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The face of mercy

· The Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee ·

Mercy is “the very foundation of the Church’s life”. Thus, the theme of mercy needs to be “proposed again and again with new enthusiasm and renewed pastoral action” to the men and women of today. Born of this awareness arises the initiative to celebrate a Holy Year of Mercy: an “extraordinary time of grace” and a “return to the basics”, as Pope Francis called it in his Bull of Indiction Misericordiae Vultus, which was solemnly consigned during Vespers on Saturday evening, 11 April, in the Vatican Basilica.

“The time has come for the Church to take up the joyful call to mercy once more”, the Bishop of Rome explains, reminding us that the Church’s “very credibility is seen in how she shows merciful and compassionate love”.

The Bull recalls that the Jubilee will begin this 8 December, the 50th anniversary of the close of Vatican II, with the opening of the “door of mercy” in St Peter's and successively in the papal basilicas as well as in the cathedrals, shrines or particular churches around the world as a “visible sign of communion for the whole Church”. The common thread and “motto” of the holy year – which will conclude on 20 November 2016, the Solemnity of Christ the King – come from the Gospel: “Merciful like the Father”. Among the special signs of the jubilee experience, the Bull indicates pilgrimage, spiritual and corporal works of mercy, the sacrament of penance and indulgences.

The Pontiff further announced that “missionaries of mercy” will be sent to all dioceses to preach of the “people's mission”, and he directed an appeal to conversion especially to criminals and the corrupt.

The text of Pope' Francis Bull

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St. Peter’s Square

Sept. 20, 2018

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