We are finally starting a new year, a very special year. On the one hand, an unsettling, sad, unpredictable year 2020 is coming to an end, which we all like to say goodbye to. On the other hand, a year begins that is not just any year, we begin the year 2021, the holy Compostelan year. A date that we have waited no less than eleven years for. The Xacobeo 2021 begins.
What is the holy year?
The Holy Year, or Compostela Jubilee year, refers to a time when the Church grants unique spiritual graces to believers and is celebrated whenever July 25, the commemoration of the martyrdom of Santiago, falls on a Sunday.
It has its origin by Pope Callisto II, who announced it in 1122. Later, in 1179, Pope Alexander III bestowed the “Regis Aeterni” the eternity.
It is celebrated every 6, 5, 6 and 11 years.
We have been waiting for this Xacobeo 2021 eleven years after the previous one.
What needs to be done to receive the Jubilee Indulgence?
• Visit the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela and the tomb of the Apostle Santiago.
• Say a prayer to seek indulgence from the Holy Pope.
• Receive the sacraments of confession and also of community.
The rituals of the holy year.
The most symbolic act that ushers in the Holy Year is the opening of the Holy Door of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, also known as Puerta del Perdón. This door is located in the Plaza de la Quintana on the east facade of the cathedral right in front of the San Paio de Antealtares Monastery. The Holy Door opens on the afternoon of December 31st, and although it is one of the most recognizable symbols of the Holy Year, it is not mandatory to go through it to receive the indulgences that will be given on the occasion of the Jubilee.
The Berenguela lantern will also be lit throughout Xacobeo 2021. Located at the highest point of the bell tower of Santiago Cathedral, this light is considered to be the lighthouse that guides pilgrims to Santiago during the Holy Years. The rest of the years it won’t.
In order to receive the Jubilee Indulgence, it is also not necessary to have covered one of the sections of the St. James Way. However, it is a very special year for all pilgrims, as the arrival in Santiago during the Xacobeo year is even more important Has. In addition to visiting the cathedral and the apostle, the personal achievement of having passed one of the sections of the Camino and the addition of the vital, physical and spiritual experience that comes with it is a big plus. Therefore, hiking on the St. James Way has been included in the traditions of the Holy Year.
Buen Camino and Happy 2021, Happy Xacobeo.