The Holy Door (Porta Santa) of the Papal Basilica of St John Lateran (San Giovanni in Laterano) was created by the sculptor Floriano Bodini (1933-2005) for the Jubilee of 2000.
The door is made up of a single bronze panel and depicts the Virgin Mary and Child standing in front of the crucified Christ. Unlike the vast majority of images of the Crucifixion, Bodini has correctly depicted the nails piercing Christ's wrists and not his hands.
The simple Latin inscription reads (in translation): 'Christ Yesterday Today Forever'.
The coat of arms belongs to St John Paul II (r. 1978-2005), the pope who commissioned the work.
Each of Rome's four Papal Basilicas has a Holy Door. They are only open during a Holy Year, or Jubilee, which is normally held once every 25 years. For the rest of the time the doors are bricked up on the inside.
Blogging about Rome:
its art, history and culture.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private and
small-group walking tours
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