Jubilee, today the Holy Doors are closed. It remains only San Pietro The Holy Year ends with over twenty million pilgrims in Rome

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Pope Francis opens the Holy Door of Saint Peter's Basilica, formally starting the Jubilee of Mercy, at the Vatican City, 08 December 2015. ANSA/MAURIZIO BRAMBATTI

The official closing will take place on 20 November, with the solemn liturgical ceremony in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican presided over by the Pope and the closing of the Holy Door, a week after all the others. From today, in fact, the Holy Year will be practically finished: in all the dioceses of the world holders bishops will close the Holy Doors of their cathedrals and sanctuaries.

“To stand firm in the Lord, walk in hope, work to build a better world, despite the difficulties and the sad events that mark the personal life and collective, is what really matters; is how the Christian community is called to make to meet the ‘Lord’s Day’, “said the Pope at the Angelus. “Precisely in this perspective – added Francesco – we want to place the commitment resulting from these months in which we lived with faith the extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, which concludes today in the dioceses of the whole world with the closing of the Holy Doors in churches cathedrals “.

In Rome, will be the Cardinal Vicar Agostino Vallini in the afternoon to close the Holy Door of the Cathedral of St. John Lateran. Shortly before and shortly after, in the capital will be closed even those of two other papal basilicas: St. Paul Outside the Walls and St. Mary Major. Yesterday closed the holy door of the hostel Charity Don Luigi Di Liegro in Rome. During these 11 months, have crossed it people not only from parishes, associations and ecclesial movements but also from distant Churches such as Singapore, India, Taiwan, United States, Chile, Peru, Canada, Bolivia, Georgia, France, Britain and Switzerland.

How does it work

The closing of the Holy Door will take place in two stages: the true closing rite itself and the brickwork of the Holy Door in the four basilicas of Rome a few weeks later. The rite in St. Peter’s Basilica will start at 10 in the morning of Sunday, November 20th. It provides that the Pope knelt in the doorway and pray in silence. So having closed down he goes to the altar for the celebration of the Mass.

In the four papal basilicas of Rome the rite continues in the following days. Over the bricks to be walled in the doorway, there is an inscription in Latin with the Pope’s name – or the cardinal – who closed the door and the Holy Year indication. In the ballot box are inserted some medals (like the gold on the year of the pontificate of Francis) and a scroll, as the opening statement and closing of the Holy Door, with the signatures of those present.

The statements

The Holy Year ends with over twenty million pilgrims in Rome, according to official figures provided by the Vatican.

The curiosity

The Jubilee of Mercy wanted by Pope Francis is about to end with the closing of the Holy Doors. But in 2017 two sanctuaries are ready to “reopen” the Holy Door for the Jubilee; not linked to a meeting of the Pope, but because they are perennial Jubilee sites. Both are located in Spain, but more than 800 kilometers away from each other: Santo Toribio in Cantabria and Caravaca de la Cruz in the province of Murcia. The two places have in common, however the devotion to the Cross of Christ in which they hold, both, a relic.

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