The Symbols of the Logo of the Jubilee Year of Mercy

Logo of the Jubilee Year of Mercy

The logo and the motto of the Year of Mercy together provide a fitting summary of what the Jubilee Year is all about. The logo – the work of Fr Marko I. Rupnik, SJ – presents a mini summa theologiae of the theme of mercy. In fact, it represents an image quite important to the early Church: that of the Son having taken upon his shoulders the lost soul, demonstrating that it is the love of Christ that brings to completion the mystery of his incarnation culminating in redemption. The logo has been designed in such a way so as to express the profound way in which the Good Shepherd touches the flesh of humanity and does so with the love and with the power that changes humanity.

These are the symbols and their significance:


1. The Almond Shape: This is the oval shape of a mandorla or almond nut. This is an important figure in ancient iconography. In ancient Greek culture, the almond tree is the first to blossom in the new year, it is therefore considered a sign of new life. The circles overlap as they come in contact with one another. The union of the circles represent the union of the Divine nature and Human nature of Christ.

2. The Concentric Oval Shape: The oval shape of the mandorla or almond nut shows three concentric overlapping shadings which gets darker towards the center. This reminders us that we must pass from darkness to encounter the light of Christ. The colours progressively become lighter as we move outwards and this suggests the movement of Christ who carries humanity out of the darkness of sin and death into the light of his love and forgiveness

3. The Colours: The colours used and their significance are:

Red - blood, life and the divinity of God
White – the eternal light of Christ
Blue – humanity
Golden – Adam and all redeemed humanity in a process of becoming like God through Jesus Christ
4. The Image of Jesus Carrying Adam: The image in the oval shape is that of Christ (the Good Shepherd) carrying Adam (humanity) that has been wounded by sin on his shoulders. The inspiration for this comes from the Parable of the Lost Sheep (Luke 15:1-7). The Parable of the Good Samaritan is also applicable here (Luke 10:25-37). Christ is carrying humanity from sinfulness to righteousness, from the night of sin and death to the dawn of the resurrection and light.
5. The Unique Gaze with One Eye: If you look closely, you will see that Jesus and Adam (humanity) shares one eye. Christ sees with the eyes of Adam and Adam sees with the eyes of Christ. This means that God communicates himself in such a way that humanity is able to see as He sees. In this, humanity is able to understand God and understand his/her own identity as sons and daughters of God.
6. The Motto: The motto of the Jubilee Year of Mercy is “Merciful Like the Father” (Luke, 6:36). This has two purposes; a reminder and an invitation (a challenge). It is a reminder of the bountiful amount of unmerited love and mercy we have all received from God the Father. It also serves as an invitation (a challenge) to follow the merciful example of the Father who asks us not to judge or condemn but to forgive just as we have been forgiven and to give love without measure. (cfr. Lk 6:37-38)


(22 January 2016)