Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Around Rome: So You Want to See the Pope

“We need saints without cassocks, without veils - we need saints with jeans and tennis shoes." Pope Francis

So you want to see the Pope.  Me too.  Whether you are Catholic or not, Pope Francis is the leader of the smallest country in the world and a charismatic and revolutionary figure in today's world.  His teachings are about peace, personal service and humility.  Ideals to which people from different faiths can relate.  Many Christians and non-Christians alike come to Rome to hear His teachings and receive His blessings.  So here is the breakdown on how to see the Pope.

Papal Audiences happen every Wednesday Pope Francis is in town.  You will need tickets (click here to order tickets) if you want to be closer to the outdoor altar area, but even if you didn't get a ticket, there is plenty of standing area from where you can see and hear the Pope.  If you want to be in the sitting areas, you'll have to arrive at 8:00 am or earlier.  

Everyone coming into the square will have to go through security (bags and all belongings will be X-rayed) and people have to go through a metal detector.  Once you go through security you can access the sitting area if you are there early or stand around the square.

Today I was in St. Peter's square for the audience and my friends and I chose to stand by the barriers placed to mark the path of the Pope-mobile.  What a great decision that was!  If you are first on the barrier you will see the Pope as close as you can possibly see Him.  

These summer days with intense heat, make sure to bring a hat and a bottle of water.  The audience is scheduled for 10:30 but the Pope comes out earlier and goes around the square in his Pope-mobile blessing the visitors.  After that, He will talk to the people on the square after a reading from the Bible in different languages.

How to get there:

By metro: Take line A on the Metro and get off at the Ottaviano/SanPietro metro stop.  From there it's an easy walk to Saint Peter's square. Follow the masses.
By car: Park at the Gianicolo Parking lot located at VIA URBANO VIII 16/C 00165 ROMA 

Things You Shouldn't Miss:

  • After the general audience enter Saint Peter's Basilica and marvel at Michelangelo's The Pieta and Bernini's altar.
  • Go up the steps and see Rome from the cupola of Saint Peter's basilica.  Take great pictures from there.
  • Walk through the colonnade designed by Bernini. 

If you want to see the Sistine Chapel, you'll have to leave Saint Peter's square and go to the Vatican Museums.  It's better to get your tickets on-line ahead of time (tickets here).

I hope you found this information useful.  I feel blessed by having had the opportunity to see the Pope today and wish to pass my blessings on to you. 

God bless you.

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