It’s official!

The doors are open!

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Pope Francis on Tuesday opened the Holy Door in St. Peter’s Basilica, inaugurating the Jubilee of Mercy. The ceremony took place after he celebrated Mass for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception in St. Peter’s Square.

Pope Francis, during his homily, highlighted the primacy of grace.

“Were sin the only thing that mattered, we would be the most desperate of creatures,” Pope Francis said. “But the promised triumph of Christ’s love enfolds everything in the Father’s mercy…The Immaculate Virgin stands before us as a privileged witness of this promise and its fulfilment.”

“The Jubilee challenges us to this openness, and demands that we not neglect the spirit which emerged from Vatican II, the spirit of the Samaritan, as Blessed Paul VI expressed it at the conclusion of the Council” – he said – “May our passing through the Holy Door today commit us to making our own the mercy of the Good Samaritan.”

After Mass, Pope Francis opened the Holy Door to St. Peter’s, where he was met by his predecessor, Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI, whom he embraced.

Pope Francis embraces Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI before opening the Holy Door to mark opening of the Catholic Holy Year, or Jubilee, in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican

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