Holy Doors in Rome - Where are the Holy Doors in Rome? The four papal basilicas of Rome have a Holy Door: the St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, Archbasilica of St John Lateran, Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls and Basilica of St Mary Major.

Holy Doors in Rome

Rome, the eternal city, is known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and religious significance. One of the most iconic and spiritually important sites in Rome is the Holy Door, located in St. Peter’s Basilica.

This sacred door is only opened during Jubilee years, making it a rare and highly anticipated event for Catholics around the world.

The Holy Door, also known as the Porta Sancta, is a symbol of forgiveness, mercy, and salvation. It is believed that passing through the Holy Door during a Jubilee year grants believers the opportunity to receive a plenary indulgence, or the remission of all temporal punishment due to sin. This spiritual act is seen as a way to cleanse one’s soul and prepare for the afterlife.

The tradition of the Holy Door dates back to the 15th century when Pope Martin V declared that the door of St. Peter’s Basilica would be opened every 25 years. However, it wasn’t until the Jubilee year of 1500, declared by Pope Boniface VIII, that the practice of the Holy Door truly began. Since then, the door has been opened for Jubilee years, which occur every 25 years, and for extraordinary Jubilee years, which are declared by the Pope for special occasions.

The Holy Door is made of bronze and features intricate carvings depicting scenes from the Bible. The door is also adorned with the papal coat of arms and the keys of St. Peter, symbolising the authority given to him by Jesus to lead his church. The door is opened by the Pope himself, who strikes it three times with a silver hammer as a symbol of the power of the Church. The door remains open for the entire Jubilee year, allowing pilgrims to pass through and receive the indulgence.

Passing through the Holy Door is not only a spiritual experience but also a physical one. The door is a massive structure, standing at almost 12 feet tall and weighing over 10,000 pounds. It is a humbling reminder of the strength and power of faith.

The Holy Door is not only located in St. Peter’s Basilica but can also be found in other major basilicas , such as St. John Lateran, St. Mary Major, and St. Paul Outside the Walls.