Pope opens Jubilee Holy Door at St John Lateran basilica

Pope Francis opened the Holy Door of the Basilica of St John Lateran in Rome on Sunday, saying doing so was an “invitation to joy”.

On the same day Holy Doors were opened throughout cathedrals and churches around the world to mark the start of the Year of Mercy.

Pope Francis celebrated Mass at the basilica in Rome and during his homily he discussed the “simple sign” of opening the Holy Doors.

“It begins a time of the great forgiveness. It is the Jubilee of Mercy. It is time to rediscover the presence of God and his fatherly tenderness,” he said.

“God does not love rigidity. He is Father; He is tender; everything done with the tenderness of the Father.”

The Pope also warned against being “taken in by weariness” and “sadness in any form” despite “many concerns and the many forms of violence which hurt our humanity”.

“In a historical context of great abuse and violence, especially by men of power, God knows that he will reign over his people, who would never leave them at the mercy of the arrogance of their leaders, and will free them from all anxiety,” he said.

The Pope noted that “we are asked to be instruments of mercy, knowing that we will be judged on this”.

“He who is baptised knows he has a greater commitment. Faith in Christ leads to a journey that lasts for a lifetime: to be merciful, like the Father.

“The joy of crossing through the door of mercy is accompanied by a commitment to welcome and witness to a love that goes beyond justice, a love that knows no boundaries.

“It is from this infinite love that we are responsible, in spite of our contradictions.”


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