For 2016 I will do some Blogs relating to the Jubilee YEAR of MERCY, as proposed by Pope Francis.
What is the Year of Mercy? It is a remarkable occasion during which the entire Catholic Church, opens wide the doors to the saving mercy of Christ. The Year of Mercy is celebrated from December 8th, 2015- the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and the 50th anniversary of the closing of Vatican II- to the Solemnity of Christ the King on November 20, 2016.
During this special period of time in the Church, Pope Francis calls all Catholics to be profound witnesses to mercy and to "find the joy rediscovering and rendering fruitful God's mercy, with which we are all called to give comfort to every man and every woman of our time."
Jubilee years have traditionally been called every 25 to 50 years. The most recent one was called by Pope St. John Paul II in the year 2000. Throughout Church history there have been 26 ordinary Jubilees and only 3 extraordinary Jubilees. Pope Francis has specifically titled this year's Extraordinary Jubilee as the Year of Mercy.
|Judy Gorecki (for the Diocese of Pittsburg)|
"To experience and obtain the Indulgence, the faithful are called to make a brief pilgrimage to the Holy Door, open in every Cathedral or in the churches designated by the Diocesan Bishop, and in the four Papal Basilicas in Rome, as a sign of the deep desire for true conversion."
To receive the Jubilee Year indulgence, you must fulfill the usual conditions: It is appropriate, but not necessary, that the sacramental Confession and especially Holy Communion and the prayer for the Pope's intentions take place on the same day that the indulgenced work is performed; but it is sufficient that these sacred rites and prayers be carried out within several days (about 20) before or after the indulgenced act. Prayer for the Pope's intentions is left to the choice of the faithful, but an "Our Father" and a "Hail Mary" are suggested. One sacramental Confession suffices for several plenary indulgences, but a separate Holy Communion and a separate prayer for the Holy Father's intentions are required for each plenary indulgence.
If one is not able to visit a designated Catherdral or Church due to distance, illness or work, one may perform Corporal or Spiritual Works of Mercy.
The Spiritual Works of Mercy: Admonish the sinner, instruct the ignorant, counsel the doubtful, bear wrongs patiently, forgive offenses willingly, comfort the afflicted, and pray for the living and the dead.