The Holy Door | The Year of Mercy - 2015 University Theme | Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • The Year of Mercy and the Holy Door

    Opening the Holy Door

  • The Holy Door

    Most Rev. Jeffrey Monforton, bishop of Steubenville, designated Christ the King Chapel on our campus as one of two sites in the Diocese of Steubenville for a Holy Door for the Year of Mercy.

    The Holy Door is a sign of the mercy of Christ, inviting all to conversion. When we cross the threshold we leave our past behind, resolving anew to live in Christ. 


    “Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep.…I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture” (cf. John 10:7-9).

    “This is the door of the Lord where the just may enter” (Ps 118:20).

    The door of a church is more than just the passage from the exterior to the interior of a building or space, but a move from the world outside to the heavenly Jerusalem inside. In the sacramental life of the Church this is manifest: in baptism, the priest meets the parents and godparents with the one to be baptized at the door before proceeding to the baptistery; the Easter Vigil begins outside the doors with the blessing of the new fire, which is then carried as the Light of Christ through the dark church to the sanctuary; in funerals the casket is met and blessed at the door before being brought forward.

    Holy doors have been specially designated since the jubilee of 1423 in the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome. By the end of the 15th century the practice spread to all basilicas of Rome and St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. In the ensuing centuries the practice and ritual has spread beyond Rome, making the graces of a holy door more widely available.

    In designating a door as a holy door, the Church emphasizes this passage from darkness to light, from former ways to the ways of Christ.

    See more in the Year of Mercy Resources at the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions »

    Read about the opening of the Holy Door »

  • Opening the Holy Door for the Year of Mercy

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