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Saturday, December 31, 2016

The year in review

The year 2016 was a very busy one for Pope Francis and for the Church.

During the celebration of a Lenten Penitential Liturgy that took place in the Vatican Basilica on the eve of the Fourth Sunday of Lent 2015, Pope Francis called for the Church to observe a Jubilee Year of Mercy:

Dear brothers and sisters, I have often thought of how the Church may render more clear her mission to be a witness to mercy; and we have to make this journey. It is a journey which begins with spiritual conversion. Therefore, I have decided to announce an Extraordinary Jubilee which has at its centre the mercy of God. It will be a Holy Year of Mercy. We want to live in the light of the word of the Lord: 'Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful' (cf. Lk 6:36). And this especially applies to confessors! So much mercy!

A few weeks later, on the Second Sunday of Easter (April 11, 2015, His Holiness issued the formal decree, called a Bull of Indiction in which he outlined the plan for the celebration of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, beginning on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin, December 8, 2015 and concluding with the liturgical Solemnity of Christ the King, November 20, 2016.

The year was filled with celebrations of various kinds, including many travels in Italy and to other parts of the world.  At the conclusion of the Extraordinary Jubilee, the Holy Father issued the Apostolic Letter Misericordia et misera, summarizing the spiritual fruits of the Extraordinary Jubilee.

Looking back at the year that has been, the Vatican Secretariat for Communication has prepared a video montage of the visits and moments of grace that have been observed during the past year.

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