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Pope Francis

Pope sends condolences and solidarity to Cairo after bus attack

May 26, 2017. Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, wrote a letter to His Excellency Abdel Fattah Al Sisi after the bus attack Friday in Cairo, which left close to 30 Coptic Christians dead, including children, and many others injured.
Pope Francis

Pope sends condolences to Manchester after attack

May 23, 2017. After the deadly terrorist attack at Victoria Station in Manchester, England, the pope has sent his condolences to the victims and their families.

What is the Urbi et orbi blessing?


The Pope imparts the Urbi et Orbi blessing only on three very special occasions: Christmas, Easter, and just after being elected pontiff. 

Traditionally performed from the balcony of St. Peter’s Square, it is preceded by a speech in which he speaks about some of the tragedy's of the world.

The blessing is called "Urbi et Orbi”; 'To the city of Rome, and to the world.' 

The difference with other blessings is that this one includes a special indulgence for those receiving it directly there in the Square or through the media.