(Vatican Radio) The Holy Door in St Peter’s Basilica will close this Sunday marking the end of the Jubilee of Mercy.
Over the past year dioceses around the world have organised initiatives and here in Rome there have been various Jubilee events including, the Jubilee for Prisoners, the disabled and the homeless.
The Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization was charged with organizing the Holy Year of Mercy and its English language official Fr Eugene Silva spoke to Lydia O’Kane about some of the highlights and its legacy.
Fr Sylva says that as a priest, one of the most inspiring things about this Extraordinary Year has been, “the number of people who’ve returned home to the Sacrament of God’s mercy, to the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation.” Another inspiration of this year for him has been the numbers of volunteers who have worked tirelessly to make the Jubilee a spiritual journey for pilgrims in Rome.
The closing Jubilee events in these last weeks included the Jubilee for prisoners, and the homeless which saw Pope Francis invite prisoners and those sleeping rough into St Peter’s Basilica to take part in Holy Mass. “Those last two events that we have had”, says Fr Eugene, "have resonated all around the world.” … He adds that, these people were able to serve at the Mass and the fullness of their dignity was so evident.
The Year of Mercy maybe coming to a close but Fr Sylva says that , “if we place it in the context of the whole process and pastoral plan of the New Evangelization, I think that this is an important step that we need to continue on in the path of the New Evangelization.”
Pope Francis, recalls Fr Eugene, called this Jubilee of Mercy because “of the world being riddled with such violence today, that in the face of such violence, we as Christians need to confront it with mercy and with love.”
The Extraordinary Holy Year of Mercy will close on Nov 20th, the Feast of Christ the King.