The Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy
The Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy (Latin: Iubilaeum Extraordinarium Misericordiae) is a Roman Catholic period of prayer held from the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8), 2015 to the Feast of Christ the King (November 20), 2016. Like previous jubilees, it is seen by the Church as a period for remission of sins and universal pardon focusing particularly on God’s forgiveness and mercy. It is an extraordinary Jubilee because it had not been predetermined long before; usually ordinary jubilees take place every 25 years. The 2016 Jubilee was first announced by Pope Francis on March 13, 2015. It was declared in the Pope’s April 2015 papal bull of indiction, Misericordiae Vultus (Latin: “The Face of Mercy”). It is the 27th holy year in history, following the ordinary 2000 Jubilee during John Paul II papacy. The opening day was also the fiftieth anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Council.
In prior months it was stressed that the Pontiff wishes the Jubilee to be celebrated not only in Rome but all around the world; for the first time holy doors are going to be opened in single dioceses, either in the main cathedral or in local historical churches. The first holy door was opened by Pope Francis in Bangui on November 29, 2015 during a tour of East Africa.