In recognition of the desire of people to see the Successor of St Peter and Christ's Vicar on Earth, Pope Francis makes time in his schedule to regularly meet with pilgrims to Rome to offer paternal greeting and spiritual advice.
The Papal Audience generally follows the following format:
Pope Francis offers his General Audience each Wednesday at 10am. Security generally opens at 8am - 8:30am.
The Papal Audience in Rome obviously only occurs if the Pope is in Rome, but wherever he is staying on his travels, he usually finds time to greet the faithful.
During the Holy Jubilee Year of Mercy, Pope Francis has also scheduled certain extra Jubilee Audiences on the following dates:
For a full list of the Papal Schedule click on the link.
The Papal Audience occurs in the Paul VI hall in the Winter, and when the weather conditions are more favourable, then the Papal Audience can be in St Peter's Square. In the past Popes would escape the oppressive heat of August and take residence at Castel Gandolfo, and in such cases, the Papal Audience is conducted there. However, Pope Francis has so far decided to remain in the Vatican and the Papal Audience has remained in St Peter's Square even in the hottest months.
Winter Months: Paul VI Hall
Summer Months: Either St Peter's Square or Castel Gandolfo (see below)
In the hottest months when the Pope escapes the oppressive heat of Rome
For all months except August (when the Vatican offices are closed), tickets are required for Papal Audiences. Tickets are always free.
If you need less than 10 tickets then you can simply ask the Swiss Guards for some. They have a stash of tickets explicitly for pilgrims who ask for them without a reservation. The Swiss Guard stationed at the Bronze Door (just to the left of the metal detectors of St Peters and then first right) have some to give out, as do the Swiss Guard at Porta Anna.
However, please note that the Swiss Guard will only have tickets for the Papal Audience or Papal Mass the day before the event. Tickets will be given out from 3pm until 7pm the day before the scheduled Audience, and from 7am on the day.
For groups greater than 10, or if you wish to reserve your tickets in advance, you have 3 options.
TICKETS FOR THE PAPAL AUDIENCE ARE ALWAYS FREE.