At the conclusion of the 12 noon Mass in St. Mary’s Church, Dungarvan last Sunday, the Holy Door of Mercy was closed signifying the end of the year of Mercy which began on the 8th of December last. In Rome next Sunday, Pope Francis will declare a formal end to the Year of Mercy when he closes the Holy Door in St. Peter’s Basilica signifying the end of the Jubilee Year.
It is estimated that over 20 million people participated in the Church’s Jubilee Year of Mercy at the Vatican – and a billion people may have participated in churches worldwide.
The opening of the door was meant to symbolically illustrate the idea that the Church’s faithful are offered an “extraordinary path” toward salvation during the time of Jubilee. Pilgrims who walked through the Holy Door were able to receive a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions.
The Holy Door, just closed, was a visible sign of the Jubilee of Mercy, a year where the faithful learned “once again” that the fate of the world is not in the hands of men, “but in the mercy of God.”