The Pope used a penitential meeting at the Vatican to make one of the most important announcements of his pontificate: the call for a Jubilee.
"I have often thought about how the Church can do more to make clear its mission of being a witness of mercy. It is a path that begins with a spiritual conversion. Therefore, I have decided to convene a special jubilee focused on God's mercy. It will be a Holy Year of Mercy.”
In history there have been only 28 Jubilees. The last one was called by John Paul II in 2000, and before that he also called one in 1983. This one will begin on December 8 and will end on November 20, 2016.
"I am convinced that the whole Church will find in this jubilee joy to rediscover and make fruitful the mercy of God, with which we are all called to comfort every man and woman of our time.”
Minutes before announcing the jubilee, he stressed in his homily the importance of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. He said, "God always forgives and never gets tired of forgiving.”
The Pope invited people to confession and, leading by example, confessed himself. Then he heard confessions from several people at the same place that Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI once confessed.