Tradition dictates that each Jubilee is proclaimed through the publication of a Papal or Pontifical ‘Bull of Indiction’. By ‘Bull’ is meant an official document, generally written in Latin, bearing the seal of the Pope, the shape of which gives its name to the document itself.
In the past the seal was usually made of lead and bore, on the front, the image of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, founders of the Church of Rome, and, on the back, the name of the current Pontiff. Later an ink stamp replaced the metal seal, which, however, continued to be used for more important documents.
Each Bull is identified by its initial words. For example, Saint John Paul II proclaimed the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 with the Bull Incarnationis Mysterium (The Mystery of the Incarnation), while Pope Francis proclaimed the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy (2015-2016) with the Bull Misericordiae vultus (The face of mercy).
The Bull announcing the Jubilee, which indicates the dates of the beginning and end of the Holy Year, is usually issued the previous year, coinciding with the Solemnity of the Ascension. For the 2025 Jubilee, publication is expected on May 9, 2024.
The Jubilee Logo
The logo shows four stylized figures, representing all of humanity, coming from the four corners of the earth. They embrace each other to indicate the solidarity and fraternity which should unite all peoples.
The figure at the front is holding onto the cross. It is not only the sign of the faith which this lead figure embraces, but also of hope, which can never be abandoned, because we are always in need of hope, especially in our moments of greatest need.
There are the rough waves under the figures, symbolising the fact that life’s pilgrimage does not always go smoothly in calm waters. Often the circumstances of daily life and events in the wider world require a greater call to hope. That’s why we should pay special attention to the lower part of the cross which has been elongated and turned into the shape of an anchor which is let down into the waves. The anchor is well known as a symbol of hope. In maritime jargon the ‘anchor of hope’ refers to the reserve anchor used by vessels involved in emergency manoeuvres to stabilise the ship during storms.
It is worth noting that the image illustrates the pilgrim’s journey not as an individual undertaking, but rather as something communal, marked by an increasing dynamism leading one ever closer to the cross. The cross in the logo is by no means static, but it is also dynamic. It bends down towards humanity, not leaving human beings alone, but stretching out to them to offer the certainty of its presence and the security of hope. At the bottom of the logo is the motto of the 2025 Jubilee Year: Pilgrims in hope represented in green letters.