What exactly is a Holy Year?

holy-year

“A Holy Year is a year when a saint’s feast day falls on a Sunday. The feast day for Santiago (St James) is July 25. So, in 2010, this falls on a Sunday. I think that the last Holy Year for Santiago was in 2004. The reason why it is so popular, as far as I understand, is that pilgrims arriving in Santiago in a Holy Year can have their sins forgiven due to some long standing arrangement with the Vatican (I guess you would call it an Indulgence). You don’t have to arrive on the feast day, the entire year is good for this. There is a special door on the cathedral that is only opened during a Holy Year. Arriving in Santiago during a Holy Year is a very popular thing for Spanish people to do. I met many Spaniards on the Frances last year who were only going part of the way, doing a bit more this year and then finishing off in 2010.”

— From the forum

More on this in the forum…..