From the Archdiocese of Quebec website, www.beta.ecdq.org.

QUEBEC CITY (CNS) — The Archdiocese of Quebec has begun construction on a holy door for its Basilica-Cathedral Notre Dame de Quebec, the first Catholic parish in French-speaking North America.

The holy door will be the first holy door in the Americas, and only the seventh in the world. It will open Dec. 8 and remain open until Dec. 28, 2014, for the jubilee year marking the 350th anniversary of the cathedral.

The door, which will be in the wall of the Chapel of the Sacred Heart on the north side of the basilica, was authorized by the Vatican and is a symbol of communion with the universal church. It also reminds North Americans of a landmark of faith on the continent, said a statement from the archdiocese.

Quebec artist Jules Lasalle sculpted the door. The exterior will include a welcoming Christ with an illuminated cross that reaches from side to side. On the inside, the door depicts Mary.

Each of the four papal basilicas in Rome has holy door, as do the cathedrals in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, and Ars-sur-Formans, France.