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Pope Francis

Complete program of pope's trip to Fatima on May 12-13

March 20, 2017. The Vatican has published Pope Francis' program for his upcoming trip to Fatima.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis will travel to Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017

March 18, 2017. In response to the invitation from the President of the Republic, the Bishops of the Catholic Church, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II and the Grand Imam of the Mosque of Al Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayyib, Pope Francis will make an Apostolic trip to the Arab Republic of Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017, visiting the city of Cairo. The programme of the trip will be published shortly.
Pope Francis

Pope to meet with most powerful European leaders on March 24

March 3, 2017. On March 24 a historic meeting will take place between the pope and many of the most powerful heads of government throughout Europe. The meeting was announced by the Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Greg Burke and will begin at 6 p.m. in the Sala Regia of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.

Newlyweds: How to get the pope's blessing?


In General Audiences in the Vatican, newlyweds are like first-class passengers on an airplane. They get to stand in the first row, and Pope Francis normally stops to greet all of the new couples. 

"We were very close to him, more than we expected. He gave us his blessing.
"It was very exciting.

"He greeted all the newly married couples and when he was in front of us, he said: God bless you.

But it's not as easy as it seems. The couples need to wake up early, wear their wedding dresses and suits, and take the metro... or a taxi if they don't want to draw too many looks.

"Five in the morning.
"We didn't sleep. We got up really early to come.

"Taxi. We got here by taxi.
"We also thought about taking the metro but the wife didn't agree.” 
"No. Absolutely not.

"5.30 p.m... Maybe six. It depends, some come earlier and some come later.
 "She needed more time for makeup and all that.

To get this special treatment, the rule is that the newlyweds have to go to the audience up to three months after the wedding. 

They need to send their marriage certificate to the Prefecture of the Papal Household with the application form available for download in their website, specifying that they are just married. 

The invitations can be picked up at the 'Bronze Doors,' on the right of the colonnade in St. Peter's Square. 

One last piece of advice for the brides: don't forget your white dress, and watch your step! The Roman cobblestone might be picturesque, but they are not high-heel-friendly.