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Pope Francis' Agenda for 2024: Road to the 2025 Jubilee Year

In his Christmas day “Urbi et Orbi,” a solemn papal address, Pope Francis shared his wish to journey through 2024 as “a pilgrim of hope” treating the new year as “a time of preparation for the Holy Year,” the Jubilee Year in 2025. The Holy Father expressed his hope that the new year would be “an opportunity for the conversion of hearts, for the rejection of war and the embrace of peace, and for joyfully responding to the Lord’s call.”   

Although Pope Francis is now 87 years old and one of the oldest popes in history to lead the Catholic Church, a glance at his agenda for 2024 reveals that he has no intention of slowing down or reducing his engagements.     

The Holy Father didn’t take a pause for the Christmas holidays. On the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord on January 8, he baptized the children of Vatican employees in the Sistine Chapel. 

The Holy Father continues to have mobility problems due to medical issues with his right knee and hip, but unlike last year, he can now walk short distances. He is in good health for a man of his age, the papal doctor Sergio Alfieri confirmed.  

Since becoming pope, the Holy Father has visited 61 countries during 44 journeys outside Italy. In 2024, for the 600th anniversary of the Catholic University of Louvain he intends to go to Belgium, a country he visited as Jesuit provincial. Plans are also underway for a 10-day visit at the end of August to four Asian countries—Indonesia, Singapore, Timor Leste, and Papua New Guinea. 

Pope Francis is also expected to finally visit Argentina, his homeland, but the complicated economic and political situation in the country puts these plans in question.  

Pope Francis faces an important decision regarding the Church in China this year. The Sino-Vatican provisional agreement, which relates to the nomination of bishops in mainland China, was first signed in Beijing on September 22, 2018. The Holy See and China have since renewed this agreement in 2020 and 2022. By October 2024, Pope Francis and China will have to either renew the agreement for another two years, make it permanent, or introduce changes. 

In what will be a culminating moment of his 10-year effort to reform and lead the Catholic Church and its 1.3 billion members on to a new missionary path, Pope Francis will preside over the second and final session of the Synod on Synodality in October 2024. 

Pope Francis is expected to initiate the Jubilee Year 2025 just before Christmas by opening the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica in a rite dating back to the year 1500. 2025 will be his second jubilee. The first was the extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, which he opened in Bangui, the capital of the war-torn Central African Republic, on November 29, 2015.     

Vatican organizers of the Jubilee 2025 expect the event to attract around 30 million pilgrims to the eternal city, and the city of Rome is already preparing in anticipation of their arrival.   

Adapted by Jacob Stein 

Author Name

Bénédicte Cedergren is a Swedish-French freelance journalist. After graduating from the University of Stockholm with a degree in Journalism, Bénédicte moved to Rome where she earned a degree in Philosophy at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas. She also sings sacred music and works as a photographer. Passionate about spreading the truth and beauty of the Catholic faith, Bénédicte enjoys sharing the testimonies of others and writing stories that captivate and inspire. She works for EWTN Vatican as a collaborator. 

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