The Year of Mercy was proclaimed by Pope Francis by means of a "Bull of Indiction", Misericordiae Vultus, issued on 11th April 2015, Divine Mercy Sunday. The original document can be read here.
The Year began on 8th December 2015 and concluded on the Feast of Christ the King, 20th November 2016. ( On the right is an image of a banner design by James Ingram of St Martin's, Luton which NORES has reproduced for display in (or on) all our churches and schools.)
The publishers Catholic Truth Society have a catalogue of their Year of Mercy resources here.
Pope Francis said:
We need constantly to contemplate the mystery of mercy. It is a wellspring of joy, serenity, and peace. Our salvation depends on it. Mercy: the word reveals the very mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. Mercy: the ultimate and supreme act by which God comes to meet us. Mercy: the fundamental law that dwells in the heart of every person who looks sincerely into the eyes of his brothers and sisters on the path of life. Mercy: the bridge that connects God and man, opening our hearts to the hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness.
At times we are called to gaze even more attentively on mercy so that we may become a more effective sign of the Father’s action in our lives. For this reason I have proclaimed an Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy as a special time for the Church, a time when the witness of believers might grow stronger and more effective.
Further key points from the document: [ your webmaster's emphases ]
(Para .3) - In order to be capable of mercy . . . we must
first of all dispose ourselves to listen to the Word of God. This means rediscovering the value of
silence in order to meditate on the Word that comes to us.
(Para. 14) - The practice of pilgrimage has a special place in the Holy Year, because it represents the journey each of us makes in this life. Life itself is a pilgrimage, and the human being is a viator, a pilgrim travelling along the road, making his way to the desired destination. Similarly, to reach the Holy Door in Rome or in any other place in the world, everyone, each according to his or her ability, will have to make a pilgrimage. This will be a sign that mercy is also a goal to reach and requires dedication and sacrifice.
(Para .15) - In this Holy Year, we look forward to the experience of opening our hearts to those living on the outermost fringes of society: fringes modern society itself creates………. It is my burning desire that, during this Jubilee, the Christian people may reflect on the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.
(Para. 17) - The initiative of “24 Hours for the Lord,” to be celebrated on the Friday and Saturday preceding the Fourth Week of Lent, [4,5 March 2016] should be implemented in every diocese.
(Para. 18) - During Lent of this Holy Year, I intend to send out Missionaries of Mercy. [ These ] will be priests to whom I will grant the authority to pardon even those sins reserved to the Holy See, so that the breadth of their mandate as confessors will be even clearer.
(Para.19) - May no one be indifferent to the call to experience mercy. I direct this invitation to conversion even more fervently to those whose behaviour distances them from the grace of God. I particularly have in mind men and women belonging to criminal organizations of any kind. For their own good, I beg them to change their lives . .
(Para. 22) - A Jubilee also entails the granting of indulgences. This practice will acquire an even more important meaning in the Holy Year of Mercy
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