Year of Faith
October 11, 2012 — November 24, 2013
With the apostolic Porta Fidei dated October 11, 2011, Pope Benedict XVI has established the Year of Faith to give renewed vigor to the Church’s mission to bring mankind from the aridity of this life without God, to a place where he finds abundance of life through friendship with Jesus Christ.
The Year of Faith which begins October 11, 2012, coincides with the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, and the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The Year of Faith will conclude at the Solemnity of th Feast of Christ the King, November 24, 2013, at the 1700th anniversary of the Edict of Milan, issued by Constantine, which became the pivotal point for Christianity to be accepted as the official religion of the Roman Empire.
In his Apostolic Letter, our Holy Father invites us to rediscover the richness of our faith, to reflect, pray, live and celebrate our Catholic Faith. This Holy Year is a challenge and a call for each of us to renew our commitment to Christ.
In its official statement, the Pontifical Council address on the New Evangelization, was given to a gathering of cardinals by Monsignor Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council. He emphasized that the “main purpose of this Holy Year is to rediscover the joy of meeting Jesus Christ in these crucial times when many Christians are seen as unconcerned, and far away from community life.” He adds that the Year of Faith becomes a propitious occasion for the Church to offer a common testimony of her faith in the Risen Christ.
In a statement made by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Christians are invited and encouraged to make pilgrimages to the See of St. Peter, where they can profess their faith in the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit; they are also encouraged to make pilgrimages to the Holy Land, where people experienced for the first time the presence of Jesus Christ, our Savior, and His mother, Mary.
With these proclamations, ORP, a work of the Vicariate of Rome, and an organization of the Holy See, of which Kairos is an official American agency for ORP, we are committed to inner spiritual growth and evangelization through the use of pilgrimages. ORP and Kairos are ready to serve the Church by responding to the spiritual needs of pilgrims who want to consider making a pilgrimage during this Year of Faith. We see the idea of pilgrimage as a privileged tool for evangelization.
In its pastoral directives, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith sees Evangelization as both something deeply personal and at the same time an opportunity to be community. This is exactly what the experience of a pilgrimage is about.
At ORP and Kairos, we wish to provide our bishops and other Church leaders some helpful suggestions to support their activities during the Year of Faith. As in the past, we believe the idea of pilgrimage today is a very viable instrument which offers pilgrims an experience of God in action, and therefore the time of doing a pilgrimage is an optimal time for Christians to deepen their faith.
This is an invitation for Christians everywhere to rediscover sacred places and events in the history of salvation through the lives of the saints, through personal and community experiences that reach the hearts of men and women of all ages.
What ORP and Kairos are offering
To meet the directives of our Holy Father, as highlighted in his apostolic letter Porta Fidei, and the need for a new evangelization, two different pilgrimages are offered to help Christians rediscover their faith, and to meet and renew each pilgrim’s call to a deep and personal encounter with Jesus Christ and His Church which He founded on the apostles.
1) The Profession of Faith and the calling to the holiness (Rome, Assisi, Siena, S. Giovanni Rotondo and Padua)
Also know as the Eternal City, Rome offers the testimony of important saints, like St. Peter and St. Paul. It is a place that has nourished and strengthened the faith of so many Christians since the time of the Apostles. While in Rome we would visit St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, symbol of the Church universal and the residence of our Holy Father who is the guardian of the Apostolic Tradition, and the place where the Second Vatican Council took place.
Kairos, the American representative for the Vatican Office for Pilgrimages, is ready to guide and accompany Christian pilgrims in Rome throughout the Year of Faith. Rome is a city rich with the concrete fruit of Christian faith lived by the martyrs and saints who were there The summit of our pilgrimage to Rome is the preparation for the Professio Fidei, with the reading and meditation of Holy Scripture. As the Office for the Congregation of the Faith stated in its annotation to the conclusive formula of the Professio Fidei, the New Testament is the privileged witness of the first Profession of Faith, promulgated immediately after the Easter events of which St. Paul writes” For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.” (I Cor. 15:3-6).
The profession of faith would take place at the tomb of St. Peter in the Basilica. Listening to the words of St. Peter’s successor at a papal audience or during the Angelus at St. Peter’s Square will help pilgrims to experience their renewal of faith, not only personally but also shared in community as they gather with other Catholics all over the world as one Church.
St. Peter Basilica
History of the Council Vatican II
Professio Fidei, Profession of Faith
Basilica of St. John in Lateran and Peter Prison
Lectio Divina, (divine teachings and preparation to the Professio Fidei)
St. Peter Square
Prayer of the Angelus and audience with the Holy Father
St Mary of the Angels Basilica
The simple prayer at the Porziuncola
St. Francis Basilica
Life of St. Francis through Giotto paintings
St. Catherine Sanctuary
Acceptance of the sufferings and the strength of the prayer
St. John Rotondo
Saint Mary of the Grace Sanctuary
The exercise on humility and reconciliation
St. Anthony Basilica
The evangelization and the Word
St. Mark's Basilica
2) The Rediscovery of Faith: meeting with Christ through the Sacraments (The Holy Land)
The second part of the pilgrimage responds to the indication emerged by the Doctrine of the Faith that invites to support pilgrimages in Holy Land. This journey is focused on deepening the elements of faith throughout the visit and the experience of prayer in the land where God actualized His plan of Salvation and where the Church made its first steps. Companions in this journey are the Sacraments and the word of God, gifts of the divine Grace.
In connection with what is exposed above, the itinerary will touch various places where our guides and pastoral assistants will invite you to meditate:
Nazareth: the city of Mary connected to the years before the public life of Jesus. These are the places where the Holy Family lived together. In Nazareth we need to connect and seriously ponder the meaning of the marriage and the reality of the family.
Cafarnao: during His public life Jesus spent a long time near Galilee Lake. This is the place where He called the first Apostles. Here is the place where we can reconnect to our vocation of being Christian or where youth can pray for discernment.
Judah Desert: This is the site where we can reconnect with the penitential liturgy: the 40 years spent by the Israeli in the desert and, the 40 days spent by Jesus after His baptism. The desert is the place of prayer and meeting with the Father.
Qasr el Yahoud: the place where Jesus was baptized invites us to reflex on this Sacrament and how faith is connected to it.
Jerusalem: Jerusalem offers a great richness of holy places: the Last Supper and the Sacrament of the Eucharist. There is no sacrament of Eucharist without the Church and vice versa. The connection is essential. In order to enter into the mystery of passion, death and resurrection of Christ, Jerusalem help us to retrace these moments by experiencing the Via Crucis and the entrance to the Holy Sepulcher.
Bethlehem: place of birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, and final destination of the pilgrimages of the Three Magi, who came from the Far East to homage the Savior of the world: this connection is significant for remembering and deepening the meaning of the universality of the church as catholic.
Emmaus: As Jesus commanded his apostles on the day of his ascension to announce the good news and to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, in the same way the Church has the duty to follow Jesus' will. Once again an opportunity is offered to meditate on the centrality of the Eucharist and on the call to the mission of the Church
Basilica of the annunciation
Meditation about the marriage and the family
Church of the house of St. Peter
Choice of the vocation and joy of the Gospel
Qasr el Yahoud
Renewal of the baptism promises
Cenacle, last supper
Meditation about the institution of the Eucharist
Via Crucis, Holy Sepulcher
Passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ
Basilica of the Nativity
Opening to the Church all over the world
Centrality of the Eucharist and calling to the mission
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