What exactly is a Papal Blessing? Do I need to go to Rome to get one?

By: Caitlin Forst

Recognizing the Pope as the Vicar of Christ on Earth, many Catholics treasure the opportunity to receive a Papal Blessing certificate for an important event in their lives. I have known friends to request a Papal Blessing for their parents’ anniversaries, friends’ marriages or other important life events. You can find instructions for ordering a Papal Blessing here – and no- you don’t have to go all the way to the Vatican to order one!

However, if you are going to Rome and would like the opportunity to meet the Holy Father, please read more here. The Holy Father welcomes pilgrims from all over the world during his Wednesday audiences, which he holds during most weeks that he is at home in Rome. It is quite an experience to see the Pope in person, to pray with him and to hear him speak to Catholics in many different languages!

Also, I have had several friends take the opportunity to have the Pope bless their marriage. As you can see in the instructions at this link, if you are recently married, you are invited to come to the Wednesday audience (in your wedding dress and tuxedo!) and have your marriage blessed by the Holy Father.

These blessings are just one more reminder that the Pope is a spiritual father to us. You can find a wealth of the Holy Father’s recent writings and homilies here.

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