If walking the Camino de Santiago has been on your mind, chances are you have come across words like Jubilee, Jacobeo, or Jacobean year.
Feeling a bit confused with all the information? Don’t worry, we’ll explain everything!
First, we should go back to 1122: that’s when Pope Calixtus II gave the Diocese of Santiago de Compostela the authority to grant full forgiveness of all sins to the pilgrims who visited the tomb of the apostle in the years in which Saint James Day, July 25th, fell on a Sunday. This happens every6, 5, 6 and 11 years(a total of 14 times in every century) and such a year is considered a Holy Year, a Jacobean year or, simply, a Jacobeo.2021 is a Jacobean year, however due to the pandemic it has been extended until 2022.
The Jacobeo officially begins with the opening of the Holy Door by the archbishop of Santiago on the afternoon of December 31st the year before. The archbishop will then hold a silver hammer and will knock three times on the wall covering the Holy Door, in the Plaza de la Quintana, to symbolize the hardships of the Camino. This is the door pilgrims traditionally use to enter the temple, and it will remain open during the whole of the Jacobeo. As we have mentioned before, in the Jacobean year it is possible to obtain a full plenary indulgence (also known as “The Jubilee”), which means the forgiveness of all sins up to that point in a person’s life. The plenary indulgences are, understandably, one of the strongest reasons why pilgrims choose to walk the Camino in a Holy Year.
To be granted plenary indulgence, pilgrims must first complete several steps:
- visit the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.
- say a prayer – at least the Our Father, the Apostle’s Creed and a prayer for the intentions of the Pope. It is also recommended to attend Mass.
- within the 15 days before or after visiting the cathedral, pilgrims should go to confession and communion.
As one might expect, during Holy Years the Camino de Santiago experiences a substantial increase in the number of pilgrims.It’s important to make your booking as soon as possible to guarantee your place.
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