CV NEWS FEED // The Vatican announced this week that Pope Francis will organize and lead a “School of Prayer,” where he will pray with various groups of people in preparation for the 2025 Jubilee year themed “Pilgrims of hope.”
Francis announced that 2024 would be consecrated as the “Year of Prayer” in preparation for the Catholic Jubilee, Pro-Prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization Msgr. Rino Fisichella said during a Vatican press conference, “The Pope himself, during this year, will set up a ‘School of Prayer’.”
“This will be a series of moments of encounter with specific groups of people to pray together and better understand the various forms of prayer: from thanksgiving to intercession; from contemplative prayer to the prayer of consolation; from adoration to supplication,” Fisichella said.
The Vatican Publishing House is also publishing a “Notes on Prayer” series to provide resources for the year, the first being Italian prelate Cardinal Angelo Comastri’s book Praying Today. A Challenge to Be Overcome, prefaced by Francis.
Undersecretary in Charge of the Secretariat of the Dicastery for Evangelization Msgr. Graham Bell said in the press conference, that “the text… offers reminders of the need for prayer and teachings for having ‘a different gaze and a different heart’ by highlighting figures who have testified on the fruitfulness of prayer such as St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Francis of Assisi and Mother Teresa of Calcutta.”
The Vatican Publishing House will also release an additional seven other volumes of texts for the “Notes on Prayer” series. Fisichella also highlighted 38 catechetical talks Francis gave from May 2020 to June 2021. “These are texts that consider the various forms of prayer and they can be re-read, as they contain many useful suggestions,” he said.
“Together with these resources we will prepare pastoral aids that present anew the various expressions of prayer in the community, in the family, for priests, cloistered nuns, sanctuaries, young people and so on,” Fisichella added. “In short, nothing extraordinary, not new prayers, but help to live with greater awareness of the need for daily prayer.”
Fisichella recalled the words of Francis, who said, “I am certain that bishops, priests, deacons and catechists will find in this year, appropriate ways to place prayer at the heart of the announcement of hope that the 2025 Jubilee will make resound in this troubled time.”
“In order for the Jubilee to be an event that spiritually enriches the life of the Church and of the entire people of God, becoming a concrete sign of hope,” Fisichella said, “it has to be prepared for and lived in individual communities with that spirit of expectation which is typical of Christian hope. The Year of Prayer fully corresponds to this need.”
A jubilee is a special year of remission of sins and universal pardon. During a jubilee year, Catholics are encouraged to seek forgiveness for their sins, make a pilgrimage to the Holy See if possible, and engage in acts of charity and mercy.
Pope Boniface VIII proclaimed the first Christian Jubilee in 1300. This jubilee was set to be celebrated every 100 years. Later, Pope Clement VI reduced the interval between jubilees to 50 years. Starting in the second half of the XIX century, jubilees became typically celebrated every 25 years.
One of the most memorable jubilees in recent history was the one presided by St. John Paul II in the year 2000, which he celebrated as a both hopeful and challenging transition of the Catholic Church into the Third Millennium.