Do you know what the importance of Jubilee for Rome? Pope Francis announced the upcoming Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy: a great opportunity for Art Tourism to wondering the Holy Places and the Holy Art. Discover the meaning and the history of the Jubilee and the Churches involved.
In the Bull Misericordiae Vultus, Pope Francis announced the upcoming Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy will begin on 8th of December, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, and conclude on 20th of November 2016, with the Solemnity of Christ the King.
A little bit of Jubilee History:
From the first Holy Year of 1300, wanted by Boniface VIII, to St. John Paul II in 2000, millions of faithful uninterrupted went through the doors jubilee of the four Papal Basilicas : St. Peter, St. John Lateran , St. Mary Major and St. Paul Outside the Walls.
Church Holy Doors refers to the passage that every Christian is called to accomplish from sin to grace , looking to Christ who himself says : “I am the door”. The Holy Door, indulgences and pilgrimages. These are signs that characterize every Jubilee and that will be the focus also of the Holy Year of mercy by Pope Francis .
What is Jubilee of Mercy?
Its origins date back to the Jewish world when it was a year, declared saint, which fell every 50 years , in which it was meant to restore equality to all the “Children of Israel”, offering new possibilities to families which had lost their property and even their personal freedom. The rich, however, the jubilee year reminded that the time would come when their Israelite slaves would once again become their equals and would be able to reclaim their rights. The Catholic Church has started the tradition of the Jubilee with Boniface VIII in 1300. At first the timing between a Holy Year and the other was 50 years but then was cut in 25 years so that each generation of experiencing at least one, because of high mortality rate .
How does it develop?
In the Bull Misericordiae Vultus which is called the Jubilee of mercy, Pope Francis announced that will cross the Holy Door at St. Peter’s on 8th of December, the opening day of the Holy extraordinary, open wide as that of St. John Lateran on the third Sunday of advent, 13 December. The same gesture will be repeated later in the Holy Doors of the other two major Basilicas of Rome ( St. Mary Major and St. Paul Outside the Walls ). He will “Doors of mercy” – writes Francis in the Bull – where everyone will go beyond the “will experience the love of God, who comforts, forgives and gives hope”. Again on 13th of December will open the ” doors of mercy” in every dioceses of the world will be in the cathedrals or in a church but also of special significance in the sanctuaries where pilgrims can “find the way of conversion”, notes the Pope .
An indulgence is one of the constitutive elements of the Jubilee. In it we see the fullness of the Father’s mercy, who comes to all with his love. In the Bull of Indiction of the Holy extraordinary Pope Francis explains the sense of indulgence. “All of us – the Pope writes – we experience the sin. We know we are called to perfection (cf. Mt 5:48), but we feel a strong sense of sin. (…) Despite the pardon, in our lives we bring the contradictions which are the consequence of our sins”. The Pope recalled that “in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, God forgives sins, which are really deleted”. Yet “the negative imprint that sins have left in our behavior and in our thoughts remain. The mercy of God, however, is even stronger than that. It becomes indulgence of the Father through the Bride of Christ (the Church, ed) reaches the sinner forgiven and free from any residue of the consequence of sin”.
In fact, with the indulgence, the repentant sinner receives a remission of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven (with Confession). To gain the indulgence, you must be in a state of grace. Then comes that the faithful have the interior disposition of complete detachment from sin; that is to approach the Sacrament of Reconciliation; receiving the Eucharist and to pray for the intentions of the Pope.
It also serves to make a ”work“. There are works of mercy, that is making a pilgrimage to a Jubilee shrine or place (you can obtain the indulgence doing this work, not only in Rome – in the major basilicas and in other churches or shrines of the eternal city – but also in places of their dioceses in all five continents, usually in the cathedrals or shrines). Or there are the works of penance, that is, refrain from unnecessary consumption (smoking, alcohol …), fast or abstain from meat and donate a sum to the needy. Or there are The Works of Mercy of which the Pope speaks in the Bull of the Jubilee. And the lists showing that they are a “way to awaken our consciousness often dormant before the tragedy of poverty and to enter more and more in the heart of the Gospel, where the poor are the privileged of God’s mercy”.
Are CORPORAL WORKS of Mercy: feeding the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, assisting the sick, visit the imprisoned, bury the dead.
And they are SPIRITUAL WORKS of Mercy: counseling the doubtful, teach the ignorant, admonish sinners, comfort the afflicted, forgive offenses, stand troublesome people patiently, praying to God for the living and the dead.
In the Holy Year pilgrimage are the main goals of the four major Basilicas of Rome ( St. Peter , St. John Lateran , St. Mary Major and St. Paul Outside the Walls ) where you can get indulgence . But in each diocese will be shown pilgrimage sites related to the Jubilee.