The Year of Mercy is coming to an end!

Throughout the jubilee year, Holy Doors will be opened at the major basilicas of Rome, as well as cathedrals worldwide, including the Holy Cross Cathedral in Marina, Lagos until 20th November 2016. Faithful who make a pilgrimage and pass through a holy door receive a plenary indulgence. Passage through a Jubilee Holy Door is an outward sign of a person’s decision to enter into the life of Jesus Christ and make the passage from sin to grace.

“The Holy Door will become a Door of Mercy through which anyone who enters will experience the love of God who consoles, pardons, and instills hope.” – Pope Francis, Misericordiae Vultus, 3.

jubilee_of_mercy_logoThe Jubilee of Mercy

    Holy Years are celebrated in the Church every 25 years or thereabouts. Jubilee is a special year of remission of sins or universal pardon. It is a time of joy, celebrated every 50 years, where the Church seeks to restore herself to the way things should be in God’s sight. Pope Francis declared that from December 8, 2015 to November 20, 2016 the Church would celebrate a Jubilee of Mercy. This is the time, according to our Holy Father, that the Church is called to “offer more evident signs of God’s presence and closeness.” Pilgrimages have traditionally been significant during Holy Years. They signify desire amongst the faithful to make reparation for sin and to renew the conversion of one’s life to Christ. For a guide on how to go about the pilgrimage to the holy door see here

The Holy Door of Mercy
 During a Jubilee year, it is customary that pilgrimages culminate in passing over a threshold. During the Year of Mercy, this threshold, or “Holy Door”, is symbolic of Christ as the door of mercy. The movement evokes a sense of passing from sin to grace. On December 8, 2015 at St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis officially opened the Holy Door of Mercy, “through which anyone who enters will experience the love of God who consoles, pardons, and instills hope.” Our Holy Father requested that every cathedral in the world have a Door of Mercy in unity with the one in Rome, so that all the faithful may have access to this grace.”  For a guide on how to go about the pilgrimage to the holy door see here

     The term indulgence comes from the Latin word indulgentia, which means kindness or tenderness. In more recent times, it has become associated with debt forgiveness or release from captivity or punishment. The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines indulgences as follows:
     “An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints.”81
     “An indulgence is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due to sin.” 82 The faithful can gain indulgences for themselves or apply them to the dead. Indulgences offer a fresh start. Crossing a threshold is a strong symbol for fresh starts. Since the mid-15th century, the Church has granted Holy Year Indulgences and have associated these indulgences with passing through a Holy Door. The Pope has the authority to grant indulgences and in order to obtain an indulgence the faithful are asked to follow a pattern of devotion, penance and charity. 


To receive an indulgence a person must be in a state of grace after sacramental confession, have received Holy Communion recently, pray for the intentions of the pope and be completely detached from sin. It is appropriate, but not necessary, that the sacramental Confession and especially Holy Communion and the prayer for the Pope’s intentions take place on the same day that the indulgenced work is performed; but it is sufficient that these sacred rites and prayers be carried out within several days (about 20) before or after the indulgenced act. Prayer for the Pope’s intentions is left to the choice of the faithful, but an Our Father and a Hail Mary are suggested. One sacramental Confession suffices for several plenary indulgences, but a separate Holy Communion and a separate prayer for the Holy Father’s intentions are required for each plenary indulgence. (See picture). For a guide on how to go about the pilgrimage to the holy door see here


The Essentials 

How to go about the pilgrimage to the holy door 

How to make a good confession

International Holy Doors: All around the world there are many holy doors of mercy

Holy Cross Cathedral (Lagos Nigeria)

We are grateful to God for the Jubilee Year of Mercy activities as we approach the closing day November 20, 2016. To give more people the opportunity to pass through the Door of Mercy before the year comes to a close, the Door will open for private visit and prayers from Sunday November 6 to Friday November 11 from 12.00 – 6.00pm daily.

Meanwhile the Tuesday pilgrimage continues till November 8th. The activities of the pilgrimage include a tour of the Cathedral, confessions, celebration of Mass, passing through the Door of Mercy into the Cathedral, audience with the Archbishop and issuance of certificate, among others.

The Jubilee Year would come to an end on 20th November 2016, Solemnity of Christ the King of the Universe. The 10.00am Mass at the Holy Cross Cathedral would be a Thanksgiving Mass for the all the graces of the year. The formal closing of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year would be at the end of the Corpus Christi Eucharistic procession on the grounds of St. Gregory’s College, Obalende from 2pm prompt. For more information visit


‘Mater Ecclesiae’ Monastery

The monastery in Epe also has a holy door which you can go through before the 2oth November. The Year of Mercy ends there with mass on Sunday 20th November at 9:00 am.


Address: Anthony Cardinal Okogie Road, Sangotedo Lagos, P.O. Box 71986 Tel: 09085648168


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