Quick – The Holy Doors For The Jubilee Year of Mercy Are Closing

Holy Door of St Peters
The Holy Doors Are Closing

Time is running out so be quick – the Holy Doors for the Jubilee Year of Mercy are closing !

You have until 13th November 2016 to enter the Holy Doors of the Basilica of S. Maria Maggiore, the Basilica of St John Lateran and the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls, but until 20th November to enter through the Holy Doors of the Basilica of St Peter.

This is because the Holy Door of St Peter closes with the end of the Holy Jubilee Year of Mercy on the Solemnity of Christ the King on 20th November 2016.1

What is the Jubilee Year?

The Jubilee Year is an ancient Jewish custom that the Christians continued as the New Covenant people.

In Jewish history, Ez 23:10-11 (21:1-6) and Deut 15:1-18 record the designation of a Sabbatical Year – a rest on the land every 7 years and a
dedication to the Lord to sanctify it – much like the Sabbath on the seventh day of a week.

However, in Leviticus 25:8-17, this was taken further such that every “seven weeks of seven years, seven times seven years” ie 49 years shall pass, and then on the 50th year the Jews would “hallow the fiftieth
year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants; it shall be a jubilee for you, when each of you shall return to his property and each of you shall return to his family. A jubilee shall that
fiftieth year be to you…”.

The Jubilee Year was therefore the 50th year – the consecrated year of holiness for the people and family of God.

As the people of the New Covenant instituted by Jesus at the Last Supper and re-enacted at every Mass, the Catholic Church is the new family of God and continues this practice of setting aside a special year to sanctify it under a special theme for God.

What is the Holy Year of Mercy?

On the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary on the 8th December 2015, Pope Francis formally opened the Holy Doors of the Basilica of St Peter to mark the beginning of the Holy Jubilee Year of Mercy.

Announced back in April 2015 in the Papal Bull Misericordiae Vultus2, the
emphasis of this special Jubilee Year is the Mercy of God the Father – Merciful Like The Father (Luke 6:36).

Within that Papal Announcement, Pope Francis said that

“the practice of pilgrimage has a special place in the Holy Year, because it represents the journey each of us makes in this life. Life itself is a pilgrimage, and the human being is a ‘viator’, a pilgrim travelling along the road, making their way to the desired destination. Similarly, to reach the Holy Door in Rome or in any other place in the world, everyone, each according to his or her ability, will have to make a pilgrimage. This will be a sign that mercy is also a goal to reach and requires dedication and sacrifice. May pilgrimage be an impetus to conversion: by crossing the
threshold of the Holy Door, we will find the strength to embrace God’s mercy and dedicate ourselves to being merciful with others as the Father has been with us…”

It is fitting therefore, that our Holy Mother the Church, has always attached indulgences to Jubilee Years to share the richness of God’s Mercy and encourage the faithful to participate ever more deeply in the love of

Pilgrims will be able to enter through the Holy Doors of the four Papal Basilicas of Rome and enjoy daily Mass and Confession to dispose themselves towards the receipt of the attached indulgences.

For those who wish to take part in this pilgrimage of grace to the Four Papal Basilicas of Rome, simply visit our Holy Doors of Rome Tour and book quickly.

When Do The Holy Doors Close?

The Holy Year of Mercy ends on the Solemnity of Jesus Christ the King of the Universe – 20 November 2016.

The Holy Doors of Rome however will close 1 week earlier on 13 November as announced by the Vatican on the Jubilee of Mercy website.  The Holy Door of the Basilica of St Peter however will remain open until 20 November 2016 when the Pope will preside over the Holy Mass at 10am and close the Holy Door.

Do I Still Have Time?

You can still book our fantastic Holy Doors Tour by visiting our page and filling in the booking form.  However, be quick as places are booking up fast!


If you would like information on the Holy Doors and/or Catholic pilgrimages to Rome, especially if you are seeking out a quality and informative tour of the Holy Doors which is catered to the Catholic and to his or her spiritual experience (rather than to the stereotypical “tourist” experience), please contact Eternal City Tours.

Eternal City Tours focuses on leading their visitors though the footsteps of pilgrims throughout the centuries and even through the Holy Doors of Rome.

For more information about the tours available or to schedule a tour of the Holy Doors before they close on November 20, 2016 please contact us directly by calling +1 888 962 4922 (US) or +44 7568 478 932.

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  1. http://www.iubilaeummisericordiae.va/content/gdm/en.html
  2. Papal Bull of Indiction – http://www.iubilaeummisericordiae.va/content/gdm/en/giubileo/bolla.html

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