The Extraordinary Holy Year of Mercy
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The Year of Mercy begins on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, 8 December 2015, which is also the fiftieth anniversary of the closing of the Vatican Council II, the Church Council that more than any other sought openness to the modern world and a pastoral response to modern challenges.
In proclaiming the extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, Pope Francis wrote:
“The Holy Year will open on 8 December 2015, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. This liturgical feast day recalls God’s action from the very beginning of the history of mankind. After the sin of Adam and Eve, God did not wish to leave humanity alone in the throes of evil. And so he turned his gaze to Mary, holy and immaculate in love (cf. Eph 1:4), choosing her to be the Mother of man’s Redeemer. When faced with the gravity of sin, God responds with the fullness of mercy. Mercy will always be greater than any sin, and no one can place limits on the love of God who is ever ready to forgive. I will have the joy of opening the Holy Door on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. On that day, the Holy Door will become a Door of Mercy through which anyone who enters will experience the love of God who consoles, pardons, and instils hope.” (Misericordiae Vultus, 3)
Sulpician seminaries and houses throughout the world will participate in this Year of Mercy through a variety of activities, prayer services, and gatherings. Given the many difficult challenges existing in our world today, we pray that God’s mercy will indeed flood the earth, transform human hearts, and create a new atmosphere of tolerance, peace, and tranquility.
Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth! May the intercession of Mary Immaculate fill us with hope and joy throughout the year!
The Return of the Prodigal Son by James Tissot (Brooklyn Museum)