The word Jubilee is derived form the Hebrew word ‘yobel’ which means ‘ram’s horn’. It was used to herald “a year of the Lord’s favour” (Isaiah 61:1-2), when slaves were emancipated, lands restored to their original owners, and debts forgiven (Leviticus 25:10).
Pope Boniface VII proclaimed the first Jubilee in 1300, and since then Church has adopted the practice of celebrating jubilees or holy years as times of repentance, special blessings, prayer and pilgrimage.
The Vatican and the city of Rome are expecting to welcome a steady stream of pilgrims to the Eternal City for the 2025 Jubilee Year of Hope.
A Jubilee calendar of events in the city of Rome will mark various jubilees celebrating and giving thanks for all aspects of humanity. Events will include the Jubilee of health care workers, artists, sports, families, priests, religious life, consecrated life, education, the poor, grandparents and the elderly, to name just a few.
The Jubilee begins with the opening of the Holy Door of Saint Peter’s Basilica, Rome on 24 December 2024 and concludes when the Holy Door is sealed on the Feast of the Epiphany (6 January 2026).
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 forthcoming 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; that is why I have chosen as the motto of the Jubilee, Pilgrims of Hope.
The faithful, frequently at the conclusion of a lengthy pilgrimage, draw from the spiritual treasury of the Church by passing through the Holy Door and venerating the relics of the Apostles Peter and Paul preserved in Roman basilicas. Down the centuries, millions upon millions of pilgrims have journeyed to these sacred places, bearing living witness to the faith professed in every age.
The Jubilee has always been an event of great spiritual, ecclesial, and social significance in the life of the Church… a special gift of grace, characterized by the forgiveness of sins and in particular by the indulgence, which is a full expression of the mercy of God.
Letter for the Jubilee 2025
11 February 2022
The Christmas Eve opening of the Holy Door in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, is the ceremony that marks the beginning of the Holy Year. It is rich in symbolism. The Holy Door, also known as the “Door of Great Pardon” is sealed from the inside with bricks, and on the occasion of the Jubilee Year is opened by the Holy Father.
At this event the Pope strikes the brick wall with a hammer and makes the solemn acclamation, “This is the gate of the Lord” (Psalm 118:20). The people gathered behind him in the atrium, who represent all the faithful, answer with a shout of joy, “Through it shall enter the just”. The Holy Door represents Jesus, the Good Shepherd and the door of the sheep pen: “I am the gate. Whoever enters through me, will be safe. He will go in and out, and find pasture” (John 10:9).
The Holy Year, which is celebrated every 25 years represents a time of remarkable grace. As the door swings open it sends a symbolic message that the doors of divine justice and mercy are open for the world. It also symbolizes Christ who knocks at the door of every human heart.
Many pilgrims will come from across the world to pass through this doorway and encounter the grace of this declared year of favour.
All people are invited to embrace the spirit of the Jubilee by becoming ‘Pilgrims of Hope’ and stepping out in faith to receive the graces offered by God at this favourable time.
Dioceses, parishes and Catholic organisations are planning their participation in the Jubilee 2025 by going on a dedicated pilgrimage.
Mark the Jubilee 2025 by stepping out as Pilgrims of Hope to receive the many graces available in the Eternal City:
Other itinerary options could include: Assisi, Lourdes, Fatima, the Holy Land and more…