Celebrate the Year of Jubilee in Rome
In the Old Testament, the Jewish people were instructed to take a Sabbatical Year every seventh year. The Book of Leviticus, chapter 25, explains that no planting was to happen – no crops grown – to give the land a rest. Since the Lord rested on the seventh day, all of creation was also to rest on the seventh year. The Lord promised there would be an abundance in the 6th year so the people could store up for the seventh and not go hungry.
The year after the completion of a seven times seven-year cycle (49 years), was also set aside to be a sacred time, a holy year. This was to be a Jubilee Year. During the Jubilee Year, in addition to the land resting, the people were also to proclaim liberty to all who lived in the land. This included returning property to those who had to sell it due to poverty and granting freedom to those who had sold themselves into slavery to pay their debts.
It was truly to be a year of redemption.
In the New Testament, Jesus read from the book of Isaiah and proclaimed Himself to be the anointed one – announcing “a year of favor from the Lord.” As the passage from Isaiah was referring to the Jubilee from Leviticus, it was at this time Jesus was proclaiming a Jubilee Year. It was his sacrifice on the cross that would bring redemption to all sinners – bringing Jubilee to all peoples and all nations.
The Catholic Church has celebrated jubilees since Pope Boniface VIII declared the year 1300 to be a Holy Year. At first, they were held every 100 years, then every 50, and in modern times, every 25 years. The last great Jubilee was in the year 2000, so the next will begin in less than 2 years, in 2025. The Jubilee Year is a time of special graces – a call to conversion and reception of God’s mercy.
A Jubilee in the Catholic Church is marked by the opening of the Holy Doors – special door on major basilicas that are only open during the Holy Year. Many remember how, during the Extraordinary Year of Mercy in 2016, these Holy doors were opened, inviting the faithful to walk through them as part of a pilgrimage of prayer. It was known as “extraordinary” because it was not within the “ordinary” 25-year cycle. The Jubilee of 2025 will also be marked by the opening of the Holy Doors – firstly by the door of St. Peter’s, which will be symbolically opened by Pope Francis himself.
There will be many activities and celebrations throughout the course of the year. The faithful are encouraged to spend the months leading up to the Jubilee in prayer for and discernment of their own conversion and salvation.
In due time, the full schedule will be released – listing all the activities and the conditions for the traditional Jubilee indulgence. Most of the celebrations will take place in Rome – and officials are already working on special pilgrimage itineraries for anyone who visits.
The Jubilee officially opens on Christmas Eve, 2024, and will end January 6, 2026. Therefore, you have just over a year to experience the extraordinary graces this celebration will offer. We plan to coordinate pilgrimages throughout this Holy Year for various parishes and groups.
To learn more, please visit the official website: https://www.iubilaeum2025.va/en.html