Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Jubilee Of Mercy

"The Immaculate Conception" by Bartolomeo Altomonte
The Jubilee of Mercy begins today, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, and will end on the Solemnity of Christ the King on November 20, 2016. Any Jubilee Year is a time when the Church opens the coffers of her graces to the faithful and penitent. Our Holy Father Pope Francis has placed a special emphasis on the Mercy of Our Savior, which brings to mind the devotions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Divine Mercy. There is also special relation of today's feast with the Mercy of God. To quote from Our Holy Father's Bull of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy:
This liturgical feast day recalls God’s action from the very beginning of the history of mankind. After the sin of Adam and Eve, God did not wish to leave humanity alone in the throes of evil. And so he turned his gaze to Mary, holy and immaculate in love (cf. Eph 1:4), choosing her to be the Mother of man’s Redeemer. When faced with the gravity of sin, God responds with the fullness of mercy. Mercy will always be greater than any sin, and no one can place limits on the love of God who is ever ready to forgive. I will have the joy of opening the Holy Door on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. On that day, the Holy Door will become a Door of Mercy through which anyone who enters will experience the love of God who consoles, pardons, and instills hope.

On the following Sunday, the Third Sunday of Advent, the Holy Door of the Cathedral of Rome – that is, the Basilica of Saint John Lateran – will be opened. In the following weeks, the Holy Doors of the other Papal Basilicas will be opened. On the same Sunday, I will announce that in every local church, at the cathedral – the mother church of the faithful in any particular area – or, alternatively, at the co-cathedral or another church of special significance, a Door of Mercy will be opened for the duration of the Holy Year. At the discretion of the local ordinary, a similar door may be opened at any shrine frequented by large groups of pilgrims, since visits to these holy sites are so often grace-filled moments, as people discover a path to conversion. Every Particular Church, therefore, will be directly involved in living out this Holy Year as an extraordinary moment of grace and spiritual renewal. Thus the Jubilee will be celebrated both in Rome and in the Particular Churches as a visible sign of the Church’s universal communion. (Read more.)

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