Photo: Vatican Media

Vatican Chronicles: Marian apparitions, priest with gun in the Vatican and the Jubilee

Week of May 6 to 12, 2024

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(ZENIT News / Rome, 05.12.2024).- Seven months before the start of the Ordinary Jubilee 2025, on May 9 Pope Francis delivered the Bull with which he convokes it. Thanks to this, we now know that the Jubilee will start on December 24, 2024, with the opening of the Holy Door of Saint Peter’s Basilica, and that it will end on January 6, 2026, with the closing of the same door. As is known, the Holy Door of Saint Peter’s Basilica is not the only Door in Rome that opens and closes then; the same happens with the Doors of the three other Patriarchal Basilicas of the city. Here is the schedule of the other three:

Holy Door of Saint John Lateran

– Opening: December 29, 2024

– Closing: December 28, 2025

Holy Door of Saint Mary Major

– Opening: January 1, 2025

– Closing: December 28, 2025

Holy Door of Saint Paul Outside-the-Walls

– Opening: January 5, 2025

– Closing: December 28, 2025

Although the announcement of the dates of the opening and closing of the Jubilee was the most important event of the week, it wasn’t the only one in Pope Francis’ tight agenda.

The week began with the Holy Father’s a special audience to his personal army, in the context of the swearing-in of 34 new recruits, whom he received with their families, and which coincided with the commemoration of the fall in battle of Swiss soldiers who gave their life for the Pope in 1506. Pope Francis congratulated them for the positive environment that exists in the barracks and exhorted them to go against the current . . . being independent in their use of cell phones. And it seems that, as their Field Marshal, he told them they could go out to get to know Rome . . .

During the week’s many meetings, a variety of topics were addressed. In his intervention in the General States of Birth, an Italian event that promotes policies in favour of the family and procreation, Pope Francis gave a wonderful address with three points to foster births: realism, foresight and courage. The full address is worth reading.

The subject of youth, discernment and choice was addressed by the Pope in a speech to a private University of Massachusetts; the subject of the Liturgy was touched upon in an audience to members of the Catalan Faculty of Theology and the Pontiff’s resounding no to a Liturgy slave to rubricism (which he described as an aberration). Pope Francis talked about three lines of Theology — creative fidelity to the Tradition, trans-disciplinarity and collegiality –, to a Delegation of the International Network of Societies for Catholic Theology. Finally, another important meeting, given the subject matter, was that with participants in an event of the Fratelli Tutti Foundation, among whom were a couple of dozen Nobel Prizes. The Pope spoke to them about the art of living together in a truly human way.

Moving to the most important general news of the Holy See, we now know that Friday, May 17, is the day that the new Document of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, on discernment of Marian apparitions, will be presented and published. Will Medjugorje be discussed? ZENIT will attend the press conference and inform you in due time.

Going back, the Holy See’s news week was marked by the arrest of a priest of Czech nationality who attempted to enter Saint Peter’s Square with a weapon. ZENIT did some further research on the matter. Obviously, to associate a weapon with a priest in a Vatican venue gives way to many fanciful theories. The reality was simpler. The weapon was an air pistol in a backpack, which did not belong to the priest but to a companion, who quickly gave to the priest before entering the Square, perhaps thinking that the priest wouldn’t be searched. Of Czech origin, the priest was in Rome with a group of pilgrims, including the man who gave him his backpack. In the end, nothing much came of it all, but undoubtedly security has been redoubled in the different accesses to Saint Peter’s Square.

We close this edition of the chronicles with three very positive ecclesial news items: on one hand, President Joe Biden conferred one of the highest distinction of the American Government on a Catholic priest who helps drug addicts break their addiction. We invite you to get to know the story of Father Boyle and Homeboy Industries. On the other, in Nigeria, a priest was able to save the life of numerous children, when a band of Muslim terrorists entered the pupils’ school. Father Ogwuche turned off the school’s lights, so that the terrorists were unable to see where the children were as the incident happened at night. You can read this story here. Finally, positive news has come from the Far East: the Catholic Church in South Korea constitutes 11.3% of the population, which implies almost six million faithful. South Korea is one of the countries where the Catholic Church has grown most, which is also reflected in the number of vocations. Not for nothing will it be the venue for the World Youth Day 2026.

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Jorge Enrique Mújica

Licenciado en filosofía por el Ateneo Pontificio Regina Apostolorum, de Roma, y “veterano” colaborador de medios impresos y digitales sobre argumentos religiosos y de comunicación. En la cuenta de Twitter:, habla de Dios e internet y Church and media: evangelidigitalización."

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