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2025 is an important year for the Catholic Church. It will mark the next ordinary jubilee, the last one was in 2000, and the one before was in 1975. This time the theme is Pilgrims of Hope. A jubilee is best described as a time of pilgrimage, reconciliation, and prayer. It’s never too soon to start preparing for the 2025 jubilee, the following should help.

The Theme: Pilgrims of Hope

Hope is best described as an optimistic state of mind. People with hope are expecting a positive outcome, whatever the issue. With all the problems facing humanity right now, hope is something that we can’t have too much of. The logo for this jubilee illustrates figures coming together from all areas of the world with the leading figure holding the cross. It confirms the need for hope and the belief in the Christian faith. It’s an anchor, holding you safe as you complete your personal pilgrimage of life. For pilgrims looking to carry a symbol of hope and faith with them, there are numerous commemorative items that reflect the spirit of the Jubilee 2025. These will help you cherish the moment and maintain your hope and faith in the future.

Holy Doors

The jubilee officially starts when a Holy Door is opened at St Peter’s, St Paul’s, St Mary Major’s and St John Lateran’s churches. These are the four Roman basilicas. Each will open a Holy Door at the start of the jubilee and seal it closed at the end of it. It’s likely the pope will open and close the Holy Door at St Peter’s.

Christians should complete a walking pilgrimage to a Holy Door. The pilgrimage should be spent contemplating their faith, the sins they have committed, and the baggage they carry. All of this is stripped away when the pilgrim passes through a Holy Door. That’s the moment they recommit to a life of hope, mercy, and freedom as part of the Christian Church. It’s a deeply spiritual and personal moment.

The Vatican recommendations

The Vatican recommended that, during 2023, all Catholics should study the documents of the Second Vatican Council. During 2024 it’s important to focus on prayer.

Of particular interest in 2023 should have been the four constitutions issued by Vatican II:

  • Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium)
  • Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium)
  • Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum)
  • Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes)

The Vatican has produced guides to help you get the most from the above documents.

During 2024, your focus should be on prayer, ideally by saying a daily prayer focused on building hope and peace across the globe. You should dedicate yourself to rediscovering the value of prayer. In addition, Pope Francis would also like everyone to think about how they can encourage and accompany others in prayer during 2024.

If you’re not sure where to start, go back to the basics and start with the Lord’s Prayer. There is also an official jubilee prayer which can be found here.

The Vatican will release walking guides and a practical and spiritual resource to assist you in your final pilgrimage preparations.

Additional thought

While it’s anticipated that over 30 million people will travel to Rome during 2025, Pope Francis stated, when announcing the jubilee:

“In the realization that all of us are pilgrims on this earth, which the Lord has charged us to till and keep (cf. Gen 2:15), may we never fail, in the course of our sojourn, to contemplate the beauty of creation and care for our common home.”

In short, you don’t need to travel to Rome to complete a pilgrimage, you can do it at home. There will be Holy Doors in religious buildings around the world, this has occurred in precious years and will happen for the 2025 jubilee. You can be environmentally friendly and still receive the grace of God.