Catholic Church Doors Close as Jubilee Year of Mercy Ends

Vatican City - As Holy doors close in Catholic churches and basilicas around the world, including in Rome, it is estimated that more than 20 million people participated in the church’s Jubilee Year of Mercy at the Vatican — and a billion people may have participated in churches worldwide.

According to Msgr. Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, it is estimated that 20.4 million people attended Year of Mercy events at the Vatican over the course of this year.

The Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization was in charge of putting Pope Francis’ vision for the Year of Mercy into practice – both in the Vatican and abroad.

As the year comes to a close, the Holy Doors at three basilicas in Rome – St. Paul Outside the Walls, St. John Lateran and St. Mary Major – were closed during special Masses held Nov. 13. The Holy Doors at churches and basilicas around the world are also closing the same day.

The year will officially end on Nov. 20, the Solemnity of Christ the King, when Pope Francis will close the Holy Door at St. Peter’s Basilica. It was opened on Dec. 8, 2015, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.

The opening of the door is meant to symbolically illustrate the idea that the church’s faithful are offered an “extraordinary path” toward salvation during the time of Jubilee. Pilgrims who walked through the Holy Door were able to receive a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions.

Some Holy Doors have already begun to close so please call the church before you make your visit. All Holy Doors will be closed before the Pope officially closes the Year of Mercy on November 20, 2016.