What is a Jubilee?
A special anniversary originating from the Jewish practice of celebrating God’s favor every 50 years. For Catholics, a jubilee is a time of special solemnity and piety. Ordinarily, a jubilee is every 25 years. An extraordinary jubilee year may be declared by the pope to solemnize a particular period of payer and rejoicing.
Why is it called a “Year of Mercy?”
Pope Francis has called it a “Year of Mercy” in order to highlight the importance of God’s loving message of compassion and pardon. The year-long celebration confirms the Church’s role in sharing God’s mercy, from which no person touched by grace can be excluded. Through the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, the faithful concretely participate in extending this message of mercy.
What is a Holy Door? Where are they located?
Holy Doors are specially designated doors that symbolize the entrance into the presence of God. They offer an opportunity for concrete action: As each person physically enters through the doorway, he displays his desire to enter a new life of grace. Jesus said, ‘I am the door’ (John 10:7) in order to make it clear that no one can come to the Father except through Him.
Seven major Holy Doors are located in basilicas throughout the world. In addition, every diocese will have a special door or doors designated as a “Door of Mercy” (in our case, the cathedral door of diocese of St. Catharines) to serve as a reminder that the experience of conversion and mercy is open to everyone throughout the world. An indulgence may be obtained by making a pilgrimage to the Holy Doors.
What is an indulgence?
An indulgence is the remission of temporal punishment due to sin. In the same way that priests may forgive sins through the Sacrament of Penance, the Church has the authority to remit the punishment of sin outside the sacrament. While indulgences are associated with certain acts, these acts do not “earn” or “buy” forgiveness, they instead teach us that we must strive to make amends for our sins and show us the effect of good works in the life of God’s grace.
What are the works of mercy?
Works of mercy are acts by which we offer others physical and spiritual aid. The seven corporal works of mercy are: feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, visiting the imprisoned, sheltering the homeless, visiting the sick and burying the dead. The seven spiritual works of mercy are: admonishing the sinner, instructing the ignorant, counselling the doubtful, comforting the sorrowful, bearing wrongs patiently, forgiving injuries and praying for the living and the dead. – kofc.org