Pope Francis’ declaration of the Jubilee Year of Mercy occasions the opportunity to remind us of the value of the free Pope App on our Apple (iOS) or Android device. Vatican Radio’s report of the historic proclamation detailing the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy appeared in English on the opening screen of the Pope App the afternoon of the announcement (11 April 2015). Yes, we value the Pope App’s timely reporting, but more importantly, we value the convenience of bundling the many resources surrounding this extradorinaiy event within one app. So, not only do we get Vatican Radio’s report, we also get an option to
- listen to an English audio recording of the report
- read the English text of the Pope’s homily (during First Vespers for Divine Mercy Sunday)
- access a link to the full text (in several languages) of the official Bull of Indiction, Misericordiae Vultus, which proclaimed the Jubilee year.
But that’s not all. Had you opened your Pope App that evening, you could have also been treated to live video of the First Vespers service in which this proclamation was made. All this information in the palm of our hands on this historic day is, in a word, sweet. Sweeter yet, are the words of Pope Francis himself on the great gift of Mercy:
“Many question in their hearts: why a Jubilee of Mercy today? Simply because the Church, in this time of great historical change, is called to offer more evident signs of God’s presence and closeness. This is not the time to be distracted; on the contrary, we need to be vigilant and to reawaken in ourselves the capacity to see what is essential. This is a time for the Church to rediscover the meaning of the mission entrusted to her by the Lord on the day of Easter: to be a sign and an instrument of the Father’s mercy (cf. Jn 20:21-23). For this reason, the Holy Year must keep alive the desire to know how to welcome the numerous signs of the tenderness which God offers to the whole world and, above all, to those who suffer, who are alone and abandoned, without hope of being pardoned or feeling the Father’s love. A Holy Year to experience strongly within ourselves the joy of having been found by Jesus, the Good Shepherd who has come in search of us because we were lost. A Jubilee to receive the warmth of his love when he bears us upon his shoulders and brings us back to the Father’s house. A year in which to be touched by the Lord Jesus and to be transformed by his mercy, so that we may become witnesses to mercy. Here, then, is the reason for the Jubilee: because this is the time for mercy. It is the favourable time to heal wounds, a time not to be weary of meeting all those who are waiting to see and to touch with their hands the signs of the closeness of God, a time to offer everyone, everyone, the way of forgiveness and reconciliation.” [From: Homily, First Vespers, Divine Mercy Sunday]