Pope Francis has declared an Extraordinary Jubilee that has the mercy of God at its center. It is a Holy Year of Mercy which started on December 8th – the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, with the opening of the Holy Door at the Basilica of St. Peter, in Rome and will close on November 20th, 2016. “It is indeed my wish that the Jubilee be a living experience of the closeness of the Father, whose tenderness is almost tangible, so that the faith of every believer may be strengthened and thus testimony to it be ever more effective” says Pope Francis.
The theme of mercy is deeply connected with the entire Message of Fatima. The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy, brings the merciful heart of God to transform the misery of humanity and offer the loving experience of grace and pardon. At the Shrine of Fatima, the Holy Door of the Jubilee was opened on December 8th, at the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity.
The pastoral theme of Fatima for 2016, in preparation for the centennial of the Apparitions is “I came that they might have life”. Inspired in the September Apparition of Our Lady, such theme links well with the Year of Mercy, this special time to come closer to God’s love and share it also with others.