ASIA/BAHRAIN - A beacon of light and hope: sacred journey through the Holy Door of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Arabia

Monday, 4 March 2024

Awali (Agenzia Fides) - The Cathedral of Our Lady of Arabia (OLA) in Bahrain is a beacon of spiritual light and hope for Catholics. It is not only a place of worship but also a symbol of peace and unity.

In a statement sent to Fides, the Vicariate Apostolic of Northern Arabia describes the traditional pilgrimage to the Holy Door of the Cathedral in Awali, the largest Catholic church on the Arabian Peninsula. It is a symbolic entrance that opens on the occasion of the jubilee years of Saint Arethas and Companions, the martyrs. On October 24, 2023, the Catholic Church in the Arabian Peninsula began the celebrations of the liturgical feast of the martyrdom of Saint Arethas and his companions with the opening of the Jubilee Year in all parishes, which will end on October 23, 2024 (see Fides, 20/10/2023).

Passing through the Holy Door is seen as a metaphorical passage from sin to grace, from darkness to light. Pilgrims from all over the world come to pass through the Holy Door and ask for a plenary indulgence. It is a unique and powerful experience for all who undertake it, and a spiritual as well as physical journey that requires participants to reflect on their lives, seek forgiveness for their sins and renew their faith in God. The pilgrimage strengthens the bonds of brotherhood and reminds everyone of their common mission to love and serve God through an experience of spiritual renewal and transformation.

“It is a time of grace and blessing,” the message reads, “a time to open one’s heart and mind to the transforming power of God’s grace and to pass through the Holy Door into a new and brighter future”.

“As the pilgrims pass through the Holy Door,” the note concludes, “they stop at eight stations, including the icon of Saint Arethas, the Chapel of Our Lady of Arabia, the baptismal font, the high altar, the Mystical Crown (16 icons), the Bishop's Chair, the Chapel of Reconciliation and the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 4/3/2024)