Jubilee Year of Mercy
December 8, 2015 - November 20, 2016
The Basilica of Saint Lawrence has been designated as a Pilgrimage site by the Diocese of Charlotte.
What is a Jubilee? A special anniversary originating from the Jewish practice of celebrating God's favor every 50 years. For Catholics, a jubilee is a time of special solemnity and piety. Ordinarily, a jubilee is held every 25 years. An extraordinary jubilee year may be declared by the pope to solemnize a particular period of prayer and rejoicing.
Why is it called a "Year of Mercy?" Pope Francis has called it a "Year of Mercy" in order to highlight the importance of God's loving message of compassion and pardon. The year-long celebration confirms the Church's role in sharing God's mercy, from which no person touched by grace can be excluded. Through the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, the faithful concretely participate in extending this message of mercy.
What are works of mercy? These are works or acts by which we offer others physical or spiritual aid.
What is a Holy Door? Where are they? Holy Doors are specially designated doors that symbolize the entrance into the presence of God. They offer an opportunity for concrete action: As each person physically enters through the doorway, they display their desire to enter a new life of grace. Seven major Holy Doors are located in basilicas throughout the world. In addition, every diocese will have a special door or doors designated as a "Door of Mercy" to serve as a reminder that the experience of conversion and mercy is open to everyone throughout the world.
The Holy door at the Basilica of Saint Lawrence is located on the west facing wall and distinguished as shown above. An indulgence may be obtained by making a pilgrimage to the Holy Doors.
What is an indulgence? An indulgence is the remission of temporal punishment due to sin. In the same way that priests may forgive sins through the sacrament of penance, the Church has the authority to remit the punishment of sin outside the sacrament. While indulgences are associated with certain acts, these acts do not "earn" or "buy" forgiveness, they instead teach us that we must strive to make amends for our sins and show us the effect of good works in the life of God's grace.
What may receive an indulgence during the Jubilee Year of Mercy?
|"These doors are not magical doors and we need to understand that to experience and obtain the indulgence, the faithful are called, as pilgrims, to avail themselves of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, to participate in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist with reflection on mercy, make a profession of faith, and pray for the Holy Father and for his intentions for the good of the Church and of the entire world. It must be understood that walking through the Door of Mercy indicates the desire for the forgiveness of sins, and walking through it symbolizes a leaving behind of the past and entering into a new life through Christ, who is the door. Please note that walking through the Holy Doors is not a substitute for the Sacrament of Reconciliation."|
What are the norms required for receiving an indulgence? The following explanation is excerpted from EWTN.com and authored by Colin B. Donovan, STL:
To gain indulgences, whether plenary or partial, it is necessary that the faithful be in the state of grace at least at the time the indulgenced work is completed. Thus, one must be a Catholic in communion with the Pope, i.e. not excommunicated or in schism.
A plenary indulgence can be gained only once a day. In order to obtain it, the faithful must, in addition to being in the state of grace:
It is appropriate, but not necessary, that the sacramental Confession and especially Holy Communion and the prayer for the Pope's intentions take place on the same day that the indulgenced work is performed; but it is sufficient that these sacred rites and prayers be carried out within several days (about 20) before or after the indulgenced act. Prayer for the Pope's intentions is left to the choice of the faithful, but an "Our Father" and a "Hail Mary" are suggested. One sacramental Confession suffices for several plenary indulgences, but a separate Holy Communion and a separate prayer for the Holy Father's intentions are required for each plenary indulgence.
For the sake of those legitimately impeded, confessors can commute both the work prescribed and the conditions required (except, obviously, detachment from even venial sin).
Indulgences can always be applied either to oneself or to the souls of the deceased, but they cannot be applied to other persons living on earth.
Individuals may make their own Pilgrimage to the Basilica whenever they wish. Groups should click on Schedule a Pilgrimage Tour in the upper right corner of the page under Links to complete an online form with the requested date/time. We will make every effort to accomodate group pilgrimages to the extent that we are able with regard to ongoing activities, i.e., Mass, Sacramental celebrations, etc.
We look forward to being part of your Pilgrimage.