(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis will celebrate the Jubilee of Mercy for Families on Sunday 27 December, Feast of the Holy Family.
The Pope ushered in the Jubilee Year of Mercy on 8 December, the day the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and he is scheduled to close it on 20 November 2016, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King, with the closing of the Holy Door in St. Peter’s Basilica.
Pope Francis has asked all believers “to find in this Jubilee the joy of rediscovering and rendering fruitful God’s mercy (…) and to not forget that God forgives all, and God forgives always”.
He has invited us go forward in the year-long penitential journey with an open heart “to receive the indulgence and the mercy of God”.
From an organizational point of view highlights of the Jubilee Year include the sending forth of the Missionaries of Mercy on Ash Wednesday and World Youth Day, which will take place in Krakow, Poland from 26-31 July.
Special jubilee days throughout the year are dedicated to groups of people in the Church, including Jubilees for Consecrated Life, for young children, for the sick, and for catechists. There will also be a Marian jubilee on the Saturday and Sunday following the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary.
Coming up on Sunday 27 December Pope Francis will celebrate the Jubilee of Families with a special Mass for families in St. Peter’s Basilica.
For the occasion he is inviting families, all together, to join celebrations and cross the thresholds of Holy Doors – be they in St Peter’s Basilica – or in other Churches or Cathedrals throughout the world.
Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, Head of the Pontifical Council for the Family spoke to Vatican Radio about the significance of this particular jubilee:
Archbishop Paglia says the Jubilee of Families is an occasion to rediscover the vocation and the mission of the family – and that is he says – is in the need to step out of our constricted selves and small family circles.
“We run the risk of staying ‘inside’ and this is a great danger – for families too!” he says.
It is important he says to go out, to cross the thresholds of our doors and to meet the whole of society, to meet all people, “especially poor people in order to be able to give to them the strength of brotherhood and solidarity, in order to transform our society into a real family of peoples”.
Archbishop Paglia underlines the fact that the mission and the vocation of Christian families is “to transform an individualistic world into a familiar world”.
Another vocation of families, he says, is “to defend the creation - our common home - for one large pluralistic family of peoples”.
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