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Door of Mercy

The Door of Mercy is a special Holy Door which Pope Francis has asked to be opened in every diocese during the Extraordinary Holy Year in order to allow the faithful in every part of the world to experience the Mercy of the Father in its fullness.

An Invitation to the Door of Mercy from Archdiocese of Edmonton on Vimeo.

In the Archdiocese of Edmonton, Archbishop Smith formally opened the Door of Mercy St. Joseph's Basilica  on Sunday, December 13, 2015. The Archbishop invites you to consider making your own pilgrimage to the Holy Door before it closes on November 13, 2016. Scroll down this page to learn more about the Holy Door and the requirements for the Jubilee Indulgence.

Arranging a Group Pilgrimage

If you are a pastor or parish group leader who would like to lead a group of pilgrims, or a teacher who would like to bring your class to the Holy Door, you need to book in advance. Groups of 30 or fewer pilgrims are welcome at St. Joseph's Basilica, To book your group, please download the Pilgrimage Registration Form and return it by email to HolyDoorPilgrimage@caedm.ca or fax 780-465-3003 Attention: Mona Dolan. Please note that afternoon or evening times are preferable. We recommend that pilgrims receive the sacraments of Reconciliation and  Eucharist before they arrive at the Holy Door, as these will not be available outside of regular Mass times at the Basilica.

Download the Guide for Leaders of Pilgrimage Groups to the Basilica

What is a Holy Door? 

The Holy Door is part of a pilgrimage by Catholics, part of a journey of walking closer with God and discovering moments of grace and spiritual renewal. Going through one of these Holy Doors is part of a spiritual journey that shows, as the Holy Father said, "the deep desire for true conversion."

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 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.

What is an Indulgence?

The Holy Father has asked that a special Jubilee Indulgence be available for the faithful throughout the Year of Mercy.  A plenary indulgence is a complete remission of the temporal punishment (purgatory) due to sins already forgiven in confession. In other words, it's an application of God's divine mercy to remove the effects of past sin. An indulgence isn't forgiveness itself, nor is it absolution. These must be sought through the Sacrament of Reconciliation (confession).

Catholics who pass through one of the Holy Doors in Rome, at St. Joseph's Basilica, or in any other diocese, and who meet several other spiritual requirements, will be eligible for the indulgence. These requirements include receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation, receiving the Holy Eucharist, making a profession of faith (the Apostles' or the Nicene Creed), and praying for the Holy Father and for his intentions. These acts should be completed within 20 days before or after passing through the Holy Door.

Pope Francis has also made special provisions for people who cannot visit a Holy Door due to illness or imprisonment. For more details, read the Letter of the Holy Father on the Jubilee Indulgence.