The Jubilee of Mercy begins on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on December 8, 2015, and ends on the Solemnity of Christ the King on November 20, 2016.
“Let us not forget that God forgives and God forgives always,” Pope Francis said. “Let us never tire of asking for forgiveness,” he added.
The Pontiff said the time is ripe for the message of mercy:
“I am convinced that the whole Church — which has much need to receive mercy, because we are sinners — will find in this jubilee the joy to rediscover and render fruitful the mercy of God, with which we are all called to give consolation to every man and woman of our time.”
Those who pass through a Holy Door during this jubilee year will receive a plenary indulgence, which removes all of the temporal punishment for sins committed up to that time — provided the recipient also goes to Confession, receives Communion, and prays for the pope.
On Sunday, December 13, five days after the opening of the jubilee, every diocese around the world is supposed to open a Holy Door. These doors can be in the local cathedral or other churches of particular relevance. This will be a historical first, reflecting Pope Francis’ desire that the jubilee be celebrated on the local level and not just in Rome.