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The Holy Door
Written by Parish Office   
Friday, 11 December 2015 12:32

THE HOLY DOOR


All the four papal basilicas in Rome have what is known as a holy door. These doors are normally shut from the inside and cannot be easily opened; they are only opened during Jubilee years.  On the first day of the Holy Year (Jubilee Year), the pope opens the door of St Peter Basilica to let in the pilgrims.
In the following week, the Pope will announce that in every local church, at the cathedral or, alternatively, at the co-cathedral or another church of special significance, a Door of Mercy will be opened for the duration of the Holy Year.


According to the Roman Catholic Church, the Holy Door represents Jesus, the Good Shepherd and the gate of the sheep pen. The bible says in John 10:9 that “I am the gate. Whoever enters through me, will be safe. He will go in and out, and find pasture”.


A very important symbolic act performed by each pilgrim has been to pass through the Holy Door.  Christ identified Himself as “the door.”  In his bull Incarnationis Mysterium proclaiming this Holy Year, Pope John Paul II stated that the Holy Door “…evokes the passage from sin to grace which every Christian is called to accomplish.  Jesus said, ‘I am the door’ (John 10:7) in order to make it clear that no one can come to the Father except through Him. This designation which Jesus applies to Himself testifies to the fact that He alone is the Saviour sent by the Father.  There is only one way that opens wide the entrance into this life of communion with God:  This is Jesus, the one and absolute way to salvation.  To Him alone can the words of the psalmist be applied in full truth:  ‘This is the door of the Lord where the just may enter’ (Psalm 118:20).”


It is the pope himself who closes the door at the end of the Jubilee Year.