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“That this new Holy Door helps us know the discarded and needy people of God”

2015-12-18

This is the third time Pope Francis has opened a Holy Door since the Jubilee of Mercy began on December 8th. It wasn't in a church but instead in a homeless center ran by Caritas inside of Rome's Termini rail station.

For that reason, it was opened with a procession including a cross, candles, and a missal being held by four people who were served there.

The litany included a mention of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who will be canonized during the Jubilee. 

Pope Francis celebrated Mass in the same food bank that distributes food to 500 people every day. It was prepared specially for the ceremony.

He delivered his homily without notes. And he explained why he is so often with the poorest.

POPE FRANCIS
"How will we be judged by God? He did not say, 'You come with me because you have made many donations to churches. You are a benefactor of the Church. Come to Heaven.' The entrance to Heaven is not paid with money. What does Jesus tell us to do to open the door of heaven? I was hungry and you gave me food. I was homeless and you gave me a house.”

Later, he prayed that not only Holy Doors will open in Rome but that the hearts of more men and women will too.


POPE FRANCIS
"This door is the door of charity, the door which helps so many, so many discarded, make us understand that it would be good for each of us, every Roman, everyone who feels excluded, and feel the need for God's help.”

The Pope asked that only people being served in the shelter or working there attend the ceremony.

In addition to being a soup kitchen, the center also offers shelter for almost 200 people in the Eternal City. During this year, every time that they cross the threshold, they receive indulgence.

This visit is the first of a series of gestures of charity that the Pope plans to make on at least one Friday of every month.


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