Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Jubilee of Mercy: Opening of the Holy Door at St. Peter's Basilica

The Extraordinary Holy Year of Mercy kicks off today at the Vatican City with the opening of the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica.
Jubilee of Mercy logo

The Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy is the first Extraordinary Jubilee year since "The Great Jubilee" of the year 2000 under the rule of Blessed John Pope II and this Holy Year of Mercy, which expresses God's mercy for all, has commenced with the opening of the Holy Door at St. Peter's Basilica.

Pope Francis opens the Holy Door of St.
Peter's Basilica (Screencap courtesy of CTV)

Tens of thousands of Catholic pilgrims have been gathered in Rome as they witness Pope Francis opening the Holy Door in the walls of St. Peter's Basilica, The Pope pronounced the words "Aperite mihi Porta lustitae", which is Latin for the words "open to me the gates of justice" and the doors are open.

Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI was present in the opening ceremony as well.

By Tuesday night, the exterior of St. Peter's Basilica will be projected with images by some of the world's environmental photographers in an initiative linked to the ongoing COP21 climate conference in Paris, France.

The Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy will continue until the 20th of November, 2016 and this Jubilee was called by the pontiff with the ultimate goal of allowing the Catholic Church to become the witness of mercy.

The next Holy Doors will be opened at the Basilicas of St. John Lateran and of the Cathedrals of the World as well as the Holy Doors of the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls on the 13th of December, 2015. The Holy Door of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major will be opened on New Year's Day 2016.

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