Bishop Daniel Thomas to close Holy Door at Rosary Cathedral marking end of Year of Mercy
Bishop Daniel E. Thomas will close the Holy Door at Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral at the 5 p.m. Vigil of the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe on Saturday, November 19. All Holy Doors in the Diocese of Toledo will be closed that day, and Pope Francis will close the Holy Door at Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on November 20, marking the end of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy that began December 8, 2015.
Before the start of the Year of Mercy, Bishop Thomas designated three other Holy Doors in the Diocese of Toledo along with Rosary Cathedral. They are the Basilica & National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation in Carey, Sorrowful Mother Shrine in Bellevue and Divine Mercy Parish in Paulding.
A holy door or porta sancta was first used in the 15th century as a ritualistic expression of conversion. Pilgrims and penitents pass through a Holy Door as a gesture of leaving the past behind and crossing the threshold from sin to grace. This ritual is associated with prayer, pilgrimage, sacrifice, confession and indulgences.
Traditionally, every 25 or 50 years the Holy Father proclaims a holy year, which features special celebrations and pilgrimages, emphatic calls for conversion and repentance, and the offer of special opportunities to experience God's grace through the sacraments, especially confession. Extraordinary holy years, like the Year of Mercy, are less frequent, but offer the same opportunities for spiritual growth.
The biblical theme chosen for the Jubilee Year of Mercy is "Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful," from the Gospel of Luke.