What is the Year of Mercy?
Pope Francis called for the Year of Mercy after seeing the great need for mercy and healing in our world. This is a time for the Church all around the world to take the year to really focus on forgivness and healing in a special way. Pope Francis has asked us and the Church “to be a witness of mercy” by reflecting on and practicing the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. The Holy Year of Mercy began on December 8, 2015 and will focus on studying and reflecting on mercy, receiving mercy, and being merciful towards others. For more information, visit the Vatican’s official website of the Year of Mercy.
The Works of Mercy
The works of mercy are ways that we can live out mercy in our everyday lives. They are how we show compassion, kindness, love, and self-restraint to the people around us, but physically and spiritually. The Catechism of the Catholic Churchs states, “The works of mercy are charitable actions by which we come to the aid of our neighbor in his spiritual and bodily necessities” (No. 2447). There are the works of mercy:
Corporal Works of Mercy
- Feed the hungry
- Give drink to the thirsty
- Clothe the naked
- Harbour the harbourless
- Visit the sick
- Ransom the captive
- Bury the dead
Spiritual Works of Mercy
- Instruct the ignorant
- Counsel the doubtful
- Admonish sinners
- Bear wrongs patiently
- Forgive offenses willingly
- Comfort the afflicted
- Pray for the living and the dead
Year of Mercy Prayer
Lord Jesus Christ,
You have taught us to be merciful like the heavenly Father,
and have told us that whoever sees you sees Him.
Show us your face and we will be saved.
Your loving gaze freed Zacchaeus and Matthew from being enslaved by money;
the adulteress and Magdalene from seeking happiness only in created things;
made Peter weep after his betrayal,
and assured Paradise to the repentant thief.
Let us hear, as if addressed to each one of us, the words that you spoke to the Samaritan woman:
“If you knew the gift of God!”
You are the visible face of the invisible Father,
of the God who manifests his power above all by forgiveness and mercy:
let the Church be your visible face in the world, its Lord risen and glorified.
You willed that your ministers would also be clothed in weakness
in order that they may feel compassion for those in ignorance and error:
let everyone who approaches them feel sought after, loved, and forgiven by God.
Send your Spirit and consecrate every one of us with its anointing,
so that the Jubilee of Mercy may be a year of grace from the Lord,
and your Church, with renewed enthusiasm, may bring good news to the poor,
proclaim liberty to captives and the oppressed, and restore sight to the blind.
We ask this through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Mercy,
you who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever.