Bishop John Noonan has designated the central bronze door at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe, as the Holy Door for the Diocese of Orlando. Bishop Noonan opened the Holy Door on December 13. All are welcome. The basilica is located at 8300 Vineland Ave. in Orlando.

Click here for Frequently Asked Questions on the Opening of the Door of Mercy.

A holy door or porta sancta has been used since the fifteenth century as a ritual expression of conversion. Pilgrims and penitents pass through it as a gesture of leaving the past behind and crossing the threshold from sin to grace, from slavery to freedom, and from darkness to light. Often these rituals are associated with prayer, pilgrimage, sacrifice, confession, and indulgences. But the door finds meaning only when the believer associates the door with Christ. Jesus is the Door! In the words of Pope Francis:

“There is only one way that opens wide the entrance into the life of communion with God: this is Jesus, the one and absolute way to salvation. To him alone can the words of the Psalmist be applied in full truth: ‘This is the door of the Lord where the just may enter’” (Ps 118:20).

John’s Gospel clearly depicts this relationship between Jesus and us. “Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life, and have it more abundantly” (John 10:7-10).

In the document Misericordiae Vultus from Pope Francis encourages the faithful to make a pilgrimage to their local door of mercy.

“May the Holy Spirit, who guides the steps of be-lievers in cooperating with the work of salvation wrought by Christ, lead the way and support the People of God so that they may contemplate the face of mercy.”

“The practice of pilgrimage has a special place in the Holy Year, because it represents the journey each of us makes in this life. Life itself is a pilgrimage, and the human being is a viator, a pilgrim travelling along the road, making his way to the desired destination. Similarly, to reach the Holy Door in Rome or in any other place in the world, everyone, each according to his or her ability, will have to make a pilgrimage. This will be a sign that mercy is also a goal to reach and requires dedication and sacrifice. May pilgrimage be an impetus to conversion: by crossing the threshold of the Holy Door, we will find the strength to embrace God’s mercy and dedicate ourselves to being merciful with others as the Father has been with us.”

Click here for information on obtaining an indulgence when visiting the door of mercy.

To view all the Doors of Mercy in the U.S., visit: www.im.va/content/gdm/en/mondo/porte-della-misericordia.html?country=north-america/us. Search for Orlando and you will find us!