Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy

Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy
Jubilee of Mercy logo.jpg
Official logo
Native name Iubilaeum Extraordinarium Misericordiae
Date8 December 2015 (2015-12-08) – 20 November 2016 (2016-11-20)
Duration349 days
Organised byVarious www.im.va

The Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy (Latin: Iubilaeum Extraordinarium Misericordiae) was a Roman Catholic period of prayer held from 8 December 2015, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, to 20 November 2016, the Feast of Christ the King.[1]Like previous jubilees, it was seen by the Church as a period for remission of sins and universal pardon focusing particularly on God's forgiveness and mercy. It was an extraordinary Jubilee because it had not been predetermined long before; ordinary jubilees are usually celebrated every 25 years.

The 2016 Jubilee was first announced by Pope Francis on 13 March 2015.[1] It was declared in the pope's April 2015 papal bull of indiction (formal announcement or proclamation),[2] Misericordiae Vultus (Latin for "The Face of Mercy").[3] It is the 27th holy year in history, following the ordinary 2000 Jubilee during John Paul II's papacy.[1] The opening day was also the 50th anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Council.[3]

Francis wished for the Jubilee to be celebrated not only in Rome but all around the world; for the first time holy doors are open in single dioceses, either in the cathedral or in historical churches.[4] The first holy door was opened by Pope Francis in Bangui on 29 November 2015, during a tour of East Africa.[5] The Jubilee officially ended on November 20, 2016 with the closing of the Holy Door of Saint Peter's Basilica which was open since the Holy Year began the previous December.[6]

Papal bull

The Holy Door of St. Peter's Basilica, opened in 2016

The Jubilee of Mercy was formally declared through the papal bull Misericordiae vultus, issued on 11 April 2015, which emphasizes the importance of mercy and the need to 'gaze' on it; the bull also recalls the need for the Church to be more open, keeping alive the spirit of the Second Vatican Council.[3]

The holy doors of the major basilicas of Rome (including the Great Door of St. Peter's) were opened, and special 'Doors of Mercy' were opened at cathedrals and other major churches around the world. The opening of the holy door at St. Peter's was the first time two popes were present, as Pontiff Emeritus Benedict attended at Pope Francis' invitation.[7]

The church held that by passing through these doors, the faithful can earn indulgences after fulfilling the usual conditions of prayer for the pope's intentions, confession, and detachment from sin, and communion.[7] During Lent of that year, special 24-hour penance services were to be celebrated, and during the year, special qualified and experienced priests called 'Missionaries of Mercy' were to be available in every diocese to forgive even sins normally reserved to the Holy See's Apostolic Penitentiary.[3][8]

In the bull, Pope Francis stated about the opening of the holy door, "the Holy Door will become a Door of Mercy through which anyone who enters will experience the love of God who consoles, pardons, and instils hope".[3]