Year of Mercy
In a Vatican document titled “The Face of Mercy,” Pope Francis proclaimed the 2015-2016 extraordinary jubilee or Holy Year of Mercy. Emphasizing that mercy “is the beating heart of the Gospel,” Francis has set the year to begin on December 8, 2015.
“How much I desire that the year to come will be steeped in mercy, so that we can go out to every man and woman, bringing the goodness and tenderness of God.” With those words, Pope Francis expressed his hopes for the year. “May the balm of mercy reach everyone, both believers and those far away, as a sign that the kingdom of God is already present in our midst.”
Popes typically announce a jubilee every 25 years, although extraordinary Holy Years have been proclaimed for special anniversaries -- for example, a Holy Year was celebrated in 1983 to commemorate the 1,950th anniversary of Christ’s death and resurrection.