Freethought Almanac

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December 22: Pope Leo XIII Proclaims a Jubilee (1885): What Is a Jubilee?

It was on this date, December 22, 1885, that Pope Leo XIII proclaimed an extraordinary jubilee. To most of us moderns, a jubilee is a special anniversary, or the celebration of it, but in both the Jewish and Christian traditions a Jubilee Year is a year of celebration and forgiveness of sin. The word “jubilee” comes from the Latin jubilaeus annus “year of jubilee,” from a Hebrew word Yobhel (יובל), meaning “ram’s-horn trumpet,” with which the jubilee year was proclaimed.

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Originally published December 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.

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Ronald Bruce Meyer

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