Information Service for Papal Audiences & Masses with POPE BENEDICT XVI
Papal Audience are held on Wednesdays if the Pope is in Rome, giving pilgrims and visitors the chance to "see the Pope" and receive the Papal Blessing or Apostolic Blessing from the successor of the Apostle Peter during their visit.
The Audience with the Pope consists of small teachings and readings mainly in Italian but also in English, French, German, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese and sometimes other languages depending on groups visiting.
The Pope will do a greeting in each language and special visiting groups, Choirs etc from various countries will get a mention.
At the end of the Audience the Pope will pray together with those attending the Audience, the Our Father prayer in Latin. This Prayer is normally printed on the back of the Papal Audience Ticket.
At the end of the Prayer as Head of the Catholic Church he will impart his Apostolic Blessing upon the crowd which also extends to loved ones that are sick and suffering and blesses any religious articles such as rosary beads that people have brought with them for the purpose of the blessing.
The Papal Audience is scheduled to start at 10.30am (Sometimes in Summer due to the heat they may start the audience at 10am instead). However, you will find that most people will arrive early to get a good seat. Security opens between 8 - 8.30am.
In Summer the audience is usually held in St Peter's Square to accommodate the large crowds, there is a seating area near the front for those with tickets but it is still a first come first served basis so again to get a good seat you should arrive early.
If you are unable to arrive early or get a ticket in advance, again as the the audience is usually held in St. Peter's Square during the Summer season it is still possible to access the Square and participate as there is plenty of standing room at the back of the Square.
Papal Audiences During August Holidays and Papal Visits:
Although the Pope holds the Audiences regularly on Wednesdays there are times when he may be on a Pastoral Visit around Italy or overseas or he may be enjoying the Italian holiday period in his summer residence of Castel Gandolfo during the month of August, in which case the Audiences will either not be going ahead or will be held at Castel Gandolfo.
As the Vatican Offices are normally closed in August for the Italian Holiday period, tickets are not necessary for the August Audiences.
The Vatican do list the dates of Audiences and events on their website and they normally update it periodically, usually 3 months ahead of any scheduled dates.
Always Tickes for Papal Audience are entirely free.
Other chances to see the Pope in Rome
The other opportunity to see the Pope is on a sunday at 12 noon when he is in Rome.
He will appear from the window of is apartment where he gives a short speech followed by the Angelus and ending with a blessing.
He may also greet the crowds in various languages and the whole event usually lasts around15-20mins.
He will impart the Apostolic Blessing at the end of the prayer.
You DO NOT need tickets for the Sunday Angelus.