Interreligious Pilgrimage to the Holy Door, Rome, Italy
November 22, 2016
On Sunday, November 20, Pope Francis officially closed the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica through which more than twenty million pilgrims passed during the course of the Jubilee Year.
Prior to the closure of the Holy Year of Mercy, some of us from the Motherhouse community participated in an Interreligious Pilgrimage to the Holy Door on Friday, November 18, at 5 p.m. This was an initiative of SEDOS with the cooperation of Religions for Peace Italy, the Inter Religious Dialogue Commission, and the JPIC Commission USG/UISG. More than a thousand people representing a variety of world religions, i.e. Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, and Bahai followers came together to pray and to ask forgiveness of each other for any wrongs committed.
After an initial reflection, the entire group processed, while chanting, singing, and praying, from Castel Sant’Angelo to the tomb of Saint John Paul II. Some of our sisters were privileged to lead the procession, carrying the multicolored Peace Candles. These candles were presented to the representatives of world religions as a peace offering and symbol of forgiveness. At the beginning of the pilgrimage, all participants signed a letter addressed to Pope Francis, promising our commitment to advance the reign of God through mercy, forgiveness, and peace. For all of us, this gathering was an experience of communion in our diverse cultures, and faith. Shalom… Shalom… Shalom…