Religion: Holy Year

His Holiness Pope Pius XII lifted a gold-encrusted hammer and struck it three times against the Holy Door of St. Peter's.

At the signal, a contraption of ropes and pulleys drew the door backward into the church's interior, the Pope crossed the threshold and the Holy Year of 1950 solemnly began.

During the next twelve months, nearly 900,000 pilgrims are expected to visit Italy. "There will come together . . . " said the Pope in his annual Christmas message, "those to whom it was commanded to sow death and those who suffered the terrifying effects of these commands . ....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!