Year of Mercy

Pope Francis has designated the upcoming Liturgical Year as an extraordinary jubilee focusing on God’s mercy. 

Inspired by Jesus’ declaration in John 10 that “I am the door” and “whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture,” it is thought that the custom of maintaining a Holy Door during a jubilee year goes back to Pope Sylvester (+335 A.D.). At the request of the Emperor Constantine, Pope Sylvester issued a bull (a type of letter issued by a Pope) proclaiming immunity from all punishment for Christians who entered the doors of the Lateran Basilica in Rome. In calling an extraordinary jubilee in 1983, St. John Paul II said that the believer’s pilgrimage through a Holy Door “evokes the passage from sin to grace which every Christian is called to accomplish.”

Because some of the faithful are unable to make a pilgrimage to Rome for this extraordinary jubilee, Pope Francis has asked that each diocesan ordinary designate a Holy Door at their own cathedral and at other strategically located churches in their dioceses for the benefit of the faithful.  The Most Reverend Bishop Guglielmone of the Diocese of Charleston will inaugurate a Holy Door at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Charleston on December 13 and, after consultation with each vicar forane, has designated the following churches and shrines to maintain a Holy Door and to serve as sites for pilgrimage in the Holy Year:

Rock Hill: The Oratory Chapel at 434 Charlotte Avenue, Rock Hill, SC.
Aiken: Old St. Mary Help of Christians
Beaufort: St. Gregory the Great in Bluffton
Charleston: Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
Columbia: St. Peter
Florence: St. Anthony
Greenville: St. Mary
Myrtle Beach: St. Michael in Murrells Inlet
Kingstree: Shrine of Our Lady of South Carolina – Our Lady of Joyful Hope

Please encourage your family, neighbors and friends to celebrate the Year of Mercy by visiting one of the Holy Doors during this upcoming jubilee. This Holy Year of Mercy began on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on December 8, 2015 and will conclude on Sunday November 20, 2016, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe and living face of the Father’s mercy.

For information and updates on the Year of Mercy, please visit