Year of Mercy

Pope Francis has declared 2016 to be a Holy Year of Mercy, a particular time of reflecting on and living out mercy, running from 8 December 2015 to 20 November 2016.

The Catholic Church traditionally celebrates a Holy Year every 25 years - a special time of forgiveness and reconciliation, drawing on the ancient Jewish tradition of celebrating a Jubilee year of rest and forgiveness every 50 years.

The Holy Year of Mercy is an “extraordinary” year in addition to the regular 25 year cycle. The Pope has emphasised the importance of mercy as the primary response of the Church to our hurt and broken world, as well as the importance of the Church receiving mercy.

In declaring this “extraordinary” Holy Year, Pope Francis is calling on all people, and in particular those identifying with the Church, to reflect on, receive and respond to others with mercy.

Mercy is a universal virtue esteemed by many religions. The Year of Mercy is also a time for the Catholic Church to unite with others around common values and increase understanding and respectful engagement with people of different religions.

"If people are hurt, what does Jesus do? Scold them because they are hurt?

No, he comes and he carries them on his shoulders. And this is called mercy."

Pope Francis, Homily, March 2015.

 Image of Prayer card