Vatican launches Jubilee Calendar website and app
By Lisa Zengarini
The Holy Year 2025 is approaching and preparations are well underway.
At a press conference held on Tuesday in the Holy See Press Office, officials of the Section for Fundamental Questions regarding Evangelization in the World of the Dicastery for Evangelization detailed the several projects envisioned and the preparatory work achieved so far.
Speaking at the conference, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, the Pro-Prefect of the Dicastery’s Section in charge of coordinating the Vatican’s efforts for the event, said that preparations are proceeding at full speed and are progressing significantly.
Besides starting a series of operational meetings with the Italian government and authorities of the Lazio Region, and the City of Rome to discuss the realization of the infrastructure needed to facilitate the reception of the millions of pilgrims expected to visit the Eternal City in 2025, over the past year the Vatican Dicastery has set up four Commissions and a Technical Committee to support it in outlining the general programme.
These include a Pastoral Commission, a working group composed of representatives of each Dicastery of the Roman Curia and pastoral contact persons of some ecclesial entities, and whose purpose is to promote preparatory initiatives particularly in the local Churches.
Also, a Cultural Commission has been established to help promote and coordinate cultural activities including exhibitions, concerts and performances, which will accompany and enrich the pilgrims’ spiritual experience.
El Greco exhibition in the Vatican
These activities will kick off in September with an exhibition in the Vatican of three masterpieces of Spanish Renaissance artist El Greco: The Baptism of Christ, Christ Carrying the Cross, and Christ Blessing. This first "symbolic event" , said Archbishop Fisichella, will help visitors reflect on the of "Hope in Christ," which is the theme underlining the 2025 Jubilee, whose motto is “Pilgrims of Hope”.
Also included in the Jubilee preparatory initiatives is the traditional exhibition "100 Nativity Scenes in the Vatican", a popular annual event held in Rome during the Christmas season in which creches from across the globe are displayed.
The information and communication work of the Dicastery will be supported by a Communications Commission bringing together journalists from various newspapers, academics, and new media experts, while an Ecumenical Commission will provide, not only support for inter-religious dialogue on the central theme of Hope, but will also contribute with the Dicastery to the organization of the celebrations for the 17th centenary anniversary of the historic Council of Nicaea, the first Christological Council in Church history, which also falls in 2025.
One further goal achieved over the past months has been the involvement in the Vatican’s Jubilee preparation projects of Dioceses from all around the world. The Dicastery, said Archbishop Fisichella, has already met with the 212 delegates of the Italian dioceses and the 90 representatives of Bishops' Conferences.
Publication and translation of "Council Notebooks”
Following a request by Pope Francis that 2023 be dedicated to the “rediscovery” of the four Constitutions of the Second Vatican Council on the occasion of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of its opening, the Dicastery has published the "Council Notebooks”, a series of 35 small volumes, on the contents of the Dei Verbum, Sacrosanctum Concilium, Lumen Gentium and Gaudium et Spes.
The "Notebooks" have already been translated into Spanish by the Bishops' Conference of Spain under the title "Cuadernos del Concilio," and are also being translated by the Mexican, Brazilian, Czech Bishops’ Conferences and in India into English.
In view of 2024, which Pope Francis has asked to dedicate to prayer, the Dicastery is also studying the possibility of setting up a "School of Prayer," and plans to publish a series of resources titled "Notes on Prayer," aimed at encouraging the faithful to rediscover the value of prayer sustained by the great Christian tradition.
Winner of the Competition for the official Jubilee Hymn
During the press conference, the Vatican Pro-Prefect also announced that the Dicastery has selected the winner of the Competition for the official Jubilee Hymn. His name is Maestro Francesco Meneghello, from Mantua, Italy, who is to set to music the text by Italian theologian and musicologist Pierangelo Sequeri.
The Calendar of the Holy Year and Jubilee website
One of the highlights of the conference was the presentation of the Calendar of the Holy Year, though for the moment it only covers major jubilee events (Jubilee of young people, movements, confraternities, catechists, the world of work, schools). It will be gradually updated as the Jubilee year approaches.
Visitors will be able to ask information on the Jubilee Year, at a Pilgrims Center - Info Point to be inaugurated on June 1 in the premises of Via della Conciliazion, 7 in front of st.Peters’ Basilica .
As from 10 May information can also be found on the Jubilee website www.iubilaeum2025.va.
The new portal, explained Monsignor Graham Bell, the Dicastery’s Section undersecretar is available in 9 languages and already presents some of the most important content for learning about the Jubilee event, including information on the Holy Door of St. Peter's and the other Roman Basilicas. News will be updated daily and, starting in September this yea, pilgrims will be able to register for the Jubilee events and the pilgrimage to the Holy Door.
The “Pilgrim Card"
From that date the Pilgrim's Zone, the personal page accessed after registering, will be active. Upon registration, after entering the required data, pilgrims will receive the “Pilgrim Card" in digital version, with a personal Qr code needed to access Jubilee events and to organize the pilgrimage to the Holy Door. The use will be intended not only for individuals, but also for groups.
The Jubilee App
Also from September social media pages and the new Jubilee App, iubilaeum2025, be officially active and accessible. The app, which will be downloadable for iOs and Android, will allow users to access all the news already on the website, but also make it easier and faster to register for Jubilee events, with the option of receiving personalized information.