Pope Francis has declared an Extraordinary Jubilee Year for the Church, calling it a “Holy Year of Mercy”.
The year will begin on December 8 2015, the 50th anniversary of the end of the Second Vatican Council, and conclude on November 20 2016, the Feast of Christ the King.
The Pope told the faithful at St Peter’s Basilica: “Dear brothers and sisters, I have thought about how the Church can make clear its mission of being a witness of mercy.
“It is a journey that starts with a spiritual conversion. For this reason I have decided to declare an Extraordinary Jubilee that has the mercy of God at its center. It will be a Holy Year of Mercy.”
“I am convinced that the whole Church will be able to find in this jubilee the joy of rediscovering and making fruitful the mercy of God, with which we are all called to give consolation to every man and every woman of our time,” Francis added, entrusting the Holy Year to Mary, Mother of Mercy.