Pope Francis announced in March 2015 the commencement of the first Jubilee year since the Great Jubilee in 2000. The new jubilee, known as the Holy Year of Mercy, begins on Dec. 8, 2015, and closes on the feast of Christ the King, Nov. 20, 2016.
A jubilee year is a special year called by the pope to receive blessings and a pardon from God, as well as the remission of sins. Since 1300, the Catholic Church has called for a jubilee year every 25 or 50 years. There have also been jubilee years called for special occasions, such as the jubilee year called by Pope John Paul II in 1983 to commemorate 1,950 years since the death and resurrection of Jesus.