Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
13 Aug 2016
An estimated 13 million pilgrims have participated in the Jubilee of Mercy, since Pope Francis inaugurated the Holy Year on December 8, 2015.
This information was provided by the official Jubilee web page, calculating the number of registrations to cross the Holy Door in St. Peter's Basilica.
Pilgrims have come from every continent, but some did not have to travel too far from home.
"We come from several parishes in the Bologna region. We have walked parts of the Francigena, and we arrived in Rome a few days ago, and we're going back tomorrow."
Pilgrims coming to Rome can cross through any of the four Holy Doors in the city to achieve a plenary indulgence. However, the reason for this pilgrimage is, above all, to follow Pope Francis' words when he announced the Holy Year, "to rediscover and make fruitful the mercy of God."
"This Jubilee is the opportunity to free ourselves of our burdens and to be carriers of the mercy of our Lord, both spiritually and materially."
Throughout this year, hundreds of pilgrims could be seen carrying a cross into St. Peter's Square, through a lane specially marked for this Holy Year.
With a few months of the Jubilee still ahead, and events that will attract thousands of pilgrims, like the canonization of Mother Teresa on September 4, it seems clear that the number will significantly go up before the end of the Holy Year on November 20.