The Jubilee 2015/2016 – the Jubilee of Mercy - started on December 8, 2105, marking an extraordinary Holy Year. The celebration, which coincides with the fiftieth anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Council in 1965, commenced with the ritual opening of the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and will continue until November 20, 2016.
The Catholic tradition of the Holy Year dates back to Pope Boniface VIII in 1300. From 1475, the ordinary Jubilee was to be celebrated every 25 years in order to allow each generation to experience at least one Holy Year, with the possibility of an extraordinary Jubilee on the occasion of events of particular importance. To date, there have been 24 ordinary Jubilees and four extraordinary – this will be the fifth.
The last Jubilee – the Great Jubilee in 2000 - was a major event in the Roman Catholic Church, celebrated simultaneously in Rome, Israel and elsewhere, during which some 25 million pilgrims were attracted to religious festivities taking place in Rome throughout the year.
View of the Roman Forum
The Pantheon, Rome