One of the most highly-anticipated events of a Nawas pilgrimage to Rome is an Audience with Pope Francis at St. Peter’s Basilica. For the faithful, it’s one of the most memorable moments of their life. Most return saying the Papal Audience was a profound, inspiring, and almost overwhelming experience that they’ll treasure forever.

What is a Papal Audience

Papal Audiences are held most Wednesday mornings at St. Peter’s Basilica, and in the warmer months, the event will be outside in St. Peter’s Square which can hold as many as 300,000 people. Typically, a Papal Audience begins with Pope Francis moving along the barricade near the crowd of faithful, greeting pilgrims who have come from around the world to see him in person. The Audience usually includes a sermon or small teachings or readings, mainly in Italian, but Pope Francis may also speak in English, German, French and other languages. At the conclusion, Our Holy Father will pray with the pilgrims attending the Audience, and he’ll deliver his Apostolic Blessing to the crowd, which includes loved ones who are sick or suffering.

Open to Everyone

Pope Francis has stressed that he wants Papal Audiences available to anyone who wants to attend. Although the crowds may be large, you can count on NAWAS, who has been planning Pilgrimages to Rome for more than 70 years, to arrange tickets to the Papal Audience for your group in the middle seated area.

Tips for Attending a Papal Audience

To help make your experience more comfortable, we have a few suggestions for you to keep in mind when attending a Papal Audience:

  • There’s a dress code – Women should have their shoulders covered and any shorts, dresses, or skirts should cover the knees. Men should wear shirts with sleeves.
  • Be prepared for the heat in warmer months. Water, sunscreen, and a visor or hat will help keep you cool and prevent sunburn.

The Papal Blessing

Lastly, if you’re in Rome on a Sunday you can attend the Papal Blessing in St. Peter’s Square, which lasts between 15-20 minutes. This is usually held at noon when Pope Francis is in Rome. During a Blessing, Our Holy Father will appear at his apartment window where he’ll greet the crowd in a variety of languages, give a short speech followed by the Angelus, and end with the Apostolic Blessing. NAWAS will arrange for your group to attend the Papal Blessing if you’re in Rome on Sunday and won’t be there for an Audience.

Read more about NAWAS’ Rome and Italy Pilgrimages.

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