‘I am the door; If anyone enters through me he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture’ (John 10:9)
As part of the celebration of the Jubilee Year, Pope Francis asked that all dioceses around the world designate a “Door of Mercy” at their cathedral, and at churches of significance throught the diocese. As the Year of Mercy co-incides with the centenary of the Archdiocese, Archbishop George has named FIVE churches to house a “Door of Mercy”. The locations have been chosen because of their significance to the founding of the Archdiocese of Cardiff, and will form a Jubilee Pilgrimage trail:
St David’s Cathedral, Cardiff – Mother Church of the Archdiocese
Belmont Abbey – Home to the Benedictine Monks who played a significant role in re-establishing the Faith within this part of Wales and Herefordshire, and pro-cathedral of the Diocese of Newport and Menevia
St. Mary’s, Bridgend – One of the first Benedictine foundations in the Diocese
St. Mary’s, Merthyr Tydifil – One of the first Benedictine foundations in the Diocese
St. Mary’s, Newport – Original Rosminian foundation and intended home for the Bishops of Newport
During Jubliee Years, such as the Year of Mercy, doors designated by the Holy Father and the bishops throughout the world are opened as ‘Holy Doors’ through which we make pilgrimage as a sign of transition from a life of sin to a new life of grace in Christ. Jesus himself said ‘I am the door; If anyone enters through me he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture’ (John 10:9).
By walking through the Holy Door in this Year of Mercy, we physically demonstrate our need for God’s Mercy in our lives and our willingness to be transformed by His great gift of Mercy. Pope Francis reminds us that by passing through the door we pass through Christ himself:
“There is only one way that opens wide the entrance into the life of communion with God: this is Jesus, the one and absolute way to salvation. To him alone can the words of the Psalmist be applied in full truth: ‘This is the door of the Lord where the just may enter’ (Ps 118:20).”
Whilst opening the Holy Door at St. Peter’s on December 8th, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, Pope Francis took a moment to reflect on the Holy Door:
“This Extraordinary 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. It is he who seeks us! It is he who comes to encounter us! This will be a year in which we grow ever more convinced of God’s mercy. How much wrong we do to God and his grace when we speak of sins being punished by his judgment before we speak of their being forgiven by his mercy (cf. Saint Augustine, De Praedestinatione Sanctorum, 12, 24)! But that is the truth. We have to put mercy before judgment, and in any event God’s judgement will always be in the light of his mercy. In passing through the Holy Door, then, may we feel that we ourselves are part of this mystery of love, of tenderness. Let us set aside all fear and dread, for these do not befit men and women who are loved. Instead, let us experience the joy of encountering that grace which transforms all things”.
The Door of Mercy as part of the Jubilee Indulgence
For able-bodied people, passing through one of the Doors of Mercy constitutes part of the requirement for obtaining the Jubilee Indulgence. Having passed through the door it is also necessary to:
Go to confession.
Receive the Holy Eucharist “with a reflection of mercy.”
Make a profession of faith.
Pray for the pope and for his intentions.
A gift at each door
Each pilgrim who passes through a Door of Mercy will be able to collect a card with a short reflection on the theme of God’s Mercy as a keepsake of their pilgrimage in this Holy Year, and as a reminder to is of the infinite measure of God’s Mercy. There are five cards that make up the series … one for each of the Doors of Mercy within the diocese. So there is only one way you can complete the series; over the course of the Holy Year make pilgrimage to all five doors!