December 15, 2015
"Open the gates of justice, we shall enter and give thanks unto the Lord." - Ps. 118:19
On Sunday, December 13th, at the 1:00 Mass, Bishop Tobin opened the beautiful Holy Door at the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul, Providence, RI, and initiated the Jubilee of Mercy for the Diocese of Providence. Holy Mass began with the formal Rite of Opening the Holy Door.
Cathedrals around the world joined together with our Holy Father, Pope Francis, in opening their Holy Door. 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.
May this Jubilee be for the Church and for each of us an opportunity to receive and share with others the grace and mercy of God.
“This Extraordinary Holy Year is itself a gift of grace. To pass through the Holy Door means to rediscover the infinite mercy of the Father who welcomes everyone and goes out personally to encounter each of them. This will be a year in which we grow ever more convinced of God’s mercy.” - Pope Francis