Do not miss the opportunity to visit Rome for the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy!
The Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy is a major event in the Catholic Church, held from the Feast of the Immaculate Conception - 8 December 2015, to the Feast of Christ the King - 20 November 2016.
It will be a special, holy year of remission of sins and universal pardon, in this occasion focusing particularly on God's forgiveness and mercy. It's an extraordinary Jubilee because it wasn't planned long before: it was first announced by Pope Francis on March 13, 2015 while usually Jubilee takes place every 25 years.
It's going to be the 27th Holy Year in history, following the ordinary 2000 Jubilee during John Paul II papacy.
Ceremonial of the Jubilee
The most distinctive feature in the ceremonial of the Jubilee is the opening and the final closing of the "Holy Door" in each of the four great Basilicas which the pilgrims are required to visit.
The doors are opened by H.H. the Pope at the beginning of the Jubilee and then sealed up again afterwards. Traditionally, H.H. the Pope himself opens and closes the doors of St. Peter's Basilica personally, and designates a cardinal to open those of St. John Lateran, St. Mary Major, and St. Paul outside the Walls.
A very important and symbolic act performed by each pilgrim is to pass through the Holy Door. Christ identified Himself as “The Door” and it is stated that the Holy Door evokes the passage from sin to grace which every Christian is called to accomplish.
Therefore passing through the door from the outside of St. Peter’s into the basilica is to pass from this world into the presence of God.
The Gift Of The Indulgence
The celebration of the Jubilee Year is an extraordinary occasion for benefiting from the great gift of indulgences which the Lord gives us through the Church.
The precise conditions for gaining each Jubilee indulgence are determined by the Roman Pontiff, and they are usually announced in a special Bull. The main conditions, however, which do not usually vary, are five: confession, Communion, prayer for the Pope, complete renunciation of all attachments to sin, and visits to the four basilicas during a certain specified period.
The following main events and days of celebration for specific categories of faithfuls are scheduled (http://www.iubilaeummisericordiae.va/content/gdm/en/roma/grandi-eventi.html ):
• December 8, 2015: opening of the Holy Door in St. Peter's Basilica
• December 13, 2015: opening of the Holy Door in the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran and in 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
• January 25, 2016: opening of the Holy Door in the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls
• 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)
• 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
• 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