Thursday, December 10, 2015

Iubilaeum Extraordinarium Misericordiae

Fr Marko Rupnik, Fair Use: Identifying Subject of Article

On Tuesday following the mass for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Pope Francis (and Benedict) opened the Holy Door of St Peter's Basilica kicking off the third extraordinary Jubilee in the last 700 years. A Jubilee is a year of remission of sins and universal pardon and comes from Leviticus:

And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years. Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubile to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land. And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family. A jubile shall that fiftieth year be unto you: ye shall not sow, neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of thy vine undressed. For it is the jubile; it shall be holy unto you: ye shall eat the increase thereof out of the field. In the year of this jubile ye shall return every man unto his possession. 

In the Catholic Church the tradition of Jubilees dates back to Pope Boniface in the 1300's. The last Jubilee year was 2000 and since it has been only fifteen years since the last one, this is an extraordinary Jubilee in that it falls outside the standard cycle. This past Lent Pope Francis declared the following year would be a year of Jubilee, a Jubilee of Mercy.

I have decided to announce an Extraordinary Jubilee which has at its centre the mercy of God. It will be a Holy Year of Mercy. We want to live in the light of the word of the Lord: “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful” (cf. Lk 6:36). And this especially applies to confessors! So much mercy!

I am confident that the whole Church, which is in such need of mercy for we are sinners, will be able to find in this Jubilee the joy of rediscovering and rendering fruitful God’s mercy, with which we are all called to give comfort to every man and every woman of our time. Do not forget that God forgives all, and God forgives always. Let us never tire of asking forgiveness. Let us henceforth entrust this Year to the Mother of Mercy, that she turn her gaze upon us and watch over our journey: our penitential journey, our year-long journey with an open heart, to receive the indulgence of God, to receive the mercy of God.
Vatican Announcement

Holy doors in Basilicas are normally sealed shut with cement and mortar and are sometimes bricked over, symbolizing the barrier of sin between man from God and are only opened during Jubilee years.

Those who pass through a Holy Door during this jubilee year will receive a plenary indulgence, which removes all of the temporal punishment for sins committed up to that time — provided the recipient also goes to confession, receives Communion, and prays for the pope.

Unusually, On Sunday, Dec. 13, five days after the opening of the jubilee, every diocese around the world is supposed to open a Holy Door. These doors can be in the local cathedral or other churches of particular relevance, such as a Marian shrine.  This will be a historical first, reflecting Pope Francis’ desire that the jubilee be celebrated on the local level and not just in Rome.


Photo: Dnalor 01
 I'm not overly religious, but I do find this kind of stuff fascinating.

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