The Urbi et Orbi address

Urbi et Orbi means “to the City (of Rome) and to the World". It is a papal address and Apostolic Blessing given to the City of Rome and to the entire world on specific occasions. Urbi et Orbi was a standard opening for proclamations given in ancient Rome.

The Urbi et Orbi address and blessing is given at noon each Easter and Christmas from  St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The Urbi et Orbi blessing includes a remission of temporal punishment due to venial sin through a plenary indulgence attached to the papal blessing.

 The European Broadcasting Union is in charge of broadcasting the Christmas and Easter Urbi et Orbi blessings to the world. The indulgence and remission of sins does not apply only to the people hearing it in St. Peter’s Square but also to all the Catholics hearing the blessing or watching it on television. Before the Urbi et Orbi blessing it is traditional that the pope gives an address to the crowd and the world. This address includes holiday greetings in many languages and an inspirational short sermon concerning the holiday and the gospels.

In addition the Urbi et Orbi is also granted at St. Peter’s Square during the papal inauguration. In the time when popes were crowned it was given during the papal coronation. On very rare occasions it is used to bless pilgrims or during the Holy Year. also it is traditionally the blessing  given by a new pope when he appears at the central loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica for the first time after being elected as a new pope.

The term Urbi et Orbi originated in the ancient Roman Empire. Officially, the ritual of the papal blessing Urbi et Orbi developed in the 13th century under Pope Gregory X.

The English version of the Urbi et Orbi is as follows:

May the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, in whose power and authority we have confidence, intercede on our behalf to the Lord

Response: Amen

Through the prayers and merits of the Blessed Mary ever-virgin, of Blessed Michael the archangel, of Blessed John the Baptist, and of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and of all the saints, may almighty God have mercy on you, and with your sins forgiven, may Jesus Christ lead you into everlasting life.

Response: Amen

May the almighty and merciful Lord grant you indulgence, absolution, and remission of all your sins, time for a true and fruitful penance, an always repentant heart and amendment of life, the grace and consolation of the Holy Spirit, and final perseverance in good works.

Response: Amen

And may the blessing of Almighty God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, descend on you and remain with you always.

Response: Amen

The last Urbi et Orbi address was given by Pope Francis on Easter 2013 from the loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica. in this address Pope Francis delivered a passionate plea for peace and discussed the concept of forgiveness.