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Pope Francis at a weekly general audience (Vatican Media)

The Year of Prayer is about preparing the groundwork for the 2025 Holy Year, so it can spiritually enrich the life of the Church and be a sign of hope for the world, the Vatican said yesterday. Source: CNS.

With little fanfare, Pope Francis officially opened the Year of Prayer after Mass on Sunday. The 2025 Jubilee will begin with the opening of the Holy Door in St Peter’s Basilica on December 24.  

The year 2024 also should be about rebuilding and renewing spiritual pathways and practices so that the spiritual significance of the Jubilee can “emerge more clearly, something which goes far beyond the necessary and urgent forms of structural organisation,” said Archbishop Rino Fisichella, pro-prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelisation’s section for new evangelisation, which is coordinating the Holy Year.

The jubilee must be “prepared for and lived in individual communities with that spirit of expectation which is typical of Christian hope,” he said, unveiling several resources the dicastery is providing to help bishops, dioceses, parishes, families and religious communities rediscover the value of and need for daily prayer.

Unlike other years designated by the Pope, “this is not a year marked with particular initiatives,” Archbishop Fisichella said. Rather it is a time to get back to basics: to discover how to pray and how to educate people in prayer “so that prayer can be effective and fruitful”.

The dicastery will release ideas, suggestions and resources as the year continues, starting with an eight-volume series of booklets titled Notes on Prayer. As the translations are done, the series will be made available to the world’s bishops’ conferences, the archbishop said. 

Pope Francis will also set up a “school of prayer” for 2024. It will be similar to the Pope’s “Fridays of Mercy” initiative during the extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy in 2016 when he visited people on the “peripheries,” including babies in a neonatal unit, a centre for the blind and a housing project.


Spiritual oasis: Year of Prayer a needed rest stop on journey to jubilee (By Carol Glatz, CNS via USCCB)


Year of Prayer: Pope Francis to set up ‘School of Prayer’ (Vatican News)