Bogotá Cathedral Begins Jubilee Year Marking Bicentennial of Its Consecration

The Primatial Cathedral of Bogotá, an epicenter of faith and a benchmark of culture and art, has witnessed the events of the city and the country.

The Primatial Cathedral of Bogotá.
The Primatial Cathedral of Bogotá. (photo: Courtesy photo / Bernard Gagnon via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 4.0))

On Sunday the Primatial Cathedral of Bogotá announced the beginning of a Jubilee Year granted by the Holy See on the occasion of the bicentennial of the church's consecration.

During the April 17 ceremony, Father Jorge Marín, dean of the cathedral, read the Feb. 26 decree from the Apostolic Penitentiary granting the jubilee year, which runs April 17 to April 17, 2023.

According to the Press Office of the Archdiocese of Bogotá, the priest explained that during this “year of joy and grace … a plenary indulgence will be graciously” granted to all the faithful who attend the cathedral and meet the requirements: that the individual be in the state of grace by the completion of the acts, and have complete detachment from sin. The person must also sacramentally confess their sins and receive Communion, up to about 20 days before or after the indulgenced act.

The archdiocese said that "the elderly and the sick, who for a serious reason cannot attend the cathedral, can obtain the indulgence by repenting of their sins, fulfilling with the aforementioned conditions and spiritually joining in the jubilee celebrations, offering to the merciful God their own sufferings and inconveniences.”

The Apostolic Penitentiary asked the diocesan penitentiary, the clergy of the cathedral, and the priests equipped with faculties to “promptly with a generous spirit make themselves available to hear confessions” so that the faithful can have easy access to the sacrament of Confession.

As part of the celebrations for the Jubilee Year, Fr. Marín presented a musical work composed for the cathedral “which includes works from six centuries, performed on the Cathedral Organ.”

The works include “The Magnificat of Gutierre Fernández Hidalgo from the 16th century; and the improvisations of the master Juan de Rubia of this century, organist of Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain.”

According to the archdiocese “the Primatial Cathedral of Bogotá has witnessed the events of the city and the country” and “it is an epicenter of faith and a benchmark of culture and art,” since its history dates to the Aug. 6, 1538 founding of the city.

On that day, Friar Domingo de las Casas celebrated the first Mass in the city. A series of cathedrals were built on the site. The present building, built in the neoclassical style, was begun in 1807, and was completed in 1823.

The church, which is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception and to St. Peter, was named Primate of Colombia by Leo XIII in 1902.

The cathedral has hosted Ss. Paul VI and John Paul II, and Pope Francis.

Saint Paul VI visited the cathedral during his apostolic pilgrimage to Bogotá on Aug. 22, 1968. During his visit, the saint spoke with the archdiocesan clergy, whom he thanked for their faithful and generous dedication to the Church and prayed for increase and perseverance of vocations.

On July 1, 1986, Saint John Paul II visited the cathedral on the occasion of his apostolic journey to Colombia, and met with Colombian priests, seminarians, and religious to celebrate the “flowering” of priestly and religious vocations.

The Polish saint also highlighted that his meeting with the clergy took place in the cathedral of Bogotá, "the center of the diffusion and convergence of the life of the Church in Colombia, and at the feet of Mary, the Immaculate Conception, to whom this basilica, this archdiocese and the entire nation is consecrated.”

Pope Francis also visited the Bogotá cathedral during his 2017 apostolic trip to Colombia. On Sept. 7, the Holy Father went to the church’s altar where the painting of Our Lady of Chiquinquirá was and laid a rosary before the image of the Virgin Mary.