The Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy is, under the leadership of His Holiness Pope Francis, a time for the Catholic Church to open it’s doors and hearts to the saving mercy of Christ. It began December 8th of this year, 2015, and runs through November 20th, 2016. Pope Francis is calling all Catholics to “find the joy rediscovering and rendering fruitful God’s mercy, with which we are all called to give comfort to every man and every woman of our time.” You can read a summary of the Papal Bull in which the Holy Father announced the Extraordinary Jubilee Year, but what does this mean for teachers? How can we include this in our curriculum and make it relevant for students of all ages and backgrounds? The following are some resources I have collected to help educate in the ways of mercy, from day-to-day relevance to a breakdown of the Corporal and Spiritual Works of mercy.


Below is a brief summary of the Corporal Works and Spiritual Works of Mercy, followed by a long list of links compiled to as a resource for teachers and students of all ages. It includes activities, lesson plans, creative talking points, and even some links to correlate works of Mercy to historical and current events outside of the Church.


What are the Corporal and Spiritual Works of mercy?

  • Pope Francis has asked us to rediscover the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. Throughout the Gospels Jesus admonishes us to follow his example, an example that sets down tangible ways we might better serve our brothers and sisters in need. As its name implies, the Corporal Works are directed toward serving the body: corpus, in Latin, means “body.” While the Corporal Works of Mercy focus more on the needs of the body, the Spiritual Works focus on the needs of the soul. Just as we should help others with their physical needs, so too must we help them with their spiritual needs.


Seven Corporal Works of Mercy:

  • Feed the hungry
  • Give drink to the thirsty
  • Clothe the naked
  • Shelter the homeless
  • Visit the sick
  • Visit the imprisoned
  • Bury the dead


Seven Spiritual Works of Mercy:

  • Admonish the sinner
  • Instruct the ignorant
  • Counsel the doubtful
  • Bear wrongs patiently
  • Forgive offenses willingly
  • Comfort the afflicted
  • Pray for the living and the dead


Year of Mercy Activities for Religious Education, Students, Reference, and Families: