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National Shrine seals Holy Door ahead of ’25 Year of Jubilee

Doors of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

Orhan Cam | Shutterstock

J-P Mauro - published on 12/07/23

The Holy Door at the National Shrine of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception will remain closed until Christmas Eve 2024.

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the largest Catholic church in North America, has sealed its holy door in order to prepare for the coming Year of Jubilee, 2025. The doors will be opened again on Christmas Eve 2024, when cathedrals and basilicas around the world will invite pilgrims to walk through them. 

Aleteia previously explained that a Holy Door, or Porta Sancta, is a special door on cathedrals and basilicas that is only opened during Jubilee Years. At the Vatican, the Holy Door is sealed with brick and mortar at the conclusion of each Jubilee Year, only to be unsealed during the next such occasion. 

WEB3 RELIC TOUR SHRINE AgnosticPreachersKid Basilica_of_the_National_Shrine_of_the_Immaculate_Conception
The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, in Washington, D.C.

In the National Shrine’s case, the basilica does not have a designated Holy Door, so they have assigned one of their entry ways as such. Recently, Archbishop Timothy Broglio, the leader of the US bishops, blessed and sealed the assigned Holy Door at the National Shrine for the entire year of 2024 leading up to Christmas Eve, in order to emulate the Vatican’s seal. According to NCR, the archbishop explained during his homily at the ceremony’s Mass: 

“May this long-range planning for the holy year inspire our efforts so that 2025 will truly be a year of hope,” the archbishop said in his homily during Mass at the Basilica. “We symbolically close a door this afternoon to anticipate its opening and the graces that will be offered to us.”

Archbishop Broglio went on to note that the theme of the 2025 Year of Jubilee is “Pilgrims of Hope,” meant to emphasize the need for Christians to spread hope, especially as so many regions of the world are in conflict. 


Ordinary Jubilee Years come every 25 years, with exceptions made for early openings to bring hope during “extraordinary” times. Pope St. John Paul II made such an exception when he opened the Holy Doors early in 1983 and Pope Francis followed suit when he opened the door in December 2015 for the 2016 Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. The opening of the doors in December 2024, however, signals the beginning of the regularly scheduled Jubilee Year, and will last until December 2025. 

During that time, pilgrims may travel to a basilica or cathedral in order to walk through the Holy Door to receive a plenary indulgence. This is a remission of temporal punishment for sins forgiven in confession. Walking through the door is just the first step, however, as Catholics must still receive reconciliation and the Eucharist, pray for the intention of the pope, and perform an act of mercy.

Click here to learn just about all there is to know about Holy Doors.

CatholicismJubilee 2025
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