The Holy Door of Saint Peter’s Basilica

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, symbolizing 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.

The Holy Door

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 around the world, such as St. John Lateran, St. Mary Major, and St. Paul Outside the Walls. Each of these doors is opened during Jubilee years, allowing believers to receive the indulgence without having to travel to Rome.

In conclusion, the Holy Door in Rome is a significant and sacred site for Catholics all over the world. Its opening during Jubilee years serves as a reminder of the importance of forgiveness and mercy in the Catholic faith. So, if you have the opportunity to visit Rome during a Jubilee year, do not miss the chance to pass through the Holy Door and experience this powerful spiritual tradition.

Are you planning a trip to Rome and looking for unique experiences? Look no further than the Holy Door, a sacred site located within the Vatican City. This ornate door is only opened during Jubilee years, which occur every 25 years, and is a highly significant and spiritual experience for Catholics. The Holy Door holds great religious and historical significance, making it a must-see for any visitor to Rome.

The Holy Door, also known as the Porta Santa, is one of the four main basilicas of Rome and holds the highest ranking among them. It is located within St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest church in the world and the center of the Catholic faith. The door itself is made of bronze and is adorned with intricate carvings and symbols, representing the journey of faith and salvation.

But what makes the Holy Door so special? In the Catholic tradition, passing through the Holy Door is believed to bring spiritual blessings and forgiveness of sins. It is seen as a symbolic act of entering into the presence of God and starting a new journey of faith. This tradition dates back to the 15th century and has been a significant event for Catholics ever since.

Only during Jubilee years, which are declared by the Pope, is the Holy Door opened. These years are considered special and are meant for spiritual renewal and forgiveness. The last Jubilee year was in 2016, and the next one will be in 2025. This means that the Holy Door will only be open for a limited time, making it a rare and cherished opportunity for visitors.

In addition to its religious significance, the Holy Door also holds historical importance. It has witnessed numerous significant events in the history of the Catholic Church, including the coronations of popes and the closure of the Second Vatican Council. Its stunning architecture and rich history make it a must-see for any visitor to Rome.

If you are planning a trip to Rome, make sure to add the Holy Door to your itinerary. It will not only be a beautiful and spiritual experience, but also a unique opportunity to witness a rare tradition. So, step through the Holy Door and embark on a journey of faith and history.

Frequently ask questions – The Holy Door of Saint Peter’s Basilica

How can I prepare spiritually for the Jubilee?

A prayer aid called “Teach Us to Pray”, prepared by the Dicastery for Evangelization, is available online to accompany believers towards the Holy Year.

How many people participated in past Jubilees?

During the last Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, it is estimated that over 21 million pilgrims arrived in Rome

When will the next Jubilee be after 2025?

After the Jubilee of 2025, the next ordinary Jubilee will be held in 2050, while an extraordinary Jubilee is expected in 2033

How long does a Jubilee last and how often is it held?

The duration of a Jubilee is usually one year, starting just before Christian Christmas and concluding with the Epiphany of the following year. Ordinary Jubilees take place every 25 years.