What is the Lebaniego Jubilee Year?
The Lebaniego Jubilee Year, also known as the Año Santo Lebaniego, is celebrated when 16 April (the feast of Santo Toribio) falls on a Sunday.
This exceptionality allows pilgrims visiting the Monastery of Santo Toribio de Liébana to obtain the "Jubilee grace" or forgiveness of all sins. The Catholic Church calls it winning the Jubilee, something that can only be done in four other cities in the world: Santiago de Compostela, Rome, Jerusalem and Caravaca de la Cruz. This year 2023 we celebrate a new Lebaniego Jubilee Year, the 74th in its history. The next one will take place in 2028.
What is the Gate of Forgiveness?
The celebration of the Lebaniego Jubilee Year adds an exceptional event: the opening of the so-called Puerta del Perdón (Door of Forgiveness).
The Door of Forgiveness was built at the end of the 15th century in the monastery of Santo Toribio and its opening marks the start of the Lebaniego Holy Year. It is decorated with bronze images of the 15 Lebaniego Saints and in the centre is a reproduction of the Lignum Crucis, also in bronze.
Like the Holy Door of the Cathedral of Santiago, its opening has a rite. At approximately 11:00 on 16 April, the bishop of Santander strikes the door three times with a silver hammer. Thus, it will remain open for a year for pilgrims and devotees to pass through it and win the Jubilee.
Lebaniego Jubilee Year stamp and postmark
Every special event has a stamp. And the Lebaniego Jubilee Year 2022-2023 could not be less special. The stamp commemorating this 74th Lebaniego Jubilee Year reproduces a panoramic image of the Monastery of Santo Toribio de Liébana with the Picos de Europa in the background. It also includes the logo of this celebration.
From Monday 17th April it is possible to buy the stamp of the Jubilee Year of Liébana at Post Offices and online through Correos Market.
In addition to the stamp, Correos has launched a commemorative postmark, which can be used throughout the Holy Year.
How does one earn "jubilee grace"?
To gain the Jubilee or "Jubilee grace", the pilgrim must fulfil three requirements. The first is to pray the Our Father, the Creed and a prayer for the Pope. Secondly, to go to confession and receive Holy Communion, either on the same day or 15 days before or after the pilgrimage. And finally, the third requirement is to attend the Pilgrim's Mass, which takes place every day at 12:00 noon in the Monastery of Santo Toribio, throughout the Jubilee Year.
How long does the Lebaniego Jubilee Year last?
The Lebaniego Jubilee Year lasts for one year. Until a few decades ago, the Jubilee of Santo Toribio was limited to the week immediately following the patron saint's feast day. But in 1967 this criterion was changed. Since then, the Lebaniego Jubilee Year has begun on Sunday 16 April, the Feast of Santo Toribio. It lasts for a full year from that date.