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codechocreate Stats delete>3 days Holy Year a 'moment of grace' to feel 'God's great love,' says cardinal. Published 12/9/2015. Nation.
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Holy Year a 'moment of grace' to feel 'God's great love,' says cardinal


  • Washington Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl opens the Holy Door Dec. 8 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. The rite of opening the door came at the start of the church's Year of Mercy. (CNS photo/Jaclyn Lippelmann, Catholic Standard)
  • Washington Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl opens the Holy Door Dec. 8 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. The rite of opening the door came at the start of the church's Year of Mercy. (CNS photo/Jaclyn Lippelmann, Catholic Standard)
  • Washington Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl passes through the Holy Door Dec. 8 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. The opening of the door came at the start of the church's Year of Mercy. (CNS photo/Jaclyn Lippelmann, Catholic Standard)

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WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl opened the national Holy Door at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington Dec. 8, ushering in the Year of Mercy.

Calling the opening of the door "a prelude to the profound experience of grace and reconciliation that awaits us this year," Washington's cardinal was the first to process through the newly opened Holy Door, which he called "a symbol of God's loving welcome as we begin the Jubilee Year of Mercy."

The Holy Year proclaimed by Pope Francis began Dec. 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, and continues through Nov. 20, 2016, the feast of Christ the King.

The shrine's door is the national Holy Door for the Year of Mercy in the United States. Cardinal Wuerl opened the Washington archdiocesan Holy Door at a Dec. 7 vigil Mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington.

"The church holds up for us the Blessed Virgin Mary as a sign of hope and a beacon of light," said Cardinal Wuerl as he opened the Holy Door at the national shrine on its patronal feast.

"Mary is truly a proper and pure living temple for the Son of God, a holy, living house of the Lord," the cardinal said. "Our aspiration during this Holy Year, our goal, is to approximate that goodness, purity and holiness of Mary."

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