What Pope Francis teaches if unable to make pilgrimage?
Pope Frances-Misericordiae Vultus
My thought first of all goes to all the faithful who, whether in individual Dioceses or as pilgrims to Rome, will experience the grace of the Jubilee. I wish that the Jubilee Indulgence may reach each one as a genuine experience of God’s mercy, which comes to meet each person in the Face of the Father who welcomes and forgives, forgetting completely the sin committed. To experience and obtain the Indulgence, the faithful are called to make a brief pilgrimage to the Holy Door, open in every Cathedral or in the churches designated by the Diocesan Bishop “Additionally, I am thinking of those for whom, for various reasons, it will be impossible to enter the Holy Door, particularly the sick and people who are elderly and alone, often confined to the home. For them it will be of great help to live their sickness and suffering as an experience of closeness to the Lord who in the mystery of his Passion, death and Resurrection indicates the royal road which gives meaning to pain and loneliness. Living with faith and joyful hope this moment of trial, receiving communion or attending Holy Mass and community prayer, even through the various means of communication, will be for them the means of obtaining the Jubilee Indulgence. My thoughts also turn to those incarcerated, whose freedom is limited. The Jubilee Year has always constituted an opportunity for great amnesty, which is intended to include the many people who, despite deserving punishment, have become conscious of the injustice they worked and sincerely wish to re-enter society and make their honest contribution to it. May they all be touched in a tangible way by the mercy of the Father who wants to be close to those who have the greatest need of his forgiveness. They may obtain the Indulgence in the chapels of the prisons. May the gesture of directing their thought and prayer to the Father each time they cross the threshold of their cell signify for them their passage through the Holy Door, because the mercy of God is able to transform hearts, and is also able to transform bars into an experience of freedom. CLICK HERE to read full letter.
What is a holy door?A holy door or porta sancta has been used since the fifteenth century as a ritual expression of conversion. Pilgrims and penitents pass through it as a gesture of leaving the past behind and crossing the threshold from sin to grace, from slavery to freedom, and from darkness to light. Often these rituals are associated with prayer, pilgrimage, sacrifice, confession, and indulgences.
But a holy door finds meaning only when the believer associates the door with Christ. Jesus is the Door! In the words of Pope Francis, “There is only one way that opens wide the entrance into the life of communion with God: this is Jesus, the one and absolute way to salvation. To him alone can the words of the Psalmist be applied in full truth: ‘This is the door of the Lord where the just may enter’ (Ps 118:20).”
On Sunday, November 29, Bishop Cahill blessed and sealed the Holy Doors to the Cathedral of Our Lady of Victory. He opened them on December 12th along with all the cathedrals of the world.
Let them be a reminder to all who pass through it that Jesus is the way to salvation. Let them serve as a symbol of God’s everlasting mercy and his constant invitation to us to return home to him. May the doors of our hearts be wide open to his call. And may the doors of all our parishes be open to all who seek the living God.
Click here for RITE OF THE OPENING OF THE DOOR OF MERCY that occured Dec 12th in local churches.
Click here for THE CREATION AND SEALING OF THE HOLY DOOR at The Cathedral of Our Lady of Victory, Victoria.
One of the ways to receive an indulgence for the Jubilee Year of Mercy is to make a pigrimage to a Holy Door site.
For the Diocese of Victoria, Bishop Cahill has decided that the normal way to fulfill this is that a pilgrimage must be made to the Cathedral of the Diocese (The Cathedral of Our Lady of Victory, Victoria) and 2 of the other four Pilgrim sites.
The 4 churches chosen by Bishop Cahill to be pilgrim sites for the Diocese of Victoria are: Holy Cross-Bay City, Holy Cross-East Bernard, Holy Cross-Yorktown, and Raphael's Refuge-Flatonia. See below for details and directions.
If a person is physically unable to make a pilgrimage, particularly the sick and people who are elderly and alone, confined to the home or incarcerated there are other ways to make your pilgrimage. One way is to prayerfully consider Pope Francis' remarks stated in Misericordiae Vultusis located in Q&A section to the right of this page. Another way is to prayerfully reflect on an image of the Holy Cross or our Blessed Mother, or Divine Mercy, asking our merciful Father to have mercy on us and on the whole world.
The Cathedral of Our Lady of Victory, Victoria
1309 E. Mesquite Lane
Victoria, Texas, 77901
*Church open at all times.
The following locations in the Diocese of Victoria will also have a Holy Door for the Year of Mercy and be pilgrimage site:
Holy Cross, Bay City
2001 Katy Ave.
Bay City, Texas 77414
*Please call before visiting unless it is during Mass times.
Holy Cross, East Bernard
839 Church St.
East Bernard, Texas, 77435
*Church open at all times.
Holy Cross, Yorktown
Raphael’s Refuge, Flatonia
Chapel of the Holy Innocents/ Monument to the Innocents
2715 W U.S. Highway 90
*Monument open all day, every day, and by appointment in the evenings.