Pope Francis has announced that hope will be the central theme for the 2025 Jubilee Year, voicing his desire for the year to foster a greater sense of global brotherhood and solidarity with the poor, as well as care for the environment.
After two years marked by the coronavirus pandemic and the crisis left in its wake, ‘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 Pope said in his letter announcing the special year.
The coming 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,’ he said. ‘That is why I have chosen as the motto of the Jubilee, Pilgrims of Hope.’
The first-ever ‘Holy Year’ was instituted by Pope Boniface VIII in 1300 and was initially celebrated every 100 years. Then, following biblical tradition, it was marked every 50 years, and it was finally decided by Pope Paul II in 1490 to observe the jubilee year every 25 years, so that each person could experience one in his or her lifetime.
Jubilees, designed to be a time of conversion and increased emphasis on God’s mercy and forgiveness of sins, are marked by the opening of the Holy Door in St Peter’s Basilica. The Holy Doors, present in each of the four papal basilicas in Rome, are destination points for pilgrims who travel to Rome during the Jubilee and who pass through seeking special graces and outpourings of God’s mercy. The last Ordinary Jubilee was the Great Jubilee of 2000, celebrated by Pope John Paul II.