Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Jan 13, 2021 / 08:11 pm (CNA).- The Jubilee Year of Compostela in Spain has been extended to take place through both 2021 and 2022, due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The tradition of the Holy Year in the Spanish city dates back to 1122, when Pope Callixtus II allowed a plenary indulgence to be granted to those who visit the city’s shrine of St. James the Apostle in a year when his July 25 feast day falls on a Sunday.

The feast of St. James falls on a Sunday in a rotation of every six, then five, then six, then 11 years. The last Jubilee Year took place in 2010, when an estimated more than 100,000 pilgrims visited the shrine.

The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, which was completed in 1211 after over 135 years of construction, houses the relics of St. James in its crypt. It is also the ending point of the Camino de Santiago, sometimes called “the Way of St. James,” a centuries-old pilgrimage route made up of a network of trails across Europe.

Callixtus II was a supporter of the pilgrimage and sought to promote it through his institution of the Jubilee Years, during which pilgrims may walk through the cathedral’s Holy Door.

The Holy Door was reopened on Dec. 31, 2020, at the inauguration of the 2021 and 2022 Jubilee Year by the Archbishop of Santiago de Compostela, Julián Barrio Barrio. He said in a statement that the Holy Year “is a time when the Church grants unique spiritual graces to the faithful.”

The plenary indulgence associated with the Jubilee Year, which was recorded in the bull Regis Aeterni issued by Pope Alexander III in 1179, can be obtained for oneself, for someone who is ill, or for a deceased person.

To receive the plenary indulgence, a pilgrim must visit the Cathedral of Santiago on any day during the Jubilee Year, and fulfill the general conditions to receive an indulgence, which are: sacramentally confessing one’s sins, receiving the Holy Eucharist, praying for the intentions of the pope, and being interiorly detached from all sin.

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