Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy
December 8, 2015 – November 20, 2016
On December 8, 2015 and in the presence of close to 50,000 spectators, Pope Francis opened the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica to begin the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy for Catholics everywhere.
In his bull, titled “Misericordiae Vultus” or “The Face of Mercy”, Pope Francis gives practice advice for celebrating the Jubilee: “The practice of pilgrimage has a special place in the Holy Year…. To reach the Holy Door in Rome or in any other place in the world, everyone, each according to his or her ability, will have to make a pilgrimage. This will be a sign that mercy is also a goal to reach and requires dedication and sacrifice.”
Our whole life is a pilgrimage; a pilgrimage to heaven. Passing through the Holy Door of St. Peter’s is meant to symbolize the pilgrimage of life and the sacrifices endured.
THE INDULGENCE OF THE HOLY YEAR OF MERCY
To receive the Jubilee Year indulgence, one 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 December 8, 2015, Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and November 20, 2016, the Solemnity of Christ the King).
Normal conditions for the faithful to receive a plenary indulgence:
* must be 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
* pray for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff
– Adapted from the decree on the plenary indulgence for the 2000 Jubilee Year.
What is an indulgence?
It is a total or partial remission of the temporal punishment which man would have to suffer either in this or the next life, after the sins have been remitted.
What is meant by saying, indulgences are granted out of the treasury of the saints or of the Church?
By this is meant that God, by the Church, remits the temporal punishment due to sin for the sake of the merits of Christ and the saints, and supplies, as it were, by these merits what is still wanting in our satisfaction.
What kinds of indulgences are there?
Two; plenary and partial indulgences. A plenary indulgence, if rightly gained, remits all ecclesiastical and temporal punishment, which we would otherwise have to expiate by penance. A partial indulgence, however, remits only so many days or years of the temporal punishment, as, according to the penitential code of the primitive ages of the Church; the sinner would have been obliged to spend in severe penance. Hence the name forty days’ indulgence, etc.
What is a Jubilee?
It is a plenary indulgence, which the pope grants to the faithful of the entire world, whereby all the temporal punishments of sin, even in cases reserved to the pope or the bishops, are remitted, and forgiven in the name of God, if the sinner confesses contritely and receives the Holy Eucharist and has a firm purpose of doing penance.
What is required to gain an indulgence?
First, that we should be in the state of grace, and have already obtained, by true repentance, forgiveness of those sins, the temporal punishment of which is to be remitted by the indulgence; and secondly, that we should exactly perform the good works prescribed for the gaining of the indulgence.