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HomeVaticanPope Francis inaugurates Year of Prayer to prepare for Jubilee of Hope

Pope Francis inaugurates Year of Prayer to prepare for Jubilee of Hope

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Pope Francis has announced that 2024 will be a Year of Prayer for Catholics around the world, as a way of preparing for the Jubilee of Hope in 2025. The Year of Prayer began on Sunday, January 21, 2024, with the Pope’s Angelus address, in which he invited the faithful to rediscover the value and need of prayer in their personal lives, in the life of the Church, and in the world.

The Pope said that prayer is essential to renew our desire to be in the presence of the Lord, to listen to him and to adore him. He also urged Christians to pray for unity among themselves, and for peace in the world, especially in Ukraine, Israel, Palestine, Ecuador, and Haiti, where he lamented the recent kidnapping of a group of people, including six religious sisters.

The Year of Prayer is the first of three years of preparation for the Jubilee of Hope, which will take place in 2025, marking the 50th anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Council. The Jubilee is a special holy year of grace and pilgrimage in the Catholic Church, in which the faithful can obtain a plenary indulgence by passing through the Holy Doors of the four papal basilicas in Rome, or other designated churches around the world.

The theme of the Jubilee of Hope is “Pilgrims of Hope”, which Pope Francis approved on January 3, 2024, after meeting with Archbishop Rino Fisichella, the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, the dicastery in charge of organizing the Jubilee. Archbishop Fisichella said that the theme expresses the Pope’s desire to make the Jubilee a spiritual journey of hope for all people, especially those who suffer from poverty, injustice, violence, and indifference.

The Pope has also outlined the following steps for the next two years of preparation for the Jubilee:

  • 2023 (past year): Study the documents of the Second Vatican Council, which are the source and inspiration of the Church’s mission in the modern world.
  • 2024: Focus on prayer, as the breath of life for every Christian and the way to open our hearts to God’s grace and hope.
  • 2025: Celebrate the Jubilee of Hope, as pilgrims who walk together in the light of Christ, the hope of glory.

The Vatican and the city of Rome are expecting an estimated 35 million pilgrims to visit the Eternal City for the Jubilee of Hope, which will begin on December 24, 2024, and end on January 6, 2026. The Vatican has launched a website and an app to provide information and resources for the Jubilee, as well as to facilitate the registration and reception of pilgrims. The Vatican is also collaborating with the Italian authorities and the local Church to ensure the security and hospitality of the visitors.

The Jubilee of Hope will be the second ordinary jubilee celebrated by Pope Francis, after the extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy in 2016. It will also be the first ordinary jubilee since the Great Jubilee of 2000, which marked the beginning of the third millennium of Christianity.

The Jubilee of Hope is an opportunity for Catholics and Christians to renew their faith and their commitment to the Gospel, as well as to share the joy and hope of Christ with the world. Pope Francis invites everyone to join him in this journey of prayer, study, and celebration, as pilgrims of hope.

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