December 11, 2015
(PROVIDENCE) – Pope Francis will mark the beginning of the church’s Jubilee Year of Mercy with the opening of the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican on December 8th. Cathedrals around the world will join together with our Holy Father opening their Holy Door. In the Diocese of Providence, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin will open the Holy Door of the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul on Sunday, December 13th at the 1:00 pm Mass.
"In the Jubilee of Mercy Pope Francis has given a wonderful Christmas gift to the Church and world -- the opportunity to receive the mercy of God and then pass it on to others,” said Bishop Tobin. “The Diocese of Providence is excited by and grateful for the Jubilee of Mercy and we will celebrate it well."
In introducing the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis said of each holy door, “will become a door of mercy through which anyone who enters will experience the love of God who consoles, pardons, and instills hope.”
The erecting of a Holy Door at a church of prominence during a Holy Year or Jubilee Year is a very ancient custom. The first accounts of a Holy Door in Christianity dates back to the fifteenth century as a way to mark “sanctuary” for those who are oppressed or in need of assistance. For our generation this door is not only the threshold into a sanctuary or safe haven, but the gateway to God’s Grace. It is a reminder that during a Jubilee Year, Catholic Christians are expected to make a pilgrimage to a holy site. It’s a spiritual journey to encounter the divine in the midst of the secular world in need of God’s Mercy and Grace.
The Jubilee Year of Mercy begins December 8 and ends November 20, 2016. For more information on the Jubilee Year, please visit
Media is invited to cover this special event.