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The Pope receives the organisers of the “Antiquorum habet” exhibition on the history of Jubilees, 19.01.2017

This morning, in the Clementine Hall of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, Pope Francis received in audience the organisers of the exhibition “Antiquorum habet”, dedicated to the history of Jubilees and held at the Senate of the Italian Republic, Italy from 13 March to 2 July last year. The delegation was led by the president of the Senate, Pietro Grasso, who spoke briefly prior to the Pope’s address.

“Thank you for coming. I greet you cordially, starting with the president of the Senate, the Honorable Pietro Grasso, whom I thank for his kind words.

“This meeting offers me the opportunity to express my deep gratitude for the exhibition regarding the history of the Jubilees, which was held in the Senate of the Republic last year. It documented many aspects of the Holy Years, starting from the first, convoked by Pope Boniface VIII with the Bull Antiquorum habet. From 1300 onwards, every Jubilee has marked the history of Rome: from the architecture for welcoming pilgrims to the art of aid and charitable activities. But there is an essential element, the heart of every Holy Year, which we must never lose sight of: in the Jubilee we encounter the goodness of God and the fragility of man, who is always in need of the love and forgiveness of the Father. Indeed, it is typical of God to use mercy. You [President Grasso] spoke of welcome as the core of every Jubilee; and this is the great welcome. When God welcomes us, without asking many things, He forgives us, He embraces us, He kisses us and He says these beautiful words to us: ‘my son, my daughter’.

“In thanking the organisers and volunteers of the exhibition, and the Senate that hosted it, for their work in raising the historical and cultural awareness of visitors, I hope that you will all continue to draw abundant and lasting fruits from the Jubilee experience. May the Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy, obtain this.

“Thank you, Mr. President, for this visit. I pray for your high institutional service and for the work of all of you. I bless you and your dear ones. And you too, please, pray for me. Many thanks”.