Jubilee Year 2025

Pope Francis has announced that the Church will celebrate a Jubilee Year in 2025, with the theme of “Pilgrims of Hope.”  In addition to the jubilee year itself, Pope Francis announced that there would be two years dedicated to helping people prepare for the 2025 celebrations.

POPE FRANCIS

Letter of the Holy Father Francis for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation for the Jubilee 2025.

To My Dear Brother
the Most Reverend Rino Fisichella,
president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation

The Jubilee has always been an event of great spiritual, ecclesial, and social significance in the life of the Church. Ever since 1300, when Boniface VIII instituted the first Holy Year – initially celebrated every hundred years, then, following its biblical precedent, every fifty years, and finally every twenty-five years – God’s holy and faithful people has experienced this celebration as a special gift of grace, characterized by the forgiveness of sins and in particular by the indulgence, which is a full expression of the mercy of God. The faithful, frequently at the conclusion of a lengthy pilgrimage, draw from the spiritual treasury of the Church by passing through the Holy Door and venerating the relics of the Apostles Peter and Paul preserved in Roman basilicas. Down the centuries, millions upon millions of pilgrims have journeyed to these sacred places, bearing living witness to the faith professed in every age.

The Great Jubilee of the year 2000 ushered the Church into the third millennium of her history. Saint John Paul II had long awaited and greatly looked forward to that event, in the hope that all Christians, putting behind their historical divisions, could celebrate together the two thousandth anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of humanity. Now, as the first twenty-five years of the new century draw to a close, we are called to enter into a season of preparation that can enable the Christian people to experience the Holy Year in all its pastoral richness. A significant step on this journey was already taken with the celebration of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, which allowed us to appreciate anew all the power and tenderness of the Father’s merciful love, in order to become, in our turn, its witnesses.

In the last two years, not a single country has been unaffected by the sudden outbreak of an epidemic that made us experience first-hand not only the tragedy of dying alone, but also the uncertainty and fleetingness of existence, and in doing so, has changed our very way of life. Together with all our brothers and sisters, we Christians endured those hardships and limitations. Our churches remained closed, as did our schools, factories, offices, shops, and venues for recreation. All of us saw certain freedoms curtailed, while the pandemic generated feelings not only of grief, but also, at times, of doubt, fear and disorientation. The scientific community quickly developed an initial remedy that is gradually permitting us to resume our daily lives. We are fully confident that the epidemic will be overcome and that the world will return to its usual pattern of personal relationships and social life. This will happen more readily to the extent that we can demonstrate effective solidarity, so that our neighbours most in need will not be neglected, and that everyone can have access to scientific breakthroughs and the necessary medicines.

We must fan the flame of hope that has been given us, and help everyone to gain new strength and certainty by looking to the future with an open spirit, a trusting heart and far-sighted vision. The forthcoming Jubilee can contribute greatly to restoring a climate of hope and trust as a prelude to the renewal and rebirth that we so urgently desire; that is why I have chosen as the motto of the Jubilee, Pilgrims of Hope. This will indeed be the case if we are capable of recovering a sense of universal fraternity and refuse to turn a blind eye to the tragedy of rampant poverty that prevents millions of men, women, young people and children from living in a manner worthy of our human dignity. Here I think in particular of the many refugees forced to abandon their native lands. May the voices of the poor be heard throughout this time of preparation for the Jubilee, which is meant to restore access to the fruits of the earth to everyone. As the Bible teaches, “The sabbath of the land shall provide food for you, for yourself and for your male and female slaves and for your hired servant and the sojourner who lives with you; for your cattle also, and for the beasts that are in your land, all its yield shall be for food” (Lev 25:6-7).

The spiritual dimension of the Jubilee, which calls for conversion, should also embrace these fundamental aspects of our life in society as part of a coherent whole. In the realization that all of us are pilgrims on this earth, which the Lord has charged us to till and keep (cf. Gen 2:15), may we never fail, in the course of our sojourn, to contemplate the beauty of creation and care for our common home. It is my hope that the coming Jubilee Year will be celebrated and experienced with this intention too. Growing numbers of men and women, including many young people and children, have come to realize that care for creation is an essential expression of our faith in God and our obedience to his will.

To you, dear Brother, I entrust responsibility for finding suitable ways for the Holy Year to be planned and celebrated with deep faith, lively hope and active charity. The Dicastery charged with promoting the new evangelization can help make this season of grace a significant stimulus to the pastoral outreach of the particular Churches, both Latin and Eastern, which are called in these years to intensify their commitment to synodality. In this regard, our pilgrimage towards the Jubilee will express and confirm the shared journey that the Church is called to make, in order to be ever more fully a sign and instrument of unity in harmonious diversity. It will be important to foster a renewed awareness of the demands of the universal call to responsible participation by enhancing the charisms and ministries that the Holy Spirit never ceases to bestow for the building up of the one Church. The four Constitutions of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, together with the Magisterium of these recent decades, will continue to provide direction and guidance to God’s holy people, so that it can press forward in its mission of bringing the joyful proclamation of the Gospel to everyone.

As is customary, the Bull of Indiction, to be issued in due course, will contain the necessary guidelines for celebrating the Jubilee of 2025. In this time of preparation, I would greatly desire that we devote 2024, the year preceding the Jubilee event, to a great “symphony” of prayer. Prayer, above all else, to renew our desire to be in the presence of the Lord, to listen to him and to adore him. Prayer, moreover, to thank God for the many gifts of his love for us and to praise his work in creation, which summons everyone to respect it and to take concrete and responsible steps to protect it. Prayer as the expression of a single “heart and soul” (cf. Acts 4:32), which then translates into solidarity and the sharing of our daily bread. Prayer that makes it possible for every man and woman in this world to turn to the one God and to reveal to him what lies hidden in the depths of their heart. Prayer as the royal road to holiness, which enables us to be contemplative even in the midst of activity. In a word, may it be an intense year of prayer in which hearts are opened to receive the outpouring of God’s grace and to make the “Our Father,” the prayer Jesus taught us, the life programme of each of his disciples.

I ask the Blessed Virgin Mary to accompany the Church on the journey of preparation for the grace-filled event of the Jubilee, and to you and your co-workers, with gratitude, I cordially send my Blessing.

Rome, Saint John Lateran, 11 February 2022, Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lourdes.

FRANCIS

Father in heaven,

may the faith you have given us

in your son, Jesus Christ, our brother,

and the flame of charity enkindled

in our hearts by the Holy Spirit,

reawaken in us the blessed hope

for the coming of your Kingdom.

 

May your grace transform us

into tireless cultivators of the seeds of the Gospel.

May those seeds transform from within both humanity and the whole cosmos

in the sure expectation

of a new heaven and a new earth,

when, with the powers of Evil vanquished,

your glory will shine eternally.

 

May the grace of the Jubilee

reawaken in us, Pilgrims of Hope,

a yearning for the treasures of heaven.

May that same grace spread

the joy and peace of our Redeemer

throughout the earth.

To you our God, eternally blessed,

be glory and praise for ever.

Amen

2024 Year of Prayer

Pope Francis has called on all Catholics to spend this year, beginning with the First Sunday of Advent on 3 December 2023, deepening their prayer lives. This page will be updated regularly with resources and suggestions to support you as you seek to encounter Jesus in your prayer life.

In preparation for the 2025 Jubilee Year 'Pilgrims of Hope', 2024 has been designated a Year of Prayer by Pope Francis. It started in Advent 2023.

There is a particular focus on the Our Father, and this presents us with a great opportunity to go back to the basics of prayer.

There are many exercises for improving our physical health and wellbeing. Ignatius of Loyola wrote what he called the ‘Spiritual Exercises’, a variety of ways of praying to develop our spiritual health and wellbeing, our relationship with God and the world. Just like physical exercise, if we talk about it but don’t actually engage in any exercise, this will not be very fruitful! So, this booklet, put together by the Jesuit Institute, introduces exercises that you may find useful to practise. This booklet introduces a number of these prayer exercises and guides you through them, download below.

Lord, Teach us to Pray

This series at St John the Evangelist, South Parade, Bath, draws us into the school of prayer so that we might draw near to the Lord who calls us to draw near to him. 

The series details are:
Tuesday 30 April: The prayer of the Desert Fathers and Mothers (Fr John Udris);


Tuesday 28 May: The prayer of St Benedict (Fr Mark Hargreaves OSB);


Tuesday 25 June: The prayer of St Dominic (Sr Hyacinthe and the Dominican Sisters of St Joseph);


Tuesday 23 July: Windows on the Divine – praying with icons (Tamara Penwell);


Tuesday 24 September: The prayer of St Francis and St Clare (Friar Maximilian Martin, OFM Conv);


Tuesday 29 October: The prayer of Carmel (Fr Michael McAndrew);


Tuesday 26 November: The prayer of St Ignatius (Fr James Hanvey SJ).

 

Each session will take place in the Church and begin at 7.00pm and you can watch live St John’s website: St. John the Evangelist Church

Produced by the Diocese of Hexham & Newcastle click on the link below to prepare for prayer

Ways into Silence and Stillness

 

This can involve placing oneself in an event from scripture by assuming the person of one of the characters. You experience the event in your imagination as if you were there, reacting to it as it happens. You then see how that experience might help you to understand what Jesus was teaching, or maybe God has spoken to you in a new way about a biblical story or parable.

For centuries Christians have used the senses to remind themselves of the God who created them. Nature and art can speak to our senses of God’s presence. Candles, crosses and holy images can help us to see God in a new way and to experience what they remind us of; they can also be used as a focus for our meditation or contemplation.

Choose a piece of scripture and read it slowly three times. Pick out the word, words or phrase that speaks to you the most and prayerfully repeat it, listening to what God might be saying to you through it. Allow the word or phrase to guide you in your prayer and think about how you might apply it to your own life in the day or week ahead.

Any repetitive or mundane task has the potential to elicit, or become, prayer. Whether praying under one’s breath as the job is being done, or by offering yourself and the task for God’s greater glory, one can begin you live out the words of St Paul and his desire to see Christians pray always.

Choose one or two psalms and, instead of making a study of them, pray the psalm by entering into the thoughts, experiences and trials that the Psalmist is addressing to God through their words and prayers.

One of the aims of contemplation is to simply be in presence of God, as one might with a friend. It is often accompanied by a conscious stilling of our mind and body, which can help us to become aware of God’s quiet presence. The repetition of a particular word or phrase (see “The Jesus Prayer”), or concentrating on our posture or breathing, can help to remove distractions so that we can focus solely on Him.

The Jesus Prayer “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner” (Repeat)

This is the practice of using the physical (our bodies) to express the spiritual. A very simple example would be the style of prayer standing with arms outstretched in the shape of a cross while you pray. The traditional posture of a Jew or early Christian at prayer was, in actual fact, standing and not sitting, with palms raised toward heaven. Try different postures - sitting (with back straight), kneeling or lying prostrate - each one can ‘become’ a prayer, or a focus or aid to prayer.

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