Welcome to the beginning of the Holy Year of Mercy, an Extraordinary Jubilee Year called for by Pope Francis, which begins today (December 8)! This is deemed “extraordinary” because it is for a special occasion. The history of Jubilees has been marked by their occurrence every 50 or 25 years. The two Extraordinary Jubilees fell on anniversaries of Christ’s redemptive act (1933, 1983).
“For the first time in the history of the Jubilee tradition, there will be an opportunity for individual dioceses to open a Holy Door – the Door of Mercy – either in the Cathedral or in a church of special significance or a shrine of particular importance for pilgrimages.” (read more) During Pope Francis’ recent visit in Africa, he opened a Holy Door in Bangui, Central African Republic.
In May 2015, Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation, said this: “The logo is the work of Father Marko I. Rupnik. It is an image quite important to the early Church: that of the Son having taken upon His shoulders the lost soul, demonstrating that it is Christ’s love 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 a love that has the power to change one’s life. One particular feature worthy of note is that while the Good Shepherd, in His great mercy, takes humanity upon Himself, His eyes are merged with those of man. Christ sees with the eyes of Adam, and Adam with the eyes of Christ. Every person discovers in Christ, the new Adam, his or her own humanity and the future that lies ahead. The scene is enclosed in a mandorla, an element typical of ancient and medieval iconography, that recalls the coexistence of the two natures, divine and human, in Christ. The three concentric ovals, with colours progressively lighter as we move outward, suggest the movement of Christ Who carries humanity out of the darkness of sin and death. Conversely, the depth of the darker colour suggests the impenetrability of the love of the Father Who forgives all.”
- Read the Bull of Indiction (here)
- Learn more from the Vatican here.
- Catholic Bytes has created a free 6 minute audio piece to prepare pilgrims to walk through the Holy Door of Mercy in St. Peter’s Basilica. (here)
- Learn more about obtaining a plenary indulgence here.
- St. Mary’s Catholic Church will be the Holy door in our Deanery. From the Nov 1 bulletin: “After opening the Holy Door of St. Peter’s on 8 December, Pope Francis will then open the Holy Door at his own cathedral church, the Basilica of St. John Lateran, on 13 December – the Third Sunday of Advent. The pope has asked that at every cathedral in the world a door be opened ceremonially on that same day to be a symbol of the Jubilee, and he has also encouraged bishops everywhere to extend the privilege of a Holy Door to several designated station churches throughout their dioceses. Bishop Guglielmone has allowed each of our seven deaneries to have a station church for the Jubilee of Mercy, and in the Greenville Deanery that church will be St. Mary’s. Accordingly, before the 11 am Mass on Sunday 13 December, we will have a ceremonial opening of the bell tower entrance of St. Mary’s Church, our designated Holy Door, and this will commence for us the Jubilee of Mercy.”
- Read The Miscellany article on times and locations of Holy Door ceremonies on Dec. 13 here.