Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Piazza San Pietro and the Papal Audience

Piazza San Pietro (Saint Peter's Square) is the square right in front of Saint Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. At the center of the square, there is a four-thousand-year-old Egyptian obelisk, which was built at the current site in 1568. 

Being brought up as a Catholic, I'd say Piazza San Pietro is definitely the most important place for any Catholic person in the World, sort of like Mecca, if you will. One of the reasons for that is that the Pope, the maximum Catholic authority (Benedict XVI, currently) lives there in the Apostolic Castle.

Every Wednesday, rain or shine, the Pope offers an Audience, during summer it is held in the Piazza San Pietro itself, though the one I attended (in November) was held at the Paul VI Audience Hall, it is free to attend this audience and all you have to do is approach one of the Swiss Guards and request an invitation for it, he will give you one right away and then, all you have to do is, head to the Paul VI Audience Hall, choose a sit and get ready to enjoy the Papal Audience and receive the Papal  Blessing from Benedict XVI himself. Said audience is held mainly in Italian but also in English, French, German, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese and, sometimes, other languages depending on groups visiting.

Piazza San Pietro, The Vatican

Piazza San Pietro, The Vatican

Basilica di San Pietro, The Vatican
Piazza San Pietro, The Vatican

Beautiful architecture of Basilica di San Pietro

Side entrance, Basilica di San Pietro

Swiss Guards

Papal Audience Invite

Benedict XVI's General Audience

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