We use our own and third party cookies to improve your user experience; by continuing to browse, we understand that you accept their use. You can get more information on our cookies policy.

Rome Reports

You are using an outdated browser

In order to deliver the greatest experience to our visitors we use cutting edge web development techniques that require a modern browser. To view this page please use Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer 11 or greater

What is the 'Urbi et Orbi' blessing?


Pope Francis has decided to deliver the 'Urbi et Orbi' blessing this Friday, March 27, in light of the ongoing pandemic keeping the world indoors, and Catholics away from physically receiving the sacraments.

DR. JOHANNES GROHE
Pontifical University of the Holy Cross
“The 'Urbi et Orbi' blessing is known as the papal blessing. The newly elected pontiff imparts it from the benediction loggia of St. Peter's Basilica. It is given to the city of Rome and the Catholic world spread throughout the globe. The same blessing is given on the day of the Nativity of the Lord and on Easter Sunday of the Resurrection.”

The blessing dates back to the time of the Roman Empire. Over the years, it was extended to the entire Catholic population.

DR. JOHANNES GROHE
Pontifical University of the Holy Cross
“The formula of the words, 'Urbs et Orbis,' is first seen in the title of the Lateran basilica: 'omnium Urbis et orbis ecclesiarum Mater et Caput.' These words mark the first cathedral church, built in Rome during the time of Emperor Constantine.”

On this particular occasion, the blessing is considered extraordinary because it is given outside one of the three traditional moments.

DR. JOHANNES GROHE
Pontifical University of the Holy Cross
“Even this March 27, as indicated by the Vatican press office, everyone who unites spiritually to this moment of prayer, through media platforms, will be granted a plenary indulgence, in accordance with the conditions indicated in the recent decree from the Apostolic Penitentiary.”

To obtain the indulgence, it is important to have a sincere intention of going to confession and receiving the Eucharist as soon as possible.

CT