Every Wednesday, when the Pope is in Rome, there is a papal audience in the form of a general audience. In contrast to the private audiences and the group audiences, a larger public is admitted for the general audiences. Tickets must be booked in advance. They are free of charge.
Ordering the tickets to the Papal audience
The tickets to the general audiences and the Papal masses are free of charge. Visitors can order the tickets at the Prefecture of the Papal Household. Tickets shall be ordered in time.
More information about the booking of the free tickets you can find on the website of the Prefecture of the Papal Household. You can then pick up the tickets the afternoon before the audience at the ticket office at the bronze gate. Past the security control for the access to St Peter’s, the bronze gate is at the end of the colonnade on the right. Tickets for the general audiences must be picked up the day before from 3 pm to 7 pm or on Audience Day from 7:30 am to 10 am. Tickets for other celebrations must be picked up the day before from 9am to 7pm.
Some operators offer guided tours together with the audience of the Pope. In this case, the organizer of the tour cares for the tickets. The guide provides good places to experience the Pope up close. He also gives information about the course and the historical background.
Dates of the audience with the Pope (Wednesday audience)
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Venue of the audience
The Papal audiences are held on St. Peter’s square or in the Audience Hall. Where the audience is, depends not on the weather, but on the number of registered participants.
The audience in the Audience Hall takes place in the months with less number of visitors such as November and mid-January to early March, otherwise the Audience with the Pope is held on St. Peter’s square, even in bad weather. If the weather is very bad, the audience may be split and some visitors will be seated in the Audience Hall and another part in St Peter’s Basilica.
Access to the audience
The entrance to the general audience begins at 7:30 am and ends at 9 am. After 9 am the entrance to the general audience is closed. There are the usual security checks at the entrance. You may bring beverages with you, but no dangerous objects such as sticks, scissors or knives. Also the dress code must be observed, shoulders and knees must be covered!
Sequence and duration of the audience with the Pope
After nine o’clock, the names of the pilgrim groups from all over the world will be started to read. The Pope will appear at 9:30 am and will pass on secured paths through the visitors area. He sometimes stops and blesses the visitors, especially babies and toddlers.
Then, he welcomes special visitor groups and bridal couples waiting for him on the podium in front of the St Peter’s Basilica.
As soon as he has taken his place on the podium, the papal audience begins. Readings in various languages are held and the Pope greets the visitors once again. The audience ends with the blessing of the Pope, usually between 11 and 11:30 am.
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Opening hours of the St. Peter’s Basilica on the day of the audience with the Pope
On the day of the general audience on St Peter’s square, the St Peter’s Basilica will be closed until to the end of the audience.