3 churches in Gozo to open the Holy Door of Mercy for Jubilee of Mercy
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Earlier this year Pope Francis announced an ‘Extraordinary Jubilee’ which he said, “has at its centre the mercy of God. It will be a Holy Year of Mercy. We want to live in the light of the word of the Lord: “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful” (cf. Lk 6:36). And this especially applies to confessors! So much mercy!”
It will be officially opened on the 8th of December 2015, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and will conclude on Sunday, the 20th of November 2016. Pope Francis said that “in every local church, at the cathedral – the mother church of the faithful in any particular area – or, alternatively, at the co-cathedral or another church of special significance, a Door of Mercy will be opened for the duration of the Holy Year.
“At the discretion of the local ordinary, a similar door may be opened at any shrine frequented by large groups of pilgrims, since visits to these holy sites are so often grace-filled moments, as people discover a path to conversion.”
“Every Particular Church, therefore, will be directly involved in living out this Holy Year as an extraordinary moment of grace and spiritual renewal. Thus the Jubilee will be celebrated both in Rome and in the Particular Churches as a visible sign of the Church’s universal communion.” (M.V. 3).
The Gozo Diocese has said that Bishop Mario Grech has chosen 3 churches in which to open the Holy Door of Mercy, saying that even the church in Gozo can live this “extraordinary moment of grace and spiritual renewal.”
The churches selected are:
1. Cathedral of the Assumption, Victoria;
2. the National Shrine of Our Lady of Ta ‘Pinu, Gharb;
3. Sanctuary of the Immaculate Conception, Qala.
The Jubilee of Mercy was announced by Pope Francis as a year to be lived intensely in each particular Church, allowing every person to encounter the mercy of God the Father through diligent labour for the Church’s mission there. The most evident sign of this pastoral care is the chance to open a Door of Mercy in every diocese.
These doors, analogous to the Holy Doors of the Papal Basilicas in Rome, will permit even people who cannot travel to Rome to make a Jubilee pilgrimage
Once they have crossed through the Holy Door or Door of Mercy, or have fulfilled one of the other conditions under which Pope Francis has granted the Jubilee Indulgence (for example, for the sick, for the imprisoned, or for anyone who carries out in person a work of mercy), in addition to the usual conditions which require a heart well-disposed for the grace to bring its desired fruits, the faithful should stop in prayer to fulfil the final actions asked for: the profession of faith, and prayer for the Holy Father and his intentions.
During the Holy Year of Mercy, the Church in Gozo is to launch various initiatives, also in line with the Diocesan Pastoral Plan 2013-2016, to promote the works of mercy among the Christians of the diocese and give attention to the poor and needy.
The official opening of the Jubilee of Mercy in the Diocese of Gozo is being held on Sunday, the 13th of December 2015, Third Sunday of Advent, at the Cathedral.
The date of the opening of the Holy Doors in the two other Marian Sanctuaries, together with further details of the programme of the Jubilee in the Diocese of Gozo, is to be announced at a later date. Information is also available on the official Jubilee site www.iubilaeummisericordiae.va.