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Jubilee of Mercy starts with opening of Holy Door of Manila Cathedral on Dec. 9

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle will “push” open the Holy Door of the Manila Cathedral on December 9 at 3 p.m. to signal the start of the archdiocese’s observance of the Jubilee of Mercy.

Pope Francis declared an Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy beginning and ending on two great and solemn feasts of the Catholic Church: December 8, 2015 to November 20, 2016, the feasts of the Immaculate Conception and Christ the King respectively.

In decreeing this Holy Year of Mercy, Pope Francis expressed the desire that the Jubilee be “a special time for the Church, a time when the witness (to mercy) of believers might grow stronger and more effective.”

During the ceremonial opening of the Holy Door of the Manila Cathedral, Cardinal Tagle will be accompanied by the poor and persons with disabilities. Instead of breaking open a seal as was done by Jaime Cardinal Sin when he opened the Holy Door during the Great Jubilee of 2000, Cardinal Tagle and his companions will push the door open.

Cardinal Tagle had enjoined the people not only to enter through the Holy Doors of cathedrals and basilicas but also to go through “Doors of Charity” of the homeless, the poor, the imprisoned and the sick. 

The celebration of the Jubilee of Mercy involves various elements, according to the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization of the Vatican, among these are pilgrimages and indulgences.

The main pilgrimage destination is Rome but Pope Francis but pilgrimages can be made to the cathedrals of the archdioceses and dioceses, and to jubilee Churches that have been designated.

By passing through the Holy Door and making pilgrimages in Jubilee Churches, the devotees can gain indulgences. According to Church teaching, “an indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishments due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven.” There are, however, certain prescriptions to full gaining indulgences.

In the Archdiocese of Manila, four have been designated Jubilee churches, aside from the Manila Cathedral. The churches and the date of their holy door opening are:

·         National Shrine of the Sacred Heart, Makati City (Dec. 11, 3 p.m.)

·         Santuario de Santo Cristo, San Juan City, (Dec. 12, 5:30 p.m.)

·         Archdiocesan Shrine of the Divine Mercy, Mandaluyong City, Dec. 13, 5:30 p.m.)

·         Our Lady of Sorrows Parish Church, Pasay City (Dec. 13, 5:30 p.m.)

Those attending the Opening of the Holy Door at the Manila Cathedral on Dec. 9, will
assemble in front of the Ayuntamiento building at the corner of Andres Soriano and Cabildo Streets, and led by Cardinal Tagle and the priests, process towards the door of the cathedral, for the opening ceremonies. ##