Following the news by Pope Francis this past March 13 that an "extraordinary Holy Year" will begin December 8, the Archdiocese of Quebec has announced that the Holy Door of the Cathedral Basilica Notre-Dame de Québec will be open to pilgrims throughout the Jubilee of Mercy. His Eminence Gérald Cyprien Cardinal Lacroix, Archbishop of Québec and Primate of the Church in Canada, said the diocesan Church rejoices in joining Pope Francis in this Year of Mercy. "After the 350th anniversary of Notre-Dame de Quebec, this will be a Jubilee that we will celebrate with the Universal Church. Mercy touches the heart and the lives of all women and men," he said.
The Jubilee of Mercy will commence with the opening of the Holy Door in Saint Peter's on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, 2015, and conclude on November 20, 2016, with the Solemnity of Christ the King. December 8, 2015, also marks the 50th anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Council. The official and solemn proclamation of the Holy Year will be made at a special ceremony in front of Saint Peter's Basilica on the Second Sunday of Easter, "Divine Mercy Sunday", April 12, 2015.
There are seven Holy Doors in the world. Four are in Rome, in each of the papal basilicas; one in France at the Shrine of Saint John Vianney, the Curé of Ars; and one at the Shrine of Saint James in Compostela, Spain. The Holy Door in Quebec City, which first opened December 8, 2013, was a gift of the Holy See and is the only one outside Europe. All seven Holy Doors will be open throughout the Jubilee of Mercy. In its media release, the Holy See explains the meaning of a Holy Year and of a Holy Door.