Thursday Doors

Today I share with you the picture of the ‘Holy Doors’ of Rome and the Vatican. It gave me an opportunity to travel back down memory lane and rummage through my album to find the pictures. There are in all 4 doors that belong to the Vatican which are considered holy. These doors are sealed by mortar and cement from the inside. The doors are opened only on the Jubilee year which is generally 25 years as proclaimed by Pope Martin V. Pope Francis decided to hold a special Jubilee from December 8, 2015 to November 20, 2015.

The doors were traditionally opened by hammering the wall with a silver hammer which would then collapse. However in 2000 Pope John Paul II changed this and opened the doors with his hands. Walking through the doors is believed to free one from all their sins. A belief that exists in all religions- that there is a way to wash away one’s sins. In Hinduism it is believed that taking a dip in the Ganges will do that. In Islam, it is believed that visiting Mecca will give one a clean chit.

When we visited Rome and Vatican city sometime in August 2015, the doors were sealed and all we could do was touch the Holy Doors which we did and hoped that if not all, some of our sins would be forgiven.

The first of the Holy Doors we were shown was that of that of St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican city. Until 2000, The Pope opened and closed only this door while the three other Holy Doors would be opened by a Cardinal designated by the Pope. However, in the Great Jubilee in 2000, the Pope decided to open all 4 doors himself while allowing the cardinals the responsibility of closing all doors. On the left hand side below is a picture of the door taken by me and on the right hand side is one downloaded from Wikipedia

The other 3 Holy Doors are that of St. John Latterano (on the left hand side below), St. Mary Maggiore (on the right side below) and St. Paul (I do not have a picture of the door of St. Paul.)

I have a picture though of the outside of St. Paul’s Cathedral. I must have been so busy trying to get to the door that I forgot to take a picture. But I remember liking it the most of the peace and tranquility there.

Please note this is not a religious post. So, if there is any error in what I have written, please let me know so I can correct it. The post is strictly on ‘Doors.’ All Rights Reserved.

4 responses to “Thursday Doors”

  1. robbiesinspiration Avatar

    These doors are amazing, Smitha. Thanks for sharing them here. I didn’t know this detail so I can’t comment on its correctness, but it sounds very Catholic to have an unusual tradition like this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Thanks Robbie. Thanks to you, I’ve been shuffling through pics searching for doors🙂. Yes, I too had no idea until I went there that such a belief existed.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. sienablue Avatar

    I am sorry I missed seeing St Paul when I was in Rome. The Vatican basilica is overwhelming, and I can see from your photo that courtyard gives a peaceful, calm entry to the church itself.

    I think the Jubilee remission of sins also requires making a good Confession, taking Communion, and saying some special prayers within a certain period of time. As always, it’s the inner disposition that matters more than the physical act of going through the door. But I think it’s that tangibility that is the common thread we see in all religions. It seems to be a basic human need. To feel the forgiveness and a sense of beginning anew.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      St. Paul’s was the one I liked the most…it was very peaceful…so I’ve said in my diary :). Yes, the Vatican basilica was overwhelming. Reminded me of the Da Vinci Code.
      Thanks Jo for that extra piece of information. I had no idea about the prayers and the Communion one had to take. True about the ‘human need.’ We all need to feel there is a way that we can start over again, I suppose.


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