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What is the Catholic Jubilee and how to participate?

What is the Catholic Jubilee and how to participate?

Jubilee 2025 in Rome is sure to provide a spiritually enriching experience in the heartlands of the Catholic faith. It is an extraordinary event celebrated by the Catholic Church, during which the faithful can obtain the plenary indulgence, but that's not all: with the occasion, the eternal city is transformed into a crossroads of faith and culture, with solemn ceremonies, pilgrimages, and moments of prayer at the basilicas and places of Christianity.
But what is the Jubilee? What happens during the Jubilee? 

What is Jubilee?

The origins of the Catholic jubilee are rooted in Jewish tradition, which imposed a year of rest for the land every 50 years, along with the restitution of confiscated land and the freeing of slaves with the aim of practically strengthening subsequent harvests. To signal the beginning of the Jubilee, a ram's horn called yobel was sounded, from which the Christian term for Jubilee comes from. 

In Catholic tradition, the Jubilee, also known as the Holy Year, is a period of about a year in which the Pope grants plenary indulgence, that is the complete forgiveness of sins, to believers who visit Rome. Established in 1300 by Pope Boniface VIII, initially every 100 years, later adjusted to every 50 years, the Jubilee's timing varied based on circumstances. Currently, Jubilees occur every 25 year

What happens during the Jubilee?

The Jubilee is celebrated with various initiatives throughout an entire year such as pilgrimages, collective prayer moments in parishes and events throughout the city of Rome and the Vatican. It begins on Christmas Eve with the opening of the four major basilicas Holy Doors, that are St. Peter's Basilica, St. John Lateran, St. Mary Major, and St. Paul's.

The Pope is carried in a chair to the walled door of St. Peter's, which he knocks on three times with a silver hammer while singing in Latin: "Open for me the gates of justice." After him, a cardinal knocks on the door twice, and then the door is opened.

The Pope passes through first, holding a cross in his right hand and a lit candle in his left. The same ceremony is performed by cardinals in the other three basilicas. The Holy Year concludes with the bricking up of the holy doors until the next Jubilee.

Jubilee 2025, Pilgrims of Hope

The upcoming Jubilee of 2025 holds particular significance as it marks a time of spiritual revival and hope.The Jubilee is not just an opportunity to take a spiritual pilgrimage to Rome; in a way it also represents a time for social reflection, where we meditate on the role that faith plays for ourselves, for younger people and for the world as a whole.
The 2025 Jubilee, themed "Pilgrims of Hope" aims to instill hope and trust in a world grappling with the impacts of war, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and escalating climate threats. 

It is a Jubilee that appeals to everyone, but especially to the youngest: their participation is not only encouraged but is vital to ensure the continuity of observance for generations to come. Undertaking this spiritual journey allows those who will participate to discover the plurality of voices and perspectives that young people bring, entrusting them with the role of torchbearers of faith, hope and tradition for the future.


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