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Jubilee of deacons, 28.05.2016

Vatican City, 28 May 2016 – This weekend deacons from all over the world celebrate their jubilee, fifty years after the reinstitution of the permanent diaconate by Vatican Council II with the constitution Lumen Gentium. The world meeting of permanent deacons in Rome – which many attended with their families – also offered the opportunity for reflection on the role and ministry of the diaconate, closely linked to works of charity in the life of the Christian community.

The jubilee opened yesterday at 4 p.m. with a meeting on the theme "The diaconate, image of mercy for promoting new evangelisation", which took place in various churches so that the participants were able to follow the conference and the debate in their own languages. The Italians gathered in the church of Santa Maria in Vallicella and in the Basilica of Sant'Andrea della Valle, the English speakers in the Basilica of San Giovanni dei Fiorentitni and Santa Maria sopra Minerva (where translations were given in German and Portuguese), and the Spanish in the Basilica of San Marco Evangelista al Campidoglio. The same division in terms of language will be maintained this afternoon during the catechesis "The deacon: called to dispense charity in the Christian community". Today from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. there will be a pilgrimage to the Holy Door of St. Peter's Basilica. Tomorrow the jubilee event will conclude with Mass celebrated by the Holy Father in St. Peter's Square.

During the three days deacons will be able to participate in Eucharistic adoration and the Sacrament of Reconciliation in the three jubilee churches (San Salvador in Lauro, Santa Maria in Vallicella (Chiesa Nuova), and San Giovanni Battista dei Fiorentini) and they are invited to make personal pilgrimages to the churches dedicated to St. Lawrence the martyr, the first deacon (San Lorenzo in Piscibus, Basilica of San Lorenzo in Damaso, San Lorenzo in Lucina, San Lorenzo in Miranda, San Lorenzo in Fonte, San Lorenzo in Panisperna and the Basilica of San Lorenzo Fuori-le-Mura).