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The Holy See Must-see: The Pope's Easter Address

Published by Joe Worthington, Writer

Country: Italy

The Experience

The Pope's Easter address takes place in Saint Peter's Square outside of the Vatican. It’s an event for both Christians and non-Christians alike, and takes place during the Easter weekend from Good Friday to Easter Sunday. During the address the Pope outlines worldwide issues and suggests how the Catholic religion can be strengthened and unified all around the world. The Pope’s address takes place on the balcony overlooking Saint Peter's Square in the Vatican, and is broadcast in thirty-two countries. During the Pope’s address, the ancient Egyptian obelisk—which was moved to Rome in 37 AD by Emperor Caligula—is completely surrounded by pilgrims and witnesses of the historic address.

Saint Peter's Square was built from 1656–1667 by the architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini on the command of Pope Alexander VII. It was built so that people could crowd around and witness the Pope's speeches together as one. This plan is very evident during the Easter address when thousands of pilgrims crowd together to witness it. Pope Alexander's plan worked, and he would be proud to have seen the sight of the crowds of people today.

The ancient Egyptian obelisk once held a metal gilt ball, which during medieval times was reputed to have held the ashes of Julius Caesar. This is untrue, but the ball is now held in the National Museum in Rome.

During the Easter address, the Pope mentions the world events and issues that are causing problems. He talks about how the Catholic Church and religion can be strengthened and brought closer together. In his 2011 speech, he mentioned problems in the Middle East, and the Libyan civil war.

Witnessing the Easter address and blessing really is one of those events that must be done at least once in each person's life. The Pope’s words linger in the minds of everyone for days, weeks, months, even years later, and the world listens. Plus it could be a chance to appear on one of the many TV stations that are filming the event.

During the Easter address there is a set routine that is followed. The crowds arrive and wait within Saint Peter's Square, and everyone is given a hymn leaflet. The first hymn is sung, the Pope then appears on his balcony and gives his speech, and then he blesses the Catholic followers whilst hymns are sung.

The event is fairly straightforward, and each and every Easter address is very different in terms of content.

After the Easter address, The Vatican, the surrounding areas, and Rome itself has so much more to offer everyone. The many Italian restaurants and attractions should be experienced if you have the time to do so.

So, make sure that you have booked your flight and accommodation for the next Pope's Easter address. Come and witness this unique and historic event, and join the Catholic family when they all join as one!

When to Go to Pope Easter Address

The best time to see the Pope's Easter address is during the Easter weekend as it happens live, primarily on the Easter Sunday. The dates of Easter differ each year.

Obviously the Holy See and St Peter's Square can be visited at any time of the year, but during the Easter address the place really comes to life, with thousands of pilgrims attending

Odds n' Ends

The total cost of making the pilgrimage to witness or take part in the Pope's Easter address really depends on how much you are prepared to spend. Accommodation and restaurant costs vary greatly all around the Vatican and the Holy See, of which many can be found for low prices on websites such as and the like.
Cultural guidelines for clothing and conduct revolve around the Catholic religion and culture. Men and women must make sure their arms, legs and shoulders are covered at all times. You must not wear any offensive clothing, or clothing from any other religions during the Easter address.


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French , Italian are some of the languages spoken in Italy. If you know of a freely available phrase book or podcast for one of the missing languages, let us know!


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