The Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy

 

From Pope Francis's Letter concerning the Jubilee Indulgence:

 
"My thought first of all goes to all the faithful who, whether in individual Dioceses or as pilgrims to Rome, will experience the grace of the Jubilee. I wish that the Jubilee Indulgence may reach each one as a genuine experience of God’s mercy, which comes to meet each person in the Face of the Father who welcomes and forgives, forgetting completely the sin committed. To experience and obtain the Indulgence, the faithful are called to make a brief pilgrimage to the Holy Door, open in every Cathedral or in the churches designated by the Diocesan Bishop, and in the four Papal Basilicas in Rome, as a sign of the deep desire for true conversion . . .
 
"Additionally, I am thinking of those for whom, for various reasons, it will be impossible to enter the Holy Door, particularly the sick and people who are elderly and alone, often confined to the home. For them it will be of great help to live their sickness and suffering as an experience of closeness to the Lord who in the mystery of his Passion, death and Resurrection indicates the royal road which gives meaning to pain and loneliness. Living with faith and joyful hope this moment of trial, receiving communion or attending Holy Mass and community prayer, even through the various means of communication, will be for them the means of obtaining the Jubilee Indulgence . . .
 
"My thoughts also turn to those incarcerated, whose freedom is limited. The Jubilee Year has always constituted an opportunity for great amnesty, which is intended to include the many people who, despite deserving punishment, have become conscious of the injustice they worked and sincerely wish to re-enter society and make their honest contribution to it. May they all be touched in a tangible way by the mercy of the Father who wants to be close to those who have the greatest need of his forgiveness. They may obtain the Indulgence in the chapels of the prisons. May the gesture of directing their thought and prayer to the Father each time they cross the threshold of their cell signify for them their passage through the Holy Door, because the mercy of God is able to transform hearts, and is also able to transform bars into an experience of freedom . . .
 
"I have asked the Church in this Jubilee Year to rediscover the richness encompassed by the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. The experience of mercy, indeed, becomes visible in the witness of concrete signs as Jesus himself taught us. Each time that one of the faithful personally performs one or more of these actions, he or she shall surely obtain the Jubilee Indulgence . . .
 
"Furthermore, the Jubilee Indulgence can also be obtained for the deceased. We are bound to them by the witness of faith and charity that they have left us. Thus, as we remember them in the Eucharistic celebration, thus we can, in the great mystery of the Communion of Saints, pray for them, that the merciful Face of the Father free them of every remnant of fault and strongly embrace them in the unending beatitude."
 
Thus, the Holy Father has given five opportunities for the Jubilee Indulgence:
 
1) For Pilgrims: the Indulgence is received through passing through the appointed doors of mercy throughout the archdiocese and in other dioceses, including Rome. Here, the conditions are as usual: Sacramental confession and absolution, Eucharistic Communion, visitation to the pilgrimage church, passing through the Holy Door, sincere intention of conversion, and prayer (traditionally, an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be, remembering the Holy Father's intentions);
 
2) For the Sick and Homebound: the Indulgence is received through offering one's suffering in communion with the Lord's Passion, devoutly receiving Communion, sacramental confession and absolution where possible, and prayer (as given above);
 
3) For the Incarcerated: the Indulgence is received through a devout visit to the prison chapel, sacramental confession and absolution where possible, sincere intention of conversion, and prayer (as given above). In addition, the Holy Father asks the incarcerated to consider crossing through the threshold of their cell, directing their prayer and thought to the Father, as to signify their participation in passing through a Holy Door;
 
4) For the Faithful: the Indulgence is received through the "faithful performance" of one of the Spiritual or Corporal Works of Mercy, obviously with humility and devotion, and the desire for conversion.
 
5) For the Deceased: in any of the above manners, the Indulgence received may be applied for the deceased, as offered by the individual receiving it on their behalf.