The Holy Door of the Papal Basilica of Saint Peter – Part 1 of 4

The Holy Door of the Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the State of the Vatican City was created in bronze by Nivo Consorti in and donated by Bishop Francesco Von Streng of Switzerland in 1949 in the name of Swiss Catholics whose land was saved from war.  The door is normally sealed on the inside and opened only during Jubilee years which, at the present time, are celebrated every 25 years or at the discretion of the Pope.  In the last hundred years, the Holy Door has been opened 6 times, including 4 normal Jubilees and 2 special Jubilees.  Jubilee years were celebrated in:

  • 1925 by Pius XI
  • 1933 by Pius XI (1900th anniversary of the Redemption)
  • 1950 by Pius XII
  • 1975 by Paul VI
  • 1983 by John Paul II (1950th anniversary of the Redemption)
  • 2000 by John Paul II

The 16 panels of the Holy Door include scenes from throughout biblical history and including a scene of opening the Holy Door.  The top four panels show:

  • The Angel at the Gates of Paradise
  • The Fall
  • Mary:  The Annunciation
  • The Angel of the Annunciation

The Holy Door of the Papal Basilica of Saint Peter

The Holy Door of the Papal Basilica of Saint Peter

SOURCE:  The Holy Door of the Papal Basilica of Saint Peter (State of the Vatican City); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 10 August 2011.

The Angel at the Gates of Paradise

The Angel at the Gates of Paradise

SOURCE:  The Angel at the Gates of Paradise (State of the Vatican City); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 10 August 2011.

The Fall

The Fall

SOURCE:  The Fall (State of the Vatican City); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 10 August 2011.

Mary: The Annunciation

Mary:  The Annunciation

SOURCE:  Mary:  The Annunciation (State of the Vatican City); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 10 August 2011.

The Angel of the Annunciation

The Angel of the Annunciation

SOURCE:  The Angel of the Annunciation (State of the Vatican City); photographed by Stephen J. Danko on 10 August 2011.

The posts in this series include:

  • The Holy Door of the Papal Basilica of Saint Peter – Part 1 of 4
  • The Holy Door of the Papal Basilica of Saint Peter – Part 2 of 4
  • The Holy Door of the Papal Basilica of Saint Peter – Part 3 of 4
  • The Holy Door of the Papal Basilica of Saint Peter – Part 4 of 4

Copyright © 2011 by Stephen J. Danko

This entry was posted in Daily Journal and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The Holy Door of the Papal Basilica of Saint Peter – Part 1 of 4

  1. Joan says:

    Absolutely breathtaking. Thank you.

  2. Donna says:

    I got to walk through the open door in 2000 – sort of a geeky Catholic thrill. ;-) You took gorgeous close-ups of the panels, Steve!

    • Steve says:

      Sometimes I’m amazed I was able to get any clear pictures at all, what with the crowds of tourists there. I place what success I have in photography with the theory that if you take enough pictures, some of them will have to come out well. I have my share of those “Off with their heads!” photos you described on your blog, Donna!

  3. RickELake says:

    I was personally unaware of the Papal Year tradition of Opening the Holy Door until touring the Vatican during the Christmas holidays in 2000. After waiting in line for hours, we finally walked through the Porta Sancta and were advised by locals that by touching the archway, all sins – past – present and future – would be forgiven by this simple act.

    Locals also said that it pilgramage to St. Peter’s once in a catholic’s life during a Holy Year – and the passing through the doorway on the right -was mandatory – although I never heard that in all my years of parochial schooling.

Comments are closed.