What is a Papal Blessing?
The Holy Father offers blessings for Catholics for special occasions such as Baptisms, Confirmations, marriages, birthdays, and anniversaries. A general blessing from the Pope for no specific occasion may also be requested. Papal blessings come in the form of printed certificates or parchment with the name(s) of the recipient(s) and the occasion inscribed on them. Many people treasure these certificates as important symbols of sacraments and other special occasions.
How do I obtain a Papal Blessing?
Requests for papal blessings must be written on parish letterhead with the parish seal and the signature of the pastor of the recipient(s). The following instructions apply to requests for parishioners within the Diocese of Arlington. Note: If the person(s) for whom you are requesting a blessing live outside the Diocese, you will need to contact their Diocese for instructions.
Call the parish secretary at least three months before you need the blessing. The secretary will tell you the specifics for obtaining the letter from the pastor.
The following information is required in your request:
- The occasion for the blessing. If you are requesting a general blessing, please indicate that there is no specific occasion.
- The date of the occasion. For any sacrament, also give the name of the Catholic Church, city, and state where the occasion is to take place.
- The names exactly as they should appear on the blessing. For a wedding, the bride’s maiden name must be given.
- The diocese of the person(s) receiving the blessing.
- The name and address of the person to whom the blessing should be mailed.
NOTE: Parchment papal blessings are mailed in 18-inch mailing tubes. If your address is a post office box that is not at least 18 inches long, please provide a non-P.O. Box address for delivery, such as your office, your parish, etc.
Finally, include a check made out to “Catholic Diocese of Arlington” in the amount specified for type of blessing you would like (see amounts below).
How long will it take before I receive my Papal Blessing?
Since the letter must be processed at the Chancery and then sent to Rome where the blessings are issued, the whole process will take at least 3-4 weeks and up to about 3 months.
What kinds of Papal Blessings are available?
Papal blessings are available in two formats:
- Printed certificate ($25). Please allow a minimum of 3-4 weeks for this option.
- Parchment with calligraphy ($50). Please allow 3 months for this option.
I am going to Rome and I want to see the Holy Father, is that possible?
The Pope holds Papal Audiences at the Vatican most Wednesdays, tickets are necessary to see the Pope on these dates. Requests for tickets must be made at least three months in advance! If you are planning on making a trip to Rome, please start the process soon.
What is the process for requesting tickets to Papal Audiences?
Call your parish secretary. All requests must be signed by the pastor of the individual requesting the audience. A letter will be sent from the parish to the Chancery with the following information.
- Full name, full address, phone, and e-mail of the individual(s) requesting the Papal Audience.
- The parish in which they are registered.
- Dates of arrival in and departure from Rome.
- Optional-Address and phone number while in Rome.
- Number of tickets requested.
- Date they are requesting to attend the Papal Audience.
- Option: Reason for visit
For more information about Papal Audiences and visiting Rome please see:
*PLEASE NOTE: The Papal Audience is held ONLY on WEDNESDAYS and is subject to the Holy Father’s health, travels and weekly schedule.