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Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy

 All information for the Year of Mercy in the Archdiocese of Boston, click here. 

What is the Year of Mercy?    

“Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy.”  
With these words, Pope Francis announced a Holy Year of Mercy beginning on December 8, 2015—the feast of the
Immaculate Conception—and ending on the feast of Christ the King on November 20, 2016.
Mercy lies at the very heart of the Christian message. Pope Francis envisions a year in which we will become more merciful in our own lives and share God’s mercy with others.  In this Year of Mercy, we are called to bring consolation to the poor, liberty to those bound by new forms of slavery in our society, spiritual sight to those who have lost touch with God, and human dignity to those most in need. 
Some Archdiocesan Activities to Begin the Year of Mercy  
  • Thursday, December 31st, New Year’s Eve, At St Clement Eucharistic Shrine in Boston, an Archdiocesan Jubilee for Young Adults.  A plenary indulgence for the jubilee year will be available for all those who participate in the prayer vigil and Mass for the New Year.  Click here for information on the plenary indulgence.          
  • Friday, January 1st, New Year’s Day Mass and Archdiocesan Jubilee Pilgrimage to the Cathedral of the Holy Cross for the Archdiocesan Haitian Community.  Mass will be celebrated in Haitian Creole by Cardinal Seán at Noon in the Cathedral.
About the Jubilee Year of Mercy and the Holy Door  
Pope Francis has designated a Holy Year of Mercy to be celebrated throughout the world beginning on December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Unlike other jubilee years which normally take place every twenty five years, this is an extraordinary jubilee which focuses on a theme, mercy. Speaking about the need for this extraordinary jubilee year Pope Francis said, "At times we are called to gaze even more attentively on mercy so that we may become a more effective sign of the Father's action in our lives. For this reason I have proclaimed an Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy as a special time for the church, a time when the witness of believers might grow stronger and more effective."
A holy door or porta sancta has been used since the fifteenth century as a ritual expression of conversion during jubilee years. Pilgrims and penitents pass through it as a gesture of leaving the past behind and crossing the threshold from sin to grace, from slavery to freedom, and from darkness to light. But the door only finds meaning when we associate the door with Christ. In the words of Pope Francis, "There is only one way that opens wide the entrance into the life of communion with God: this is Jesus, the one and absolute way to salvation. To him alone can the words of the Psalmist be applied in full truth: 'This is the door of the Lord where the just may enter' (Ps 118:20)."
We entrust this Holy Year to Mary, Mother of Mercy.  Pope Francis explains the significant role that the Mother of God plays in this jubilee year:  “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, 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” (Misericordiae Vultus, #3).    


Related Videos


Introducing the Year of Mercy

Posted: 11/24/2015


Cardinal Seán O'Malley OFM., Cap.
from Archdiocese of Boston