How to receive a papal blessing
A request for a papal blessing, in the form of a printed certificate on parchment, must be requested by your parish priest in a letter addressed to the Vicar General. Requests by email are not accepted.
The request must include:
•A check made out to the Diocese of Grand Rapids in the amount of $50
•The name(s) of the people/person to receive the blessing
• The occasion to be celebrated (i.e. 25th, 50th, 60th anniversaries; special birthdays: 80th, 90th etc; religious profession, first communions, confirmations). A general blessing for no specific occasion may also be requested.
• The date of the occasion
• If a wedding or wedding anniversary, the name of the church, city and state
• If a wedding, both parties must be Catholic
• A letter from the parish priest, on parish letterhead, of the person(s) to receive the blessing attesting to his/her/their good standing in the Church.
• The address to which the document is to be mailed along with a phone number to contact someone to verify information.
A Papal Blessing takes two or three months. Please remember that the Vatican is closed during the month of August.
How to attend a papal audience/Mass
Parishioners may request tickets to a papal audience or Mass via a letter from their parish priest addressed to the Vicar General. This request must come in writing, email requests are not accepted.
When making a request for tickets to a papal audience/Mass the following is required:
• A letter from the pilgrim's pastor with name, address and phone number of person/persons requesting tickets
• Dates while in Rome
• Recommendation from the pilgrim's pastor stating they are Catholics in good standing
Requests should be made for a date at least two months prior to the pilgrim's visit. For participation in the Holy Father's Wednesday General Audience, tickets are issued and must be picked up in Rome on Tuesday afternoon between 3 - 7 p.m. There is no charge for these tickets.
A special section at the Holy Father's General Papal Audiences is reserved for couples who have been married in the Catholic Church for two months or less. This must be indicated in the letter from the priest, indicating their names, the date of their marriage and the name of the Catholic Church, city and state in which they were married, to be seated in this section. To be admitted by the ushers, the newlyweds must bring with them a Catholic sacramental marriage certificate and the tickets.
There is also a special section at the Holy Father's General Papal Audiences reserved for persons suffering with a terminal illness. The Holy Father offers a special blessing over these people. In order to sit in this section, mention of the illness must come in the letter from the pastor. To be admitted to this section, a copy of the letter requesting tickets must be presented to the ushers along with the tickets.