Holy Doors

Link to Cecil’s column: Is there a door in St Peter’s basilica that’s opened once every 100 years?

Cecil mentions “an odd tradition at St. Peter’s involving the Porta Santa, or Holy Door”. It’s worth noting that this “odd” tradition is not confined to Saint Peter’s Basilica. The three other papal basilicas in Rome (St John Lateran, St Paul Outside the Walls and Saint Mary Major) also have holy doors. The Jubilee pilgrimage and indulgence, to which Cecil refers later in the column, has traditionally required visiting all four basilicas and entering through their holy doors.

And while we’re on the subject, can someone explain the significance of

I can see maybe celebrating the 2,000th anniversary, but what’s special about 1950?

2000 years out, if only the nice-round-number anniversaries were observed, the average Joe wouldn’t live long enough to see one. Moreover, there is specific Old Testament precedent for 50-year jubilees.

Yes, but in the article it stated that they already did it every 25 years…

It just seems to have been something that the Pope did of his own accord. I checked a Catholic Encyclopaedia that I have to see what it had to say about Holy Years. After talking about the ‘normal’ 25 year cycle, it goes on to say: