The Jubilee

Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica

The Holy Door of Saint Peter is only opened by the Pope during a jubilee, and it is usually the first door to be opened to indicate the beginning of the Holy Year. This rite was first reported to happen at Saint Peter’s Basilica in 1500 during the papacy of Alexander VI. At present, the wall sealing the door is dismantled a few days in the days leading up to its opening. During this time, a case, which has been bricked over since the end of the previous Holy Year, is freed, and inside it contains the key which allows the door to be opened. 

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