Prisoners, volunteers, teens invited to celebrate Jubilee with pope

This article appears in the Holy Year of Mercy feature series. View the full series.

Vatican City — More than a dozen individual celebrations will be scheduled for the Jubilee of Mercy in 2016, giving pilgrims the chance to celebrate their own holy year with Pope Francis in Rome.

The yearlong extraordinary jubilee will include a number of individual jubilee days, such as for consecrated men and women; deacons; priests; catechists; the sick and disabled; teenagers and prisoners. Young people will be able to celebrate their jubilee with the pope at World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland.

The Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, which is organizing events for the Holy Year of Mercy, published a full calendar of events online at www.im.va.

Because the Holy Year is meant to be lived as a pilgrimage, people taking part are asked to prepare themselves with prayer and sacrifice, and make a portion of the journey on foot.

Efforts also will be made to offer concrete signs of God's love and mercy by offering tangible assistance to those in need, and bishops and priests around the world are asked to conduct "similar symbolic gestures of communion with Pope Francis" in their dioceses by reaching out to those on the margins.

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The motto, "Merciful Like the Father," is an invitation to follow the merciful example of God, who asks people not to judge or condemn but to forgive and to give love, the council said.

One way the pope wants to show the church's "maternal solicitude" is to send out "missionaries of mercy" -- that is, specially selected priests who will preach and teach about God's mercy. They will be given special authority, the pope said, "to pardon even those sins reserved to the Holy See."

The following is a list of some of the major events planned in Rome for the jubilee year:

  • Opening of the Holy Door of St. Peter's Basilica, Dec. 8, feast of the Immaculate Conception.
  • Opening of the Holy Door of the Basilica of St. John Lateran and in the cathedrals of the world, Dec. 13.
  • Opening of the Holy Door of the Basilica of St. Mary Major, Jan. 1, feast of Mary, the Holy Mother of God and World Day for Peace.
  • Jubilee for those involved with guiding or organizing pilgrimages and religious tourism, Jan. 19-Jan. 21.
  • Opening of the Holy Door of the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, Jan. 25, feast of the Conversion of St. Paul.
  • Jubilee for Consecrated Life and the closing of the Year for Consecrated Life, Feb. 2, feast of the Presentation of the Lord.
  • Sending forth the Missionaries of Mercy, St. Peter's Basilica, Feb. 10, Ash Wednesday.
  • Jubilee for the Roman Curia, Feb. 22, feast of the Chair of St. Peter.
  • "24 Hours for the Lord" with a penitential liturgy in St. Peter's Basilica, March 4.
  • Jubilee for those who are devoted to the spirituality of Divine Mercy, April 3, Divine Mercy Sunday.
  • Jubilee for teens aged 13 to 16 to profess the faith and construct a culture of mercy, April 24.
  • Jubilee for deacons, May 27-29, the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ.
  • Jubilee for priests, June 3, feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
  • Jubilee for those who are ill and for persons with disabilities, June 12.
  • Jubilee for youth, July 26-31, World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland.
  • Jubilee for workers and volunteers of mercy, Sept. 4, the vigil of the memorial of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.
  • Jubilee for catechists, Sept. 25.
  • Marian Jubilee, Oct. 8-9.
  • Mass celebrated by Pope Francis in memory of the faithful departed, Nov. 1, feast of All Saints.
  • Jubilee for prisoners, Nov. 6.
  • Closing of the Holy Doors in the basilicas of Rome and in the dioceses of the world, Nov. 13.
  • Closing of the Holy Door of St. Peter's Basilica and the conclusion of the Jubilee of Mercy, Nov. 20, feast of Christ the King.

The Jubilee of Mercy has an official website in seven languages at www.im.va; a Twitter handle, @Jubilee_va; a Facebook page; and accounts on Instagram, Flickr and Google+.

The official prayer in English is at im.va/content/gdm/en/preghiera.html.

The prayer in Spanish is at im.va/content/gdm/es/preghiera.html.

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