In Compostela, the Holy Year Counts Twice

January 15, 2021
The Holy Door of the Cathedral of Compostela

With the opening of the Holy Door of the Cathedral of Santiago, celebrated with great pomp on December 31, 2020, an exceptional two-year jubilee has just begun in the city of Compostela.

It all started in the afternoon of December 31, in the Obradoiro de Compostela square, when Alberto Nunez Feijoo, the president of the Galicia junta, reviewed the troops present to the sound of the Spanish hymn, before entering the cathedral, joined by the President of Parliament, Miguel Santalices.

Near the Holy Door, the Archbishop of Santiago de Compostela, Mgr. Julian Barrio, awaited them in the presence of the cathedral chapter and the apostolic nuncio, Mgr. Bernadito Auza.

The latter read the decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary, by which, given the health context linked to the Covid-19 epidemic, Pope Francis grants an extension of the spiritual gifts of the holy year 2021, throughout the year 2022.

Then Archbishop Julian Barrio, equipped with a silver hammer, symbolically struck the Holy Door: this year, in fact, in order to preserve the restoration work of the cathedral, the rite of the demolition of the stone wall was not carried out.

Finally, the ceremony concluded with the celebration of a Pontifical Mass, during which the Archbishop of Compostela asked the Apostle Saint James to “strengthen the hope which helps to overcome anxiety for the present, and the skepticism which paralyzes the exercise of charity.”

2021-2022 is one of the most anticipated “Jacobean year”: it has been eleven years since the apostle’s feast day of July 25 has fallen on a Sunday, and it is this occurrence that decides the opening of the Holy Door.

The jubilee year allows all the faithful who access the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela through the Holy Door, to gain a plenary indulgence, under the ordinary conditions set by the Church, that is: to pray for intentions of the Sovereign Pontiff, to confess and receive Communion, and to be free from all attachment to venial sin.