HOLY DOOR QUEBEC 2014… and 2016!
A SIMPLE AND RICH PILGRIMAGE, ACCESSIBLE BY ALL, HERE, IN QUEBEC
The Holy Door of Notre-Dame de Québec, inaugurated in 2014, was reopened in honor of the year of Mercy, from December 8, 2015 to November 20, 2016. The next time that it will be opened will be at the next Catholic Church’s jubilee (normally in 2025), or possibly when the Quebec Diocese celebrates its establishment (2024).
Even closed, the Holy Door remains a destination for pilgrimages and reflection.
A bit of history…
A Holy Door is a door that is opened by the Pope to symbolically mark the beginning of a Holy year.
Each of the major basilicas of Rome has its Holy Door.
They are closed and sealed at the end of the jubilee.
The tradition goes back to 1423 (Pope Martin V opened the Holy Door for the first time at the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran).
The Holy Door at Saint Peter’s in Rome was opened for the first time at Christmas in 1499.
The Holy Door at the Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica-Cathedral:
The request to have a Holy Door was put forth in the context of the 350th anniversary of the first Catholic parish in North America (north of Mexico).
The Pope accepted the request to encourage and stimulate faith in Quebec and in America.
It is the first time that there is a Holy Door in America (the others are all located in Italy, Spain and France).
It is the seventh door in the world.
It was inaugurated on Sunday, December 8th 2013: Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the parish’s patron saint.
It weighs more than 1000 pounds.
It cost close to $500,000.00 and was entirely financed by private donations.
The Holy Door will be opened throughout the whole jubilee year, up to December 28th 2014, 4 pm; it will then be closed and sealed until the next year of festivity.
Francis, Peter’s successor
In his homily on Sunday, October 12th, 2014, Francis reminds us with vigour of the profoundness of the Canadian Church’s mission. He spoke especially to Quebec, presenting the two new saints, Marie de l’Incarnation and François de Laval as examples to follow and as intercessors. On this occasion, Cardinal Lacroix, Archbishop of Quebec and Primate of Canada, addressed the following words of thanks to Francis, which already comprises a first response to the pressing plea that Peter’s successor expressed.
Perifmedia considers that it is important to transmit these two texts which are relevant for the new evangelisation:
A FEW ITEMS TO PREPARE ONESELF TO CROSS THE HOLY DOOR
Pilgrim’s prayer (translated from French)
By the Notre-Dame de Québec parish.
I renew the offering of myself
Of my heart, my will
Of my trials and of my whole life.
I place my trust in You
I give You my past that You may purify it
My present that You may sanctify it
I lay before You my future
I entrust in You all those that are mine
I only have one desire
That your Spirit will never leave me
That your hand holds my hand
Until the day when I am in your arms.
Excerpt from Francis’ homily on the three doors:
The Bishop of Rome reaffirmed that only prayer is “not sufficient; the joy of celebration is necessary: Celebrate Jesus in his sacraments, for it is there that he gives us life, he gives us strength, he gives us nourishment, he gives us comfort, he gives us an alliance, he gives us a mission. Without the celebration of the sacraments, we are not able to know Jesus. And this is specific to the Church”
The Sacred Heart Chapel
When we cross the Holy Door, we enter the Sacred Heart of Jesus Chapel. Is it not an extraordinary privilege to be invited into the very heart of God?
Prayer to saint Francis of Laval
(excerpt translated from French)
From the "Centre d’animation François de Laval"
I am here with you, Francis, in this very place where you often prayed the Holy Family and Mary, the Immaculate.
May I find with you,
the audacity that I lack,
you that crossed the vast ocean to establish the Church on the American soil.
Help me leave my comfort and my certainties as you did; despite your ill and wounded body, you left to meet the natives to sow the Word in this unknown land.