On 8 december the Church is launching the Jubilee of Mercy, which runs until 20th November 2016. A remarkable time to be touched by God. Explanation.
What is a Jubilee ?
Pope Francis has decreed a Jubilee of Mercy from today, 8th December. This extraordinary Jubilee is the 29th in the history of the Church. It corresponds to the 25th anniversary of the closing of Vatican II. It’s a very special time to turn to God, as he explains in the Misericordiae vultus letter :"I wanted this Jubilee to be a positive time for people to change their lives. Now is the time to be deeply moved."
Since the Jubilee of the year 1300, promulgated by Pope Boniface VIII, the Church has been celebrating jubilees or Holy Years every 25 years, or extraordinary jubilees when a Pope decides.
A Jubilee for all, beginning with the Church
For the Pope, the Jubilee of Mercy is for all men of good will, whether they are believers or still seeking, starting with the Church, also called on and perhaps first, to let themselves be transformed by specific gestures of solidarity (the famous Works of Mercy).
The origin of the tradition is rooted in the texts of the Old Testament. The Law of Moses had fixed a special year for the Hebrew people : "And you shall hallow the fiftieth year and proclaim the liberation of all the country’s inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you".