Jubilee of Mercy

What is an extraordinary Jubilee Year?  Also called Holy Years, jubilees normally occur every 25 years.  They feature special celebrations and pilgrimages, calls for conversion and repentance, and the offer of special opportunities to experience God’s grace through the sacraments, especially confession.  Extraordinary holy years, such as the Holy Year of Mercy, are less frequent but offer the same opportunities.  The last extraordinary jubilee was called by St. John Paul II in 1983 to mark the 1,950 years after the death of Jesus.  John Paul also let the last holy year, known as the “Great Jubilee,” in 2000.  The Year of Mercy called for by Francis is the third “extraordinary” jubilee since the tradition began 700 years ago.