Public Masses Return after Rome’s Major Basilicas Open

In May, Italians and visiting pilgrims alike were jubilant when basilicas and churches around the country threw open their doors once again. Now that’s Italy’s basilicas are open, Catholics are able to celebrate public masses, with limited crowds, in St. Peter’s, St. Mary Major, St. John Lateran, St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome, as well as in churches and basilicas throughout Italy.

On May 18, Pope Francis celebrated his first mass at St. Peter’s Basilica since March, in honor of the centenary of St. John Paul II’s birth.

“God loves his people and he visits them…in difficult times” and “out of love he sends a prophet, a man of God,” just as he did 100 years ago when he sent “a man, whom he prepared to be a bishop and to guide the church,” Pope Francis said in his homily during the private mass at St. John Paul II’s tomb.

Public Mass and Papal Audience at St. Peter’s Basilica

While Italy’s basilicas are open for limited masses and tourist visits, including Rome’s four major basilicas, Pope Francis is not yet expected to hold any large public masses or Papal Audience either in the basilica or in St. Peter’s Square at this time. In the meantime, we’re blessed that Our Holy Father continues to hold daily morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta, which is live-streamed and available throughout the world, to help bring people closer together.

Visiting Rome’s four major basilicas and attending a Papal Audience with Pope Francis is an integral part of Nawas’ Italy Pilgrimages. We look forward to sending you off to Italy in 2021.

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