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End of the Year of Mercy: Remain Open to Mercy

The Holy Door in St. Peter’s Basilica closed on November 20, 2016, marking the end of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy that Pope Francis opened last December. Pope Francis instituted this period of prayer as a time for Catholics to embrace and celebrate God’s mercy, especially through acts of charity and penance. Major basilicas and cathedrals all over the world opened special “Doors of Mercy,” which the faithful were invited to pass through so they might remember to be open to mercy themselves, including mercy for all other creatures and for the earth. 

During the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, Pope Francis added care for our common home as both a spiritual and a corporal work of mercy. Care for creation as a spiritual work of mercy involves “a grateful contemplation of God’s world which allows us to discover in each thing a teaching which God wishes to hand on to us.” Care for creation as a corporal work of mercy “requires simple daily gestures which break with the logic of violence, exploitation and selfishness and makes itself felt in every action that seeks to build a better world.” Pope Francis and our faith call us to contemplate what God creates, to end that which sows death and destruction, and to be caretakers of all things. 

Though the Jubilee year of Mercy has come to a close, the call to be open to mercy remains. Let’s take that first step “to build[ing] a better world” through simple daily gestures.  You can visit our “Reduce Your Carbon Footprint” resource page and our entire Resource Library for ideas to help you make your entire life a  work of mercy. If you have found ways to incorporate works of mercy into your own personal or community life, we would love for you to share them with us.

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