Pope Francis declared 2016 an extraordinary Jubilee focused on Mercy and he is personally committed to a medieval representation of it, the icon of Virgin Mary of Mercy.
In Le Marche region there are plenty of churches and shrines which safeguard frescos or alterpieces representing Our Virgin of Mercy who give us the pure sense of it. One of them is a frugal shrine in the hills of Pesaro, where a unique alterpiece from the XV century is safeguarded. It was painted in 1462 AD by Giovanni Antonio da Pesaro and commissioned by the Community of Saltara (a village nearby) to thank the Virgin to escape them from the plague.
From the Middle Age, each year on May, several pilgrimages still take place. Notably during the 1st and the 2nd Sunday of May, pilgrims walk from their villages to this shrine together with choires and local brass bands. The messes are scheduled in the morning between 9 AM and 12 AM when the arrival is celebrated outdoor by tradional religious music concerts.
Mercy is a compassionate emotion we felt for the other misery and it pushes us to take action to help them. During this Jubilee, if we want to deeply understand the feeling of mercy, we should think about the situations where misery prevails. Misery comes out in several aspects and it is not linked to a low economic situation only but to a low spiritual condition as well. That is why it concerns all of us.