The Jubilee Year of Mercy

On April 11, 2015, Pope Francis announced “an extraordinary jubilee, a Holy Year of Mercy that is to have God’s mercy at its center.” He wants us to live this Holy Year in the light of Jesus’ words: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6: 36). Thus Merciful like the Father is the motto of this Holy Year. Our task is to contemplate, imitate and adopt God’s mercy as our lifestyle. The Holy Year will begin December 8, 2015, on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, and the Year of Mercy will conclude on Sunday, November 20, 2016, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe.

A Holy Door has been used since the 15th Century as a ritual expression of conversion. Those who traveled to a cathedral or a basilica or a designated church for reconciliation entered the Holy Door, crossed the threshold from sin to grace, from slavery to freedom and from darkness to light. The Holy Door is a tangible symbol and invitation to follow Christ, leaving sin behind and crossing the threshold into the light of Grace. Jesus said, “Amen, I am the gate.

The principal Holy Doors during this Jubilee of Mercy will be opened on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, on December 8, and the other Holy Doors of Mercy will be opened December 13, in cathedrals throughout the world. The Door of Mercy for the Diocese of Cleveland will be opened at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist on Sunday, December 13, with ceremonies welcoming the faithful to come and cross over the threshold to experience God’s mercy. These Holy Doors will remain open throughout the Year of Mercy, inviting all to “Enter and let God’s mercy flow to you. Leave and carry God’s message of mercy to others.” The opening of the Holy Doors for the Diocese of Cleveland at St. John’s Cathedral will take place at 10:15 am on December 13, just prior to the celebration of the 10:30 am Mass.