The Holy Door Experience
Passing through the Holy Door

Holy Door and family

During our lives, every door represents a passage. They are transitions from one place to another, a change of environment. Sometimes, when we move from past to future, they represent a rupture.

As a significant symbol of spiritual experience, the Holy Door offers the opportunity to collect lost parts of our life. By going through the various stages and transitions of his own living, one can find his current yearnings and discover what he’s truely looking for. Here, pilgrims will commune with persons who are precious for them, specifically family members, close ones or persons who, just like them, are facing closed doors of life they’re looking to open.

We’re invited to pass through this Holy Door from the outside to the inside as if we were trying to enter our own self. We are looking for the meaning of our future in order to pinpoint the essential values. This is a quest for sense.

Msgr Denis Bélanger, Rector of the Cathedral

For believers

Christ said: "I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved" . The Holy Door is closely linked to a pilgrimage experience. It’s a symbol of human life, of our terrestrial journey towards eternity during which we encounter God in every step of the way. Passing through the Holy Door during the Jubilee of Mercy means we are learning to face our personnal problems as well as the world’s problems and go through them while hearing the call of God.


Detail of the face of Christ on the Holy Door
Holy Door, inside and outside

What is a Holy Door?

The Holy Door is a real door, pierced in the wall of the Chapel of the Sacred Heart on the north side of the Cathedral. The Holy See granted Notre-Dame de Québec an extraordinary privilege when authorizing its construction.

Jubilees are years of remission, of indulgence, and also of reconciliation, conversion and sacramental penance The purpose of Holy Doors is to be open and accessible to all during Holy Years (Jubilees) as a symbols of the paths leading to conversion and blessings.

Jubilees normally take place every 25 years but a Pope can announce one when deemed appropriate. That is why Pope Francis announced that the Jubilee of Mercy would take place from December 2015 to November 2016.

During Jubilees it is also possible to gain a special indulgence. To gain it, one must make a pilgrimage to one of the Holy Doors. During the days immediately preceding or following that pilgrimage, one must also confess, attend mass, and make a profession of faith (recital of the Credo). Finally, one must pray according to the intentions of the Holy Father.

It is to be noted that Québec Holy Door is open to all persons of goodwill.


Detail of a dove of the Holy Door

Door of Mercy or Holy Door?

Pope Francis asked that during the Jubilee of Mercy all dioceses in the world identify temporary local Doors of Mercy which will only be used as such during this special year.

Notre-Dame de Québec Holy Door is a permanent Holy Door.

Pass through the Holy Door on Google Maps

The Pilgrims Garden

Before passing through the Holy Door, people are invited to walk the Pilgrims Garden pathway which is located at the left of the Cathedral, by the Holy Door.

Verses of the Bible will inspire you from one stop of the pathway to the following, offering recollection opportunities before passing through the Holy Door.