How to meet Pope Francis in Rome
Apart from the authorities, who may have the honour of greeting His Holiness, most people who visit the Vatican have two options in order to see Pope Francis in person:
Audience on Wednesdays
This is not a mass. It consists of various readings, hymns and sermons mostly in Italian, although other languages are often used. The event ends with a prayer in Latin and the Pope moves around the audience area, giving his blessing to the faithful and the objects they carry.
The audience starts at 10:30 in the morning and access is available as from 8. We recommend you go early.
It lasts an hour and a half and photos may be taken.If the weather does not allow the event to take place outdoors, it is done within the Basilica, in the Audience Hall where the faithful are divided into two groups. In order to enter, a ticket is required.
For many, getting a ticket in person may be complicated and there are limited spaces available, so there are companies which allow you to book tickets and accommodation in the area at reasonable prices.
Papal Audience Tickets
Another great time to see the Pope in on Sundays at noon during the Angelus prayer. He will appear at the window of the Papal Apartments to the right of the Basilica façade and give a brief homily which ends with a general blessing.
This lasts 20 minutes and does not require a ticket.
Private audience with the Pope
We often receive emails asking how to obtain a private audience with Pope Francis, many people’s dream. We always reply that it is very complicated (almost impossible) due to His Holiness’s difficult agenda, but the first thing that must be done is simply to request one. In effect, there’s nothing to lose from writing a letter to the Vatican asking for an appointment and explaining the reasons for requesting a personal meeting with the Pope.
Many people seek spiritual orientation or a particular blessing for personal reasons, which can sometimes be dramatic. We recommend you reflect deeply on your reasons for wishing to meet His Holiness in person, be humble and analyse whether it is really a strong reason or whether it is an act of idolatry, something completely separate from what Francis represents and wants.
Our Pope is undoubtedly a charismatic figure and he is the visible head of the Catholic church, yet many Christians may not be aware that just steps from their homes, at their nearest parish church, they have a person who is fully prepared (their priest) to provide them with guidance, spiritual support and blessing as a representative of God on earth. Not in vain, the priest is, according to the Gospel, the intimate friend of Jesus, the vigilant pastor of the Christian flock, forgiver of sins, preacher of the Gospel, sacrificer of the body and blood of the Lord and messenger of the Son of God. Let us not forget that!!.
A charismatic figure
Pope Francis is one of the most charismatic figures in the world and a true spiritual leader of our times. He’s a simple person, known for his austere lifestyle. His biography is very well-known but there are some aspects which may not be so obvious to the public and we think are interesting and worth a mention:
– For example, a lung operation when he was young, when to a heavy infection, led to part of the organ having to be removed.
– Or his mother’s initial opposition to his developing his religious vocation, despite being a Catholic woman.
– Not many people know that back in 2005, Bergoglio was the second most voted candidate when Pope Benedict XVI was elected.
– Or that he was the first American citizen and Jesuit to become the Roman Pope.
– He was also the first non-European Pope to reach the Chair of Peter in more than 1,000 years.
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