Learn About the Papal Audience, How to Attend, Schedules & More
Book Tickets for the Papal Audience
Have you ever wanted to see the Pope in real life? The Papal Audience is a great opportunity to do so. Every Wednesday at St. Peter's Square, the Pope greets and addresses pilgrims from all over the world. It takes place at the Vatican and is open to all. Learn all there is to know about the Papal Audience, its significance, and how you can be a part of it.
Papal Audience | Quick Facts
What is the Papal Audience?
The Papal Audience, also known as the General Audience, is a weekly event that takes place on Wednesday mornings, where the Pope greets and addresses a gathering of Christian pilgrims, devotees, and inspired visitors around St. Peter’s Square. The Papal Audience is seen as a way for the Pope to keep in personal touch with his followers and strengthen their faith through his messages.
The Pope makes a reading and delivers a short sermon followed by the final prayer and a bestowal of Papal blessings. These are delivered in Italian, though, short summaries are provided in English and other languages. The General Audience was started as early as 1939 by Pope Pius XII with the intention of praying for newly married couples. It ceased temporarily during World War II and resumed again in 1963 under Pope Paul VI to include all the faithful while speaking on themes each week such as hope, faith, and charity.
How do I get Papal Audience Tickets?
In order to get tickets you will need to download and fill out a form from the Prefecture of the Papal Household and have it faxed to the Vatican. Once tickets are confirmed, you may collect them at the Bronze Door a day prior to the audience between 3 PM and 7 PM or between 7 AM and 10 AM on the morning of the audience.
You may also choose to email email@example.com with your request for tickets to the Pontifical North American College. Upon confirmation, you will be able to pick them up at the Trevi Fountain between 3 AM and 7 AM.
Through the Swiss Guards
Three days prior to the audience, you have the option of picking up tickets directly from the Swiss Guards at the Bronze Door. However, the Swiss Guards have only a limited number of tickets on hand, therefore it is advisable to book tickets in advance.
You may also try authorized third-party agencies to book your tickets. Tickets are available online and can be easily purchased. It is perhaps the most convenient way to gain entry to the Papal Audience and get add-ons such as guided tours, and a viewing of the Vatican Gardens.
Plan Your Visit to Papal Audience
The General Audience with the Pope happens every Wednesday and usually begins at 9 AM. Security usually allows visitors in by 7:30 AM. The Pope’s official schedule is made known days ahead of the event. You can also refer to the Papal Audience calendar for dates when the event is held.
There are times when the Pope is overseas or is engaged in some work in which case the Papal Audience will not be held for that week.
What to Expect During a Papal Audience?
People from all over the world visit the Vatican with the hope of seeing the Pope and listening to his words of wisdom. Experience the following while you’re there:
The Pope, also known as the Bishop of Rome and the Supreme Pontiff, is the leader of the Catholic Church. Deemed the spiritual successor of Saint Peter, the Pope is considered among Catholics to be the epitome of holiness, and seek his spiritual guidance in all matters. During the Papal Audience, the Pope is known to personally interact with the crowds, shaking hands with them and even signing autographs.
Sermon, Prayers, and Blessings
In his address to the faithful, the Pope will make a reading from the Gospels and disseminate small teachings in the form of a sermon based on the readings. The readings and the sermon will be summarized in various languages depending on the gathering. He will also say the Our Father in Latin. This is followed by the apostolic blessing which is given to the congregation, the sick, and loved ones.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Papal Audience in Vatican City
A. Yes, tickets are mandatory to attend the Papal Audience.
A. Tickets for the Papal audience can be bought online (link to MB page). Alternatively, you can secure the tickets by faxing the Vatican or by emailing the Pontifical North American College. You may also purchase them directly from the Swiss guards by the Bronze door three days prior to the event.
A. Although tickets are required for the Papal Audience, these tickets are absolutely free.
A. Tickets to attend the Papal Audience are always free. However, inclusions such as guided tours and access to other places of interest are chargeable.
A. Yes, you can cancel Papal audience tickets up to 48 hours before the it begins and get a full refund.
A. The Papal Audience is a weekly event where the Pope greets and addresses the gathering of the faithful in St. Peter’s Square.
A. The address by the Pope in a Papal Audience consists of a reading, a short sermon, the final prayers, and the papal blessing. It is attended by thousands.
A. The Papal Audience is usually held in St. Peter’s square of the Vatican. When the weather becomes cold or rainy, the Papal Audience is held indoors within the Papal Hall.
A. The construction of the Papal Hall was started in 1963 and inaugurated in 1971. It was designed by Italian engineer and architect Pier Luigi Nervi.
A. The Papal Audience starts every Wednesday morning between 9 AM and 10:30 AM. You may refer to the Pope’s official schedule for any changes in timings.
A. The Papal Audience takes about an hour and a half to complete but may extend to two hours.
A. At the Papal Audience, you will get a chance to see the Pope live. You can listen to his teaching and receive his blessings. You will also get a chance to see St. Peter’s square, a magnificent oval pavilion.
A. Casual dressing is recommended since the Papal audience is usually held outdoors. But be sure to dress modestly, covering knees and shoulders within the premises of the Vatican.
A. Yes, taking photos and selfies is permitted at a Papal Audience.
A. During his arrival and exit, the Pope meets and greets the public under strict security measures. Unless you are part of the special groups seated near the speaking platform like disabled visitors and newlyweds, you will not get a chance to meet the Pope personally.
A. Of course not! The pope invites visitors from all faiths to attend Papal Audiences.
A. You can reach Vatican city using the metro, train, or bus system in Rome. However, there is no public transport inside Vatican city. The best way to reach the Papal Audience is by walking.