Jubilee of Mercy: Don't Miss Out

year-mercyWhat is the Jubilee of Mercy?

The Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy (Latin: Iubilaeum Extraordinarium Misericordiae) is a Roman Catholic period of prayer held from the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8), 2015 to the Feast of Christ the King (November 20), 2016.

Like previous jubilees, it's seen by the Church as a period for remission of sins and universal pardon, in this occasion focusing particularly on God's forgiveness and mercy. It is an extraordinary Jubilee because it had not been predetermined long before; usually ordinary jubilees take place every 25 years. The 2016 Jubilee was first announced by Pope Francis on March 13, 2015. It was declared by Pope Francis in his April 2015 papal bull of indiction, Misericordiae Vultus (Latin: "The Face of Mercy"). It is the 27th holy year in history, following the ordinary 2000 Jubilee during John Paul II papacy. The opening day was also the fiftieth anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Council.

In prior months it was stressed that the Pontiff wishes the Jubilee to be celebrated not only in Rome but all around the world; for the first time holy doors are going to be opened in single dioceses, either in the main cathedral or in local historical churches. The first holy door was open by Pope Francis in Bangui on November 29, 2015 during a tour of East Africa.


Papal bull

The Jubilee of Mercy was formally declared through the papal bull Misericordiæ Vultus, issued on April 11, 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.

960x0The 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.[5]

By passing through the holy 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.[5] During Lent of that year, special 24-hour penance services will be celebrated, and during the year, special qualified and experienced priests called "Missionaries of Mercy" will be available in every diocese to forgive even severe, special-case sins normally reserved to the Holy See's Apostolic Penitentiary.

In the bull, Pope Francis states 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".


Concessions

It was announced that all priests (during the Jubilee year – ending November 20, 2016) will be allowed in the Sacrament of Penance to grant absolution for abortion, which outside North America is reserved to bishops and certain priests who are given such mandate by their bishop.

By the same letter, Pope Francis also granted permission for priests of the Society of Saint Pius X to validly confer absolution, while under normal circumstances they do not possess the jurisdiction needed to confer this sacrament.


Logo and hymn

The official logo, designed by Father Marko I. Rupnik, shows Jesus, personification of Mercy, carrying on his shoulders a "lost man", emphasizing how deep the Savior touches humanity; his eyes are merged with those of the carried man. The background is filled by three concentric ovals, with lighter colors outwards, meaning that Jesus is carrying the man out of the darkness of sin. On one side the image is also joined by the official motto: Misericordes Sicut Pater (Merciful Like the Father), derivative from Luke 6:36, which stands as an invitation to follow the example of the Father by loving and forgiving without limits.

The official hymn, with most verses derivative from Gospels, Corinthios and Psalms, was written by Eugenio Costa, S.J. with original music composed by Paul Inwood.


Main events | Universal Church

The following main events and days of celebration for specific categories of faithfuls are scheduled:

November 29, 2015: opening of an holy door in Bangui's Notre-Dame Cathedral
December 8, 2015: opening of the holy door in St. Peter's Basilica
December 13, 2015: opening of the holy door in Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, and in many other cathedrals around the world
January 1, 2016: opening of the holy door in the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore
January 19-21, 2016: Jubilee for the pilgrims
February 2, 2016: Jubilee for consecrated lifes, closing of the "Year for Consecrated Life"
February 22, 2016: Jubilee for the Roman Curia
March 4-5, 2016: penitential liturgy and call for "24 Hours for the Lord"
March 20, 2016: Palm Sunday
April 3, 2016: Jubilee for all those who finds themselfes in the spirituality of mercy
April 24, 2016: Jubilee for newly confirmed aged 13-16 (to older young people is dedicated the World Youth Day in July[3])
May 27-29, 2016: Jubilee for deacons
June 3, 2016: Jubilee for priests
June 12, 2016: Jubilee for diseased people and those who assist them
July 26-31, 2016: Jubilee for young people and World Youth Day 2016 in Kraków, Poland
September 4, 2016: Jubilee for volunteers
September 25, 2016: Jubilee for catechists
October 8-9, 2016: Marian Jubilee
November 6, 2016: Jubilee for prisoners; some prisoners will attend celebrations in St. Peter's Basilica[3]
November 13, 2016: closing of holy doors outside St. Peter's Basilica
November 20, 2016: closing of the holy door in St. Peter's Basilica

Pembroke Diocese Churches with dedicated Holy Doors for the Year of Mercy

  • Pembroke - St. Columbkille Cathedral
  • Renfrew - Our Lady of Fatima Church
  • Barry's Bay - St. Hedwig Church
  • Fort Coulonge -   Église St - Pierre
  • Mattawa - Église Ste - Anne

 

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Plenary Indulgences

Like all previous Jubilees, the Jubilee Year of Mercy features a very special plenary indulgence -- the complete remission of all temporal punishment due to sin.

I wish that the Jubilee Indulgence may reach each one as a genuine experience of God's mercy, which comes to meet each person in the Face of the Father who welcomes and forgives, forgetting completely the sin committed. – Pope Francis, Letter to Archbishop Rino Fisichella, Sept. 1, 2015.

There have been many Jubilee Years, 26 ordinary Jubilees and three extraordinary, and each has featured a special plenary indulgence.

This time around, Pope Francis is seeking to make the indulgence as widely available as possible. In the extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, a Holy Door is to be opened in every cathedral around the world, as well as in particular shrines where large numbers of pilgrims come to honor the mercy of God.

Even though we can only obtain one plenary indulgence a day, if you perform the required actions for other plenary indulgences on the same day, you can still obtain multiple partial indulgences.

To receive the Jubilee Year indulgence, you must fulfill the usual conditions, (specified below) and perform the indulgenced act: passing through a designated Holy Door during the extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy (between Dec. 8, 2015, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, and Nov. 20, 2016, the Solemnity of Christ the King) or performing one of the corporal or spiritual works of mercy.

As for the sick and the elderly, the Holy Father says,

"For them it will be of great help to live their sickness and suffering as an experience of closeness to the Lord who in the mystery of his Passion, death and Resurrection indicates the royal road which gives meaning to pain and loneliness. Living with faith and joyful hope this moment of trial, receiving communion or attending Holy Mass and community prayer, even through the various means of communication, will be for them the means of obtaining the Jubilee Indulgence."

For the imprisoned, the Holy Father says,

"They may obtain the Indulgence in the chapels of the prisons. May the gesture of directing their thought and prayer to the Father each time they cross the threshold of their cell signify for them their passage through the Holy Door, because the mercy of God is able to transform hearts, and is also able to transform bars into an experience of freedom."

You may receive the plenary indulgence yourself, or offer it for a person in purgatory.

Please see below -- the Holy Father's letter on the Jubilee Year indulgence.


To receive a plenary indulgence

To refresh everyone's memories, here are the normal conditions for receiving a plenary indulgence:

  • It is necessary that the faithful be in the state of grace at least at the time the indulgenced work is completed.
  • A plenary indulgence can be gained only once a day. In order to obtain it, the faithful must, in addition to being in the state of grace:
  • have the interior disposition of complete detachment from sin, even venial sin;
  • have sacramentally confessed their sins;
  • receive the Holy Eucharist (it is certainly better to receive it while participating in Holy Mass, but for the indulgence only Holy Communion is required); and
  • pray for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff.
  • It is appropriate, but not necessary, that the sacramental Confession and especially Holy Communion and the prayer for the Pope's intentions take place on the same day that the indulgenced work is performed; but it is sufficient that these sacred rites and prayers be carried out within several days (about 20) before or after the indulgenced act. Prayer for the Pope's intentions is left to the choice of the faithful, but an Our Father and a Hail Mary are suggested. One sacramental Confession suffices for several plenary indulgences, but a separate Holy Communion and a separate prayer for the Holy Father's intentions are required for each plenary indulgence.
  • For the sake of those legitimately impeded, confessors can commute both the work prescribed and the conditions required (except, obviously, detachment from even venial sin).
  • Indulgences can always be applied either to oneself or to the souls of the deceased, but they cannot be applied to other persons living on earth.


Adapted from the decree on the plenary indulgence for the 2000 Jubilee Year.

 

 

LETTER OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
ACCORDING TO WHICH AN INDULGENCE IS GRANTED TO THE FAITHFUL
ON THE OCCASION OF THE EXTRAORDINARY JUBILEE OF MERCY

 

To My Venerable Brother
Archbishop Rino Fisichella
President of the Pontifical Council
for the Promotion of the New Evangelization

With the approach of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy I would like to focus on several points which I believe require attention to enable the celebration of the Holy Year to be for all believers a true moment of encounter with the mercy of God. It is indeed my wish that the Jubilee be a living experience of the closeness of the Father, whose tenderness is almost tangible, so that the faith of every believer may be strengthened and thus testimony to it be ever more effective.

My thought first of all goes to all the faithful who, whether in individual Dioceses or as pilgrims to Rome, will experience the grace of the Jubilee. I wish that the Jubilee Indulgence may reach each one as a genuine experience of God’s mercy, which comes to meet each person in the Face of the Father who welcomes and forgives, forgetting completely the sin committed. To experience and obtain the Indulgence, the faithful are called to make a brief pilgrimage to the Holy Door, open in every Cathedral or in the churches designated by the Diocesan Bishop, and in the four Papal Basilicas in Rome, as a sign of the deep desire for true conversion. Likewise, I dispose that the Indulgence may be obtained in the Shrines in which the Door of Mercy is open and in the churches which traditionally are identified as Jubilee Churches. It is important that this moment be linked, first and foremost, to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and to the celebration of the Holy Eucharist with a reflection on mercy. It will be necessary to accompany these celebrations with the profession of faith and with prayer for me and for the intentions that I bear in my heart for the good of the Church and of the entire world.

Additionally, I am thinking of those for whom, for various reasons, it will be impossible to enter the Holy Door, particularly the sick and people who are elderly and alone, oftenconfined to the home. For them it will be of great help to live their sickness and suffering as an experience of closeness to the Lord who in the mystery of his Passion, death and Resurrection indicates the royal road which gives meaning to pain and loneliness. Living with faith and joyful hope this moment of trial, receiving communion or attending Holy Mass and community prayer, even through the various means of communication, will be for them the means of obtaining the Jubilee Indulgence. My thoughts also turn tothose incarcerated,whose freedom is limited. The Jubilee Year has always constituted an opportunity for great amnesty, which is intended to include the many people who, despite deserving punishment, have become conscious of the injustice they worked and sincerely wish to re-enter society and make their honest contribution to it. May they all be touched in a tangible way by the mercy of the Father who wants to be close to those who have the greatest need of his forgiveness. They may obtain the Indulgence in the chapels of the prisons. May the gesture of directing their thought and prayer to the Father each time they cross the threshold of their cell signify for them their passage through the Holy Door, because the mercy of God is able to transform hearts, and is also able to transform bars into an experience of freedom.

I have asked the Church in this Jubilee Year to rediscover the richness encompassed by the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. The experience of mercy, indeed, becomes visible in the witness of concrete signs as Jesus himself taught us. Each time that one of the faithful personally performs one or more of these actions, he or she shall surely obtain the Jubilee Indulgence. Hence the commitment to live by mercy so as to obtain the grace of complete and exhaustive forgiveness by the power of the love of the Father who excludes no one. The Jubilee Indulgence is thus full, the fruit of the very event which is to be celebrated and experienced with faith, hope and charity.

Furthermore, the Jubilee Indulgence can also be obtained for the deceased. We are bound to them by the witness of faith and charity that they have left us. Thus, as we remember them in the Eucharistic celebration, thus we can, in the great mystery of the Communion of Saints, pray for them, that the merciful Face of the Father free them of every remnant of fault and strongly embrace them in the unending beatitude.

One of the serious problems of our time is clearly the changed relationship with respect to life. A widespread and insensitive mentality has led to the loss of the proper personal and social sensitivity to welcome new life. The tragedy of abortion is experienced by some with a superficial awareness, as if not realizing the extremeharm that such an act entails. Many others, on the other hand, although experiencing this moment as a defeat, believe they they have no other option. I think in particular of all the women who have resorted to abortion. I am well aware of the pressure that has led them to this decision. I know that it is an existential and moral ordeal. I have met so many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonizing and painful decision. What has happened is profoundly unjust; yet only understanding the truth of it can enable one not to lose hope. The forgiveness of God cannot be denied to one who has repented, especially when that person approaches the Sacrament of Confession with a sincere heart in order to obtain reconciliation with the Father. For this reason too, I have decided, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, to concede to all priests for the Jubilee Year the discretion to absolve of the sin of abortion those who have procured itand who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it. May priests fulfil this great task by expressing words of genuine welcome combined with a reflection that explains the gravity of the sin committed, besides indicating a path of authentic conversion by which to obtain the true and generous forgiveness of the Father who renews all with his presence.

A final consideration concerns those faithful who for various reasons choose to attend churches officiated by priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X. This Jubilee Year of Mercy excludes no one. From various quarters, several Brother Bishops have told me of their good faith and sacramental practice, combined however with an uneasy situation from the pastoral standpoint. I trust that in the near future solutions may be found to recover full communion with the priests and superiors of the Fraternity. In the meantime, motivated by the need to respond to the good of these faithful, through my own disposition, I establish that those who during the Holy Year of Mercy approach these priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation shall validly and licitly receive the absolution of their sins.

Trusting in the intercession of the Mother of Mercy, I entrust the preparations for this Extraordinary Jubilee Year to her protection.

From the Vatican, 1 September 2015

https://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/letters/2015/documents/papa-francesco_20150901_lettera-indulgenza-giubileo-misericordia.html

 

 

 

Mother of Mercy, pray for us!

Madonna della Misericordia

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