilee.

The Holy Year is traditionally a year of forgiveness of sins and also the punishment merited by one’s sins. It is also a year for reconciliation between enemies, conversion and receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

... Mercy, he said then, “is the best thing we can feel: it changes the world. A little mercy makes the world less cold and more just. We need to understand properly this mercy of God, this merciful Father who is so patient.” 1

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Pope Francis at St. Peter’s Basilica 1

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