Pope concludes Jubilee Year with appeal for enduring Mercy

Pope Francis has concluded the Year of Mercy with a call on the Church and faithful to “identify and practise” new works of mercy.

In an act mirrored in churches around the world last Sunday, the Pontiff closed the Holy Door at St Peter’s Basilica to officially end the jubilee year, and reminded pilgrims in St Peter’s Square that “even if the Holy Door closes, the true door of mercy which is the heart of Christ always remains open wide for us”.

Pope Francis subsequently issued a new Apostolic letter to coincide with the conclusion of the jubilee year. Entitled Misericordia et misera (Mercy and misery), the text serves as a re-emphasising of theme of ‘mercy’ while urging all to build on what was experienced over the past year.  


“Many concrete signs of mercy have been performed during this Holy Year,” he writes. “Communities, families and individuals have rediscovered the joy of sharing and the beauty of solidarity. But this is not enough. Our world continues to create new forms of spiritual and material poverty that assault human dignity. For this reason, the Church must always be vigilant and ready to identify new works of mercy and to practise them with generosity and enthusiasm.

“Nothing of what a repentant sinner places before God’s mercy can be excluded from the embrace of his forgiveness. For this reason, none of us has the right to make forgiveness conditional. Mercy is always a gratuitous act of our heavenly Father, an unconditional and unmerited act of love. Consequently, we cannot risk opposing the full freedom of the love with which God enters into the life of every person.”

He stresses: “Now, at the conclusion of this jubilee, it is time to look to the future and to understand how best to continue, with joy, fidelity and enthusiasm, experiencing the richness of God’s mercy.” 

Misericordia et misera is a phrase used by Saint Augustine in recounting the story of Jesus’ meeting with the woman taken in adultery (John 8:1-11).


Misericordia et misera can be read in full at www.vatican.va