Bishops' Office for United States Visitors to the Vatican
Casa Santa Maria
Pontifical North American College
Via dell'Umilita, 30 00187
TEL 011-39-06-690-011 FAX 011-39-06-679-1448
E-mail [email protected]
- Papal Audiences are granted every Wednesday in Vatican City at around 10:30 AM. Liturgies celebrated by the Holy Father include Masses for Canonizations, Christmas and New Year's Day Masses, Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter Sunday.
- Requests for participation in Papal Audiences and Papal Masses are hand-delivered to the Vatican a week before the event is scheduled; so your request should arrive in this office in ample time. Bishops and pastors write many letters of recommendation and people write for themselves and we do our best to help anyone who shows up at this office.
- For individuals, it helps to indicate any special service to the Church. For groups to be publicly recognized the name of the parish, school or organization is needed. Newlyweds of two months or less who bring their authentic sacramental marriage certificate and dress in wedding attire are often taken up to the Holy Father at the end of the audience, as are those in wheelchairs.
- Bigletti or ticket invitations are issued by the Vatican the morning prior to the Audience or Ceremony and can be picked up at this office on Tuesday afternoons between 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM. For the Pope's Masses and special Sundays, tickets are available on Friday (9:00 AM to 5:00 PM) or Saturday morning. Delivery of tickets is not possible.
- Generally, all requests are honored. Bigletti ticket invitations are gratis and there is no charge for our service, which is sponsored by the Pontifical North American College and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Dress should be in good taste. Shorts, halters and the like are not permitted. Photographs may be taken, but the Vatican photographers make them available.
- A Papal Audience generally consists of a message from the Holy Father after which he greets the various groups in their own languages. If a choir wishes to do a one-half minute number, it should give advance notice with the request. Depending on the number of pilgrims expected General Audiences are held either in the Paul VI Audience Hall or in Saint Peter's Square. The Holy Father's Blessing always includes relatives, friends and any religious articles you bring for that purpose.
- If pilgrims or tourists cannot be in Rome for a Wednesday, it is good to call this office because of possible special events where the Holy Father may be present. On Sundays and on Holydays, the pope appears at the window of his study to lead pilgrims in the Angelus or Regina Coeli and to impart his blessing. At Castel Gandolfo, this is done in the courtyard of the pope's summer residence.
Our street address in Rome is Via dell'Umilita, 30. We are conveniently located in Rome's Historic Center — between the Trevi Fountain and the Piazza Venezia. We hope to assist all visitors to enjoy a spiritually rewarding trip to Rome