San Maria Maggiore Porta Santa

The Holy Door of St. Mary Major

Sculpted by Luigi Enzo Mattei, the main panels of the Holy Door of St. Mary Major depict the Risen Christ appearing to Our Lady.

The right panel of the door depicts Christ modeled after the image on the Shroud of Turin.  The left panel depicts Our Lady as modeled on the Byzantine icon, Salus Populi Romani (Protectress of the Roman People), which dates back to the late fifth century.  The icon itself is canonically crowned and is historically the most important Marian icon in Rome.

[Reword] In the upper left corner is a depiction of the Annunciation at the Well at Nazareth, a story drawn from apocryphal Gospels, while on the right there is a depiction of Pentecost. The lower corners show, on the left, the Council of Ephesus which proclaimed Mary as Theotokos (Mother of God) and, on the right, the Second Vatican Council which declared her to be Mater Ecclesiae (Mother of the Church). The coat-of-arms of Pope St John Paul II, as well as his motto Totus Tuus, is above the door, while the two shields further down are those of Cardinal Carlo Furno, archpriest of the Basilica in 2001, and of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre.