Jubilee 2025

“Jubilee” is the name given to a particular year; the name comes from the instrument used to mark its launch. In this case, the instrument in question is the yobel, the ram’s horn, used to proclaim the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). This (Jewish) holiday occurs every year, but it takes on special significance when it marks the beginning of a Jubilee year. We can find an early indication of it in the Bible: a Jubilee year was to be marked every 50 years, since this would be an “extra” year, one which would happen every seven weeks of seven years, i.e., every 49 years (cf. Leviticus 25:8-13). Even though it wasn’t easy to organise, it was intended to be marked as a time to re-establish a proper relationship with God, with one another, and with all of creation, and involved the forgiveness of debts, the return of misappropriated land, and a fallow period for the fields.

Quoting the prophet Isaiah, the Gospel of Luke describes Jesus’ mission in this way: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord,” (Luke 4:18-19; cf. Isaiah 61:1-2). Jesus lives out these words in his daily life, in his encounters with others and in his relationships, all of which bring about liberation and conversion.

In 1300, Pope Boniface VIII called the first Jubilee, also known as a “Holy Year,” since it is a time in which God’s holiness transforms us. The frequency of Holy Years has changed over time: at first, they were celebrated every 100 years; later, in 1343 Pope Clement VI reduced the gap between Jubilees to every 50 years, and in 1470 Pope Paul II made it every 25 years. There have also been “extraordinary” Holy Years: for example, in 1933 Pope Pius XI chose to commemorate the 1900th anniversary of the Redemption, and in 2015 Pope Francis proclaimed the Year of Mercy as an extraordinary jubilee. The way in which Jubilee Years are marked has also changed through the centuries: originally the Holy Year consisted of a pilgrimage to the Roman Basilicas of St. Peter and St. Paul, later other signs were added, such as the Holy Door. By participating in the Holy Year, one is granted a plenary indulgence.

Father in heaven,

may the faith you have given us

in your son, Jesus Christ, our brother,

and the flame of charity enkindled

in our hearts by the Holy Spirit,

reawaken in us the blessed hope

for the coming of your Kingdom.

May your grace transform us

into tireless cultivators of the seeds of the Gospel.

May those seeds transform from within both humanity and the whole cosmos

in the sure expectation

of a new heaven and a new earth,

when, with the powers of Evil vanquished,

your glory will shine eternally.

May the grace of the Jubilee

reawaken in us, Pilgrims of Hope,

a yearning for the treasures of heaven.

May that same grace spread

the joy and peace of our Redeemer

throughout the earth.

To you our God, eternally blessed,

be glory and praise for ever.


Papal Bull

Tradition dictates that each Jubilee is proclaimed through the publication of a Papal (or Pontifical) ‘Bull of Indiction’. By ‘Bull’ is meant an official document, generally written in Latin, bearing the seal of the Pope, the shape of which gives its name to the document itself.

In the past, the seal was usually made of lead and bore, on the front, the image of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, founders of the Church of Rome, and, on the back, the name of the current Pontiff. Later an ink stamp replaced the metal seal, which, however, continued to be used for more important documents.

Each Bull is identified by its initial words. For example, Saint John Paul II proclaimed the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 with the Bull Incarnationis Mysterium (The Mystery of the Incarnation), while Pope Francis proclaimed the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy (2015-2016) with the Bull Misericordiae vultus (The face of mercy).

The Bull announcing the Jubilee, which indicates the dates of the beginning and end of the Holy Year, is usually issued the previous year, coinciding with the Solemnity of the Ascension. For the 2025 Jubilee, publication is expected on May 9, 2024.

Hymn for the 2025 Jubilee

Pilgrims of Hope

Original text: Pierangelo Sequeri

English translation: Andrew Wadsworth

Like a flame, my hope is burning,

may my song arise to you:

Source of life that has no ending,

on life’s path, I trust in you.

Ev’ry nation, tongue, and people

find a light within your Word.

Scattered fragile sons and daughters

find a home in your dear Son.

Like a flame, my hope is burning,

may my song arise to you:

Source of life that has no ending,

on life’s path I trust in you.

God, so tender and so patient,

dawn of hope, you care for all.

Heav’n and earth are recreated

by the Spirit of Life set free.

Like a flame my hope is burning,

may my song arise to you:

Source of life that has no ending,

on life’s path I trust in you.

Raise your eyes, the wind is blowing,

for our God is born in time.

Son made man for you and many

who will find the way in him.

Like a flame my hope is burning,

may my song arise to you:

Source of life that has no ending,

on life’s path I trust in you.

Oftentimes, while walking along, a song will come to mind which really seems to express how we are feeling. This is also true for the life of faith, which is a pilgrimage toward the light of the Risen Lord. The Sacred Scriptures are steeped in song, and the Psalms are a striking example: the prayers of the people of Israel were written to be sung, and it was in song that the most human events were presented before the Lord. The tradition of the Church has continued this, making music and song one of the lungs of its liturgy. The Jubilee, which in itself is expressed as an event of people on pilgrimage to the Holy Door, also uses song as one of the ways of expressing its motto, “Pilgrims of Hope”.
Many themes of the Holy Year are woven into the text written by Pierangelo Sequeri and set to music by Francesco Meneghello. First of all, the motto, “Pilgrims of Hope”, is best echoed biblically in some pages from the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 9 and Isaiah 60). The themes of creation, fraternity, God’s tenderness and hope in our destination resonate in a language, which although not “technically” theological, is in substance and in the allusions, so that it rings eloquently in the ears of our time.

With each step of their daily pilgrimage, believers trustingly rely on the source of Life. The song that arises spontaneously during the journey (cf. Augustine, Discourses, 256) is directed to God. It is a song charged with the hope of being freed and supported. It is a song imbued with the hope that it will reach the ears of the One from whom all things flow. It is God who as an ever-living flame keeps hope burning and energizes the steps of the people as they journey.

The prophet Isaiah repeatedly sees the family of men and women, sons and daughters, returning from their scattered ways, gathered in the light of God’s Word: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light” (Is 9:2). The light is that of the Son who became Man, Jesus, who by His own Word gathers every people and nation. It is the living flame of Jesus that stirs the step: “Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you” (Is 60:1).

Christian hope is dynamic and enlightens the pilgrimage of life, revealing the faces of brothers and sisters, and companions on the journey. It is not a roaming of lone wolves, but a journey of people, confident and joyful, moving toward a New destination. The breath of the Spirit of life does not fail to brighten the dawn of the future that is about to arise. The heavenly Father patiently and tenderly watches over the pilgrimage of his children and opens wide the Way for them, pointing to Jesus, his Son, who becomes a pathway for everyone.

All texts above are taken from Offical Site Jubilee 2025