Catholic Culture Solidarity
Catholic Culture Solidarity

Catholic Dictionary

Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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DOORS, HOLY

The doors of the basilicas of St. Peter, St. John Lateran, St. Paul, and St. Mary Major, which are not opened except during the years of a jubilee. The Pope opens the doors of St. Peter's to officially begin a Holy Year, and closes them at the end of a jubilee. Cardinals are commissioned to do the same at the three other basilicas. The custom dates back to the jubilee of 1450, under Pope Nicholas V. Between jubilees the holy doors closed by two partitions of brick, between which are placed commemorative medals and a parchment recalling the jubilee just completed.

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