I have opened my heart as a living fountain of mercy. Let all souls draw life from it. Let them approach this sea of mercy with great trust. ~ Jesus to St. Faustina, Diary of St. Faustina, 1520
Pope Francis has declared the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, to begin on December 8, 2015, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and end November 20, 2016, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, and the 50th anniversary of the Closing of the Second Vatican Council. Pope Francis will begin the Jubilee Year by opening the Holy Door at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome on that day. Bishops throughout the world will open Holy Doors at the Cathedrals in their Dioceses, after which will follow the opening of the Holy Doors at designated Shrines and churches.
I am the door. By Me, if any man enter in, he shall be saved; and he shall go in, and go out, and shall find pastures. (John 10:9)
Passage through a Holy Door is a sign of our decision to enter into the life of Jesus Christ and make the passage from sin to grace. During a Jubilee, pilgrimage to a Holy Door offers the possibility of obtaining a Plenary Indulgence under the usual conditions. You can read the Letter of His Holiness Pope Francis according to which an indulgence is granted to the faithful on the occasion of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy here. If you want to know how to receive a plenary indulgence, read this.
How can you participate?
- Attend Mass at the Basilica or one of the shrines where the Holy Door will be opened. In The Archdiocese of Philadelphia, five shrines have been selected: Miraculous Medal Shrine, Philadelphia, Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, Doylestown, Shrine of St. John Neumann, Philadelphia, Shrine of St. Katharine Drexel, Bensalem, and Shrine of St. Rita of Cascia, Philadelphia.
- Receive the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist regularly.
- Attend Holy Hours of Mercy at participating churches.
- Catechize yourself. Read about mercy. Here are some great resources. I highly recommend Consoling the Heart of Jesus: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat – Inspired by the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius by (Fr.) Michael E. Gaitley.
- Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy:
|1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following:
Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
3. On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following:
(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).
4. Conclude with (three times):
6. Practice the Works of Mercy.
I hope everyone takes advantage of this Jubilee Year of Mercy. Go through the door of Mercy; put your past behind you!
GIVE THANKS TO THE LORD, FOR HE IS GOOD; HIS MERCY ENDURES FOREVER. (Psalm 107:1)