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​Under the sign of mercy

· As the third year of his pontificate begins Francis announces an extraordinary Jubilee ·

The third year of Francis' pontificate opened under the sign of mercy. On Friday afternoon, 13 March, the anniversary of his election, during the celebration of penance in the Vatican Basilica, the Pope announced a Holy Year of Mercy. The extraordinary Jubilee will begin on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception this year and will conclude on 20 November 2016, on the Solemnity of Christ the King. Organization of the Jubilee Year will be entrusted to the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization.

The rite for the reconciliation of the most contrite through confession and individual absolution, took place significantly on the eve of the Fourth Sunday of Lent, in which the mercy of God the Father is celebrated in a special way. On Thursday the 12th, receiving the participants in the Course on the Internal Forum, promoted by the Apostolic Penitentiary, Francis compared confession to a celebration of the embrace, inviting those present to “live the sacrament as a means to educate in mercy”, because, he said “there exists no sin that God cannot forgive”.

Also for the second year, at the end of Friday afternoon's rite in St Peter's, Pope Francis renewed his call to all dioceses of the world to participate in 24 hours of Prayer for the Lord, the initiative organized by the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, during which some churches will remain open throughout the day and night for Eucharistic adoration and confessions.




St. Peter’s Square

Jan. 29, 2020