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Rome Reports

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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.