Vatican unveils motto for 2025 Jubilee Year

Courtney Mares   By Courtney Mares for CNA


Pope Francis opens the Holy Doors at St. Peter’s Basilica to begin the Year of Mercy, Dec. 8, 2015. / L’Osservatore Romano.

Vatican City, Jan 13, 2022 / 10:27 am (CNA).

Preparations are already underway in Rome for the 2025 Jubilee, a special year of grace and pilgrimage in the Catholic Church.

Archbishop Rino Fisichella met with Pope Francis this month to discuss the motto for the jubilee.

In a video published by Vatican News on Jan. 13, Fisichella revealed that the motto approved by the pope “can be summed up in two words: Pilgrims of Hope.”

The 2025 Jubilee will be the Church’s first ordinary jubilee since St. John Paul II led The Great Jubilee of 2000. The Jubilee of Mercy opened by Pope Francis in 2015 was an extraordinary jubilee.

Archbishop Fisichella leads the Vatican dicastery entrusted with the event’s organization, the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization.

“There is so much work to be done,” he said.

The 2025 Jubilee will include the opening of the Holy Door in St. Peter’s Basilica. Pilgrims who pass through the door – which is only opened during Jubilee years, ordinarily every 25 years or when a pope calls for an extraordinary Jubilee – can receive a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions.

The four major basilicas in Rome all have Holy Doors. During the Extraordinary Jubilee of 2015, Pope Francis also granted cathedral churches around the world permission to establish and open a Holy Door.

Jubilees have biblical roots, as the Mosaic era established jubilee years to be held every 50 years for the freeing of slaves and forgiveness of debts as manifestations of God’s mercy.

The practice was re-established in 1300 by Boniface VIII. Pilgrims to Rome were granted a plenary indulgence. Between 1300 and 2000, 29 jubilee years were held in Rome.

“To pass through the Holy Door means to rediscover the infinite mercy of the Father who welcomes everyone and goes out personally to encounter each of them. It is he who seeks us! It is he who comes to encounter us,” Pope Francis said as he opened the jubilee Holy Door on St. Peter’s Basilica on Dec. 8, 2015.

“In passing through the Holy Door, then, may we feel that we ourselves are part of this mystery of love, of tenderness. Let us set aside all fear and dread, for these do not befit men and women who are loved. Instead, let us experience the joy of encountering that grace which transforms all things,” he said.

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  1. Pilgrims compare to a Synodal Church on a forever journey as like unto like. Catholic pilgrims historically visited holy sites, monasteries and the like. Recent Synod on synodality discussions confirmed there is no definitive agenda, no expected findings consistent with Apostolic tradition [quite the contrary] no Magisterial confirmation. A voyage of discovery seeking enlightenment from the Holy Spirit.
    With no process of confirmation that purported revelations are from the third person of the Trinity this will be challenging. There’ll likely be many such revelations, many at odds discussions as endless as the journey. Onlookers, the attendant Mystical Body if such unfolds will likely assume our revealed faith is more a matter of perspective than permanence. Seminaries, if they were still thought useful, would presumably turn from Thomas Aquinas to Heraclitus. My advice to the remaining faithful is store up on the Fathers of the Church.

    • “…store up on the Church Fathers”…Yes, and as such, “ressourcement” (including the Scriptures) was one pillar of the much-maligned (and, yes, less than perfect) and then betrayed Second Vatican Council. The other pillar was “aggiornamento,’ or engagement with the modern world without accommodating and blending synodally (?) into the streamflow of Heraclitus.

      But wait! Somewhere in the venadecum there’s a warning of fully two or three words not to buy into “passing opinion.” So there! All is well.

  2. “Fisichella revealed that the motto approved by the pope “can be summed up in two words: Pilgrims of Hope.’”

    Um, I was never great at math, but I’m pretty sure “Pilgrims of Hope” numbers three words, not two.

    Not important, you say?

    Okay, maybe not. But if it’s the good archbishop’s job to introduce this weighty, portentous theme for this very significant event, shouldn’t the very first thing he says about it be, like, accurate?

    Why is it that I always have the feeling that I’m expecting too much from this papacy?

  3. Jubilee celebrations have long been too spiritualized to consist mainly in pilgrimages and the original biblical and Christological meaning of the Jubilee lost. Leviticus 25 had economic rebooting dimensions with the release of slaves and return and rest of lands which was expounded in Isaiah 62 and became Jesus’ vision-mission statement in Luke 4:18-19. I wish and pray in this 2025 Jubilee we return to these scriptural roots and the Holy Spirit move the Church to speak and act more and more against global economic inequity and ecological devastation.

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