Newlyweds get VIP treatment at the Vatican

Updated Aug. 8, 2015

Newly married couple enjoys ice cream cones after pope's general audience in St. Peter's Square at Vatican

A newly married couple from Poland enjoy ice cream cones after attending Pope Francis’ general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican April 10. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY — Catholic couples who have celebrated their marriage vows recently can request special tickets to a VIP section at the Wednesday general audience and get the chance to greet the pope, receive his blessing and be given a unique rosary for newlyweds.

The personal papal meeting for newlyweds has been handled differently over time.


Newly married couples at a general audience in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican Nov. 14, 2012. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

For a few years, couples were stuck behind the same waist-high barricades as other VIP guests. That usually meant a mad crush for a papal handshake, and what should have been the moment for a perfect picture sometimes became a tangle of jutting arms, skewed veils and mussed hairdos.

Pope Francis has gone back to having newlyweds come up two-by-two to get a personal greeting and blessing after he delivers his catechesis.

Here’s a rundown of what a newlywed Catholic couple needs to do to receive special “sposi novelli” tickets:

  • The couple must have been married in a Catholic church within two months of the audience they want to attend.
  • They need to send a request for newlywed tickets and seating to
  • The request needs to include the name of the church where the wedding took place; the date of the wedding; the name of the priest who married them; and the full name of the bride and groom.
  • The couple must bring with them to Rome a copy of their certificate of sacramental marriage signed by their priest. This will be needed to get a special rosary for newlyweds that was blessed by the pope.
  • They can wear their wedding attire to the audience although women are encouraged to wear a shawl if their dress doesn’t cover their shoulders.
  • A papal photographer will be taking pictures during the meet-and-greet and those pictures will be available for sale later through L’Osservatore Romano’s photo service 


    Newly married couples are pictured near Swiss Guards before the start of a general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Oct. 17, 2012. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

For more information about getting tickets to the pope’s general audience or papal liturgies and events, head to this post: “Treasure hunt: Tracking down tickets to a papal Mass, general audience.”


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