On the two-year anniversary of his election, Pope Francis announced a surprise Holy Year of Mercy. The "extraordinary” Jubilee will begin with the opening of the Holy Door of St. Peter's Basilica on December 8, and it will end on November 20, 2016.
Since 1300, there have been 28 jubilees. Twenty-four were ordinary and just four extraordinary. This will be the fifth. Ordinary jubilees are held every 25 years. The last one took place in 2000. Extraordinary jubilees occurs only when a Pope calls for one, as Pope Francis just has.
The Pope wants the Church to show a stronger type of mercy. The Jubilee will also take part on the 50th anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Council.