YrofMercy-logoA jubilee year is a special year called by the Catholic Church for blessing and pardon from God and for the remission of sins. Based on Biblical jubilees, the Church’s jubilee years have been called every 25 or 50 years since the year 1300—the last one being the Jubilee Year 2000 proclaimed by Pope John Paul II. From time to time, extraordinary jubilee years have been called outside the regularly scheduled ones. This Year of Mercy is one such occasion.
Pope Francis announced the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy in March, 2015 calling on the entire global Roman Catholic church to take up his papacy’s central message of compassion and pardon. As he explained in his formal proclamation, Misericordiae Vultus, part of the symbolic act of dedicating oneself to accepting God’s mercy and being merciful is to make the decision to cross the threshold of a Holy Door.
Why a Year of Mercy?

Pope Francis envisions a year when people will become more merciful in their own lives and bring God’s mercy to others. He is entrusting the extraordinary jubilee year to the “Lordship of Christ” and asks Christ to pour out his mercy to all. “How much I desire that the year to come will be steeped in mercy, so that we can go out to every man and woman, bringing the goodness and tenderness of God!” (MV)

His mercy endures forever.Psalm 136

This holy year is an invitation to experience the awesome power of God’s mercy at work in our own lives. Make the journey and walk through a Holy Door this year. Give yourself the gifts that only Christ can give — the gifts of grace, salvation, and peace. When we recognize God’s mercy, we realize that mercy is a gift to be shared with the people in our lives and around the world. Let us go forth in the days to come and proclaim like Mary Magdalene upon witnessing the resurrection, “I have seen the Lord” (Jn 20:18).

“The fullness of grace can transform the human heart and enable it to do something so great as to change the course of human history.” -Pope Francis during his Year of Mercy homily.