Pope Francis opens Holy Door of Celestinian Pardon in L'Aquila
By Vatican News staff reporter
At the conclusion of Sunday's celebrations in L'Aquila, Pope Francis presided over the rite of opening of the Holy Door of the Basilica of Santa Maria in Collemaggio, marking the 728th Celestinian Pardon.
The "Perdonanza Celestiniana" (Celestinian Pardon) is a historical-religious event held annually in L'Aquila between 28 and 29 August, accompanied by other celebrations during the last week of August.
The celebration was established by Pope Celestine V in 1294 with the issue of Papal Bull "Inter sanctorum solemnia", also known as the Bolla del Perdono (Bull of Forgiveness), in which he granted a plenary indulgence to anyone who, confessed and communicated, visited the basilica of Santa Maria di Collemaggio from the Vespers of August 28 to those of 29 August.
The event is a precursor of the universal Jubilee of the Catholic Church established by Pope Boniface VIII in 1300.
As part of the Rite, Pope Francis knocked on the Holy Door three times with a staff made of olive wood, and the doors were opened for all to process inside.
He then spent time in prayer before the tomb of Pope Celestine V before exiting and greeting the faithful inside and outside. Afterwards, the Pope returned to Rome with the events concluding by around 12:30.
Before the opening of the Holy Door, Pope Francis offered the following prayer:
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