Holy Door at the Martyrs’ Shrine

The Martyrs’ Shrine is excited to announce that we have been Officially Designated a Holy Door site. For months staff have been hard at work in preparation for this exciting new feature for the 2016 summer season. “This will be a very exciting time for the Martyrs’ Shrine as we welcome pilgrims who have answered The Holy Father’s invitation to have a true moment of encounter with God by passing through the Door in honour of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy!” – Fr. Michael Knox, S.J.

What is a Holy Door?

A Holy Door (Latin: Porta Sancta) traditionally refers to an entrance portal located within the Papal Major basilicas in Rome. The doors are normally sealed by mortar and cement from the inside so that they cannot be opened. They are ceremoniously opened during Jubilee years designated by the Pope, for pilgrims who enter through those doors may piously gain the plenary indulgences attached with the Jubilee year celebrations.

In October 2015, Pope Francis expanded this tradition by having in each Roman Catholic diocese throughout the world designate local Holy Doors during this Extraordinary Jubilee year of Mercy, so that Catholics could gain the plenary indulgences granted during the Jubilee year without having to travel to Rome.

Our Holy Door at the Martyrs’ Shrine

One of only nine located within the Archdiocese of Toronto, our holy door has been built under the guidance of the director of the Martyrs’ Shrine, Fr. Michael Knox, SJ, using materials native to the area. Ojibwa artist William Monague has been commissioned to create the artwork that will decorate the door and inspire those who traverse it. The artwork, depicting Our Lady Mercy will be rich in symbolism relevant to both the Roman Catholic Church and indigenous peoples. We invite you to visit us this season to gain this Jubilee year’s plenary indulgence as we walk towards Christ with Sts. Jean de Brébeuf and his companions.

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