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Rome's mayor discusses preparations for millions of visitors during Jubilee of Mercy

2015-07-24

In March, Pope Francis made one of the most important announcements of his pontificate: he announced a Holy Year of Mercy.

POPE FRANCIS
"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.”

It will begin on December 8th with the opening of the Holy Door in St. Peter's Basilica and it will end on November 20th. During the Holy Year of Mercy, Rome could have some 33 million pilgrims.

The question remains: is the Eternal City prepared for such a massive and lengthy event?

IGNAZIO MARINO
Mayor of Rome (Italy)
"The Jubilee of Mercy has to be taken seriously. Obviously, we are preparing the city in a different way than we did for the Year 2000 Jubilee.”

Fifteen years ago, there were just 25 million pilgrims. This year, the jubilee will have events for priests, catechists, youth and, even Roman prison inmates.

IGNAZIO MARINO
Mayor of Rome (Italy)
"We are working hard at being more welcoming, especially, for example in the Termini train network. Also, we want to make the streets more welcoming. We are trying to do all these things that may seem small but will enhance acceptance and viability in our city.”

An event such as the Jubilee is a challenge for any city. However, Rome is not just any city. It has held Jubilees, major ceremonies like the canonization of Pope John Paul II, and extraordinary events such as the election of a new Pope. In a few months, it will be possible to see how well Rome prepared for the Jubilee Year.


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