Holy Door of Mercy

Holy Door

The Holy Door of Mercy is a special door found in most Catholic Cathedrals and shrines around the world. The Church declared a Year of Mercy from 8th December 2015 to 20th November 2016 and during this period the Holy Door of Mercy will be kept open for believers to walk through.

We can take advantage of this amazing opportunity by making a pilgrimage to these shrines with our families and friends to go through the Holy Door.  It is an extraordinary grace and opportunity to start a new life by experiencing God's unconditional love and mercy. Don't miss this opportunity as the days are getting closer for the end of the era of mercy.  God’s mercy is for everybody the perfect, the sinner, the young, the old, the rich, the poor, the healthy, the handicapped. Spread the word and take all your loved ones through the Holy Door of Mercy.

What does Pope Francis say about the Holy Door of Mercy and the Year of Mercy?

pope francis holy door

“In this Jubilee Year, let us allow God to surprise us. He never tires of casting open the doors of his heart and of repeating that he loves us and wants to share his love with us. The Church feels the urgent need to proclaim God’s mercy. Her life is authentic and credible only when she becomes a convincing herald of mercy…”

Pope Francis, Misericordiae Vultus, The Face of Mercy, 25

What is a Holy Door of Mercy?

A Holy door of mercy is a special door designated as a symbol of Jesus Christ who said, “I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved...” (John 10:9).  Pilgrims walk in through the Holy Door of Mercy as a sign that they are leaving behind their past sinful life and entering into a new Christian way of life.  When Adam and Eve sinned they were banished from the Garden of Eden and the gates of heaven were closed.  But Christ through his redemptive act on the cross opened the gates of heaven, so we are re-united to God. But are we accepting and living this special gift?

holy door Parramatta

God has given us the freedom to choose, and at the same time the courage to abandon something, to leave something behind (Mt 13:44-46).  A door also marks the separation between inside and outside, between sin and the order of grace (Mi 7:18-19). The door permits entry to a new place, in showing mercy and not condemnation (Mt 9:13); The door provides protection, it provides salvation (Jn 10:7).

The Holy Father now invites everyone, specially those who have been away from the Church to come back through the Door of Mercy and be embraced with God’s Love. No matter who you are, no matter how great is your sin, God’s Mercy is more greater! God is inviting us through the Church to immerse ourselves in His unconditional love.

“The Holy Door will become a Door of Mercy through which anyone who enters will experience the Love of God who consoles, pardons, and instils Hope”. Pope Francis

How can we obtain graces
by making a pilgrimage to a Holy Door?

Passing through the Door of Mercy should be done by one’s own will. When we pass through the Holy Door:

  • We prepare our heart in prayer and form a deep desire for an inner conversion;
  • We make a firm resolve to change our lives and accept Jesus Christ as Our Lord and God
  • We embrace the Church’s Sacraments so we draw graces into our lives (by receiving the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion, preferably within 7 days before or after)
  • We pray for the intentions of the Pope (an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be)
  • We make a Profession of Faith (The Apostles Creed or the Nicene Creed)
  • We pray the Jubilee Prayer of Mercy given to us by Pope Francis shown below.

Having fulfilled the above conditions with a strong desire to change one’s life, we receive a Plenary Indulgence (explained below) or total cancellation of our sins. 

This plenary indulgence can be obtained once a day during this year of Mercy and therefore can be offered for your friends or family who have departed this world.

Find a Holy Door of Mercy

What is Plenary Indulgence?

To ‘indulge’ means to treat with excessive kindness.

In our faith, ‘Indulgence’ is an excessive gift of God’s forgiving mercy given through the Church to whom the Lord has entrusted with the power to bind and loose sins (Mat 18:18).

Through a good confession all our sins are forgiven. Yet, sins have a consequence, and therefore, in Purgatory we go through a purification process.  It is similar to the damage we do by hitting a nail onto an exotic piece of wood (our sin). Even though we could remove the nail (through confession), the hole or damage remains in the wood (the consequence). Therefore, Purgatory is a state of purification for the consequences of our sins. 

However, God’s mercy is so great that he gives the power to the Church to cancel this purification time in Purgatory through ‘plenary indulgence’.

We can obtain plenary indulgence for our own self or for a deceased loved one or for any soul in purgatory. Our Lady is the Mother of Mercy and if you offer your plenary indulgence to her, she is able to plead for a soul to be released from purgatory. Saints usually offer their prayers, sacrifices and indulgences through her as they know who need it most.

Each day of this year we have an opportunity to help release a soul from purgatory by going through a Holy Door of Mercy.  Imagine how this simple act of kindness can add up to taking many souls to Jesus.


Lord Jesus Christ, you have taught us to be merciful like the heavenly Father, and have told us that whoever sees you sees Him.  Show us your face and we will be saved.

Your loving gaze freed Zacchaeus and Matthew from being enslaved by money; the adulteress and Magdalene from seeking happiness only in created things; made Peter weep after his betrayal, and assured Paradise to the repentant thief.

Let us hear, as if addressed to each one of us, the words that you spoke to the Samaritan woman: “If you knew the gift of God!”

You are the visible face of the invisible Father, of the God who manifests his power above all by forgiveness and mercy: let the Church be your visible face in the world, its Lord risen and glorified. You willed that your ministers would also be clothed in weakness in order that they may feel compassion for those in ignorance and error: let everyone who approaches them feel sought after, loved, and forgiven by God.

Send your Spirit and consecrate every one of us with His anointing, so that the Jubilee of Mercy may be a year of grace from the Lord, and your Church, with renewed enthusiasm, may bring good news to the poor, proclaim liberty to captives and the oppressed, and restore sight to the blind.  

We ask this of you, Lord Jesus, through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Mercy; you who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.

The Gospel says "Be Merciful as the Father". Learn more.

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