Rome, often referred to as the Eternal City, is gearing up for the highly anticipated Jubilee Year of 2025, set to begin with the opening of the Holy Doors in December 2024. With the theme "Pilgrims of Hope," this sacred event is expected to draw approximately 35 million pilgrims to Rome over the course of the year.
Jubilee years hold significant spiritual importance, offering a chance for individuals to renew their relationship with God and seek reconciliation. Additionally, these years provide an opportunity for the city of Rome to improve its infrastructure, making it even more beautiful and accessible for visitors. The upcoming Jubilee Year in 2025 is no exception, featuring a plethora of ambitious projects aimed at enhancing the city's appeal.
One of the standout projects involves the iconic Via della Conciliazione, or the Road of Reconciliation. This historic road, approximately 500 meters long, connects St. Peter's Basilica to Castel Sant'Angelo. Currently, the road is separated from Castel Sant'Angelo by a busy main road, disrupting the flow of pedestrians and tourists.
Mayor of Rome, Roberto Gualtieri, explained, "From the Vatican came the idea and the need to improve safety and the quality of the pedestrian flow from Castel Sant'Angelo, which is a very important tourist area, to the Vatican." Historically, this route held significance, dating back to the Roman era when it connected the Mausoleum of Hadrian and the Circus of Caligula and Nero. In the Christian era, it became even more vital, offering a direct path from Castel Sant'Angelo to the grandeur of St. Peter's Basilica.
The Via della Conciliazione was initially conceived in the 1930s as a symbol of reconciliation between the Italian State and Vatican City. However, its construction involved demolishing the neighborhood that previously occupied the area.
Mayor Gualtieri further explained, "In 1929, in connection to the reconciliation between the Italian state and the Holy See, the Lateran Treaty was supported by this new road, which is Via della Conciliazione."
Despite previous attempts to improve traffic leading up to the Jubilee of 2000, including the creation of a tunnel, the full project couldn't be completed due to complications associated with digging in an ancient city and the need to relocate water pipes.
Now, as preparations for the 2025 Jubilee Year are in full swing, Rome is embarking on a mission to complete the vision of the Via della Conciliazione. Mayor Gualtieri expressed, "Now we have the Via della Conciliazione, the old tunnel, and now with the new tunnel, really the reconciliation is complete. Like I said, we go from reconciliation to the hug; it's a big hug between Rome and St. Peter and the Holy See."
As the Vatican and the city of Rome prepare to welcome millions of pilgrims for the 2025 Jubilee Year of Hope, it's a fitting time to heed Pope Francis's advice and use the upcoming year of 2024 for spiritual preparation, ensuring that the pilgrimage experience is truly transformative and filled with hope.
Pope Francis emphasized the significance of Jubilee years, stating, "The Jubilee has always been an event of great spiritual, ecclesial, and social significance in the life of the Church."
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Formerly with BBCNews and BBCClick, now a journalist based in Rome with EWTN. Co-Founder of CentralCLCC and associated with FarmStChurch. Passionate about sharing news and stories that matter