(Vatican Radio) The upcoming Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy will be a moment of true grace for all Christians and a re-awakening to continue along the path of the new evangelization and pastoral conversion indicated by Pope Francis. That was the description given by Archbishop Salvatore (Rino) Fisichella at a press conference in the Vatican on Tuesday (May 5th) where he unveiled details of the main events taking place during the Year of Mercy and the logo and motto for it.
The Jubilee Year of Mercy will be inaugurated on December 8th, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and will run until November 20th of 2016 which is the solemnity of Christ the King. Archbishop Fisichella said for the first time in the history of Jubilee Years in the Church, this one offers the possibility for individual dioceses around the world to take part in the event by opening their own Holy Door, or Door of Mercy, in a cathedral, or church or at a shrine that is popular with pilgrims.
The press conference in the Vatican saw the unveiling of the logo for the upcoming Jubilee Year of Mercy portraying the figure of the Good Shepherd carrying the lost soul that provides a fitting summary of what the Jubilee Year is all about. Similarly, it's motto, Merciful like the Father, serves as an invitation to follow the merciful example of God who asks us not to judge or condemn but to offer love and forgiveness instead.
Archbishop Fischella said the Jubilee Year will be punctuated by a series of celebratory events in 2016 each with its own separate theme and that are expected to attract large numbers of pilgrims to Rome. They include a celebration from 19th- 21st January for all those involved with pilgrimages and another gathering on 3rd April for believers who are living through the experience of mercy and on the 24th of the same month a gathering for young people to profess their faith.
Other events later on in the year include a gathering on 12th June dedicated to those who are sick or suffer disabilities and a similar gathering on 6th November that will be dedicated to all prisoners. On 4th September there will be a day dedicated to those involved in volunteer and charitable work and on 9th October a day dedicated to Marian spirituality. Finally, there will be a special Jubilee Day for deacons on 29th May, on 3rd June for priests and on 25th September for catechists.
Listen to this report by Susy Hodges: