You definitely got mail! What’s inside the papal postbox?

UPDATE: For folks who wish to stuff those mail bags even more, here are the popes’ addresses. There is NO email because the last time they set one up for the pope, the servers crashed.

Pope Francis
Domus Sanctae Marthae
00120 Vatican City State


Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
Mater Ecclesiae monastery
00120 Vatican City State

Pope accepts letter as he arrives to lead general audience in St. Peter's Square at Vatican

Pope Francis accepts a letter from a pilgrim in St. Peter’s Square Oct. 16, 2013. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis gets so much mail — about 30 large mail sacks a week — that the Vatican has set up a special office to sort through and read the overflowing stacks.

Msgr. Giuliano Gallorini of the Vatican secretariat of state is in charge of the “Papal Correspondence Office” and is assisted by a nun and two laywomen.

The sacks are brought from the Vatican post office to the “Terza Loggia” in the apostolic palace where the Vatican diplomats work. There, the papal mail team sifts through everything, sorting the letters into low-tech cardboard boxes whose tops have been torn off and labeled “Portuguese,” “Spanish,” “French” and other languages.

papal mail room

Screen grab from CTV video showing makeshift mail room for papal correspondence.

This video by the Vatican Television Center gives an insider’s look at the makeshift mail room, whose floor, understandably, is absolutely cluttered with boxes chock full of the sorted post.

The video, in Italian, talks about the kind of mail the pope gets. Sometimes there are gifts like a handmade scarf, statuettes, drawings, but Msgr. Gallorini said most of the letters are requests for prayers and support.

“It may be the period we are living in, but many deal with people’s difficulties, especially illness. They ask for prayers for children and they detail difficult economic situations,” he said.


Screen grab from CTV video showing Msgr. Gallorini, head of the papal correspondence office, going through the mail.

The correspondence team reads all the Italian mail and tries to send the letters on to the right people who can offer help. For example, requests for economic assistance are sent to the appropriate diocesan Caritas office, the monsignor said.

He said they try to do what Pope Francis would want: to listen to people with their hearts and minds, to share in their suffering and to try to find the right words in their replies (they send a reply to everyone!!)

What mail does make it onto the pope’s desk?

Msgr. Gallorini said, “Cases that are more delicate” or sensitive. Those items are sent on to the pope’s secretaries who make sure the pope can look at them himself and decide how they should be handled.

Pope Francis “always says that the pastor has to live with his flock, with his sheep, to feel and live their experiences with them,” the monsignor said. However, because it would be impossible for the pope to read every letter he gets, the pope asks his correspondence crew to approach their work with the same sense of solidarity and affection he would have.

Have any of you written to the pope? Did you get a reply?

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27 Responses to You definitely got mail! What’s inside the papal postbox?

  1. I wrote him kin Spanish to remind him how bishops can be so un-Christian to their clergy.

  2. Lucy Sartin says:

    I sent a letter on November 21st and have not received a reply. The letter was to tell Pope Francis how much I love and admire him, so he really doesn’t have to reply.

  3. Hoang says:

    If i want to write a letter to him, how can i send it? I do not know his email. Can you help please?

  4. Ellen Nisi says:

    What many people don’t know is that if you send a Christmas card to the Pope you get one back from the Holy See…

  5. says:

    The faith saved my life.

  6. Elizabeth says:

    What’s his address? 🙂

  7. Daryl says:

    I did! And I got a reply from Msgr. Wells assuring me of the Pope’s prayers for me and my family.

  8. Carol Glatz says:

    No papal emails. Sorry. Last time they did that the server crashed so it’s snail mail for:

    Pope Francis
    Domus Sanctae Marthae
    00120 Vatican City State


    Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
    Mater Ecclesiae monastery
    00120 Vatican City State

  9. Aneta says:

    Papież Franciszek jest w porządku 🙂

  10. catherine says:

    I sent him a card. Yes he did write back and I showed it to the children in Sunday school. .

  11. Ms. Mrtr says:

    I am a high school religion teacher. When Pope Francis was first elected, my students wrote him cards. I put them in an envelope and sent them to him. I received a very nice letter in return from the American Office which assured my class of the pope’s prayers and came with two photos of him. I photocopied it and handed it out to all the students. It was one of the best activities I have done. 🙂

  12. August 2014 I wrote to Pope Benedict XVI about combining infant and young child neuroscience findings with Catholic ministry and theology. In October that year I had a sudden sense of being supernaturally blessed in an unusually profound way. The next day I received a reply from his secretary, and a papal blessings was included.

  13. Clarissa says:

    One of our parishioners sent a letter to the Pope and they sure did reply with wonderful blessing for her and for her family enclosed with a stampita of Pope Francis! You truly feel the love!

  14. smkelly8 says:

    Reblogged this on Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander and commented:
    I had wondered how this was handled.

  15. MarkSentMe says:

    I sent him a Christmas card!

  16. kip kauhaahaa says:

    yes kip wrote to him a simple man a simple letter asking him to come to maui hawaii he waits daily and i have to explain to him about how many letters the pope gets he was once in a coma and now is working everyday but he has a hard time reading and writing

  17. mrs. sharon keith,osf says:


  18. Judy Lanning says:

    Our Parish from Cedar Grove Indiana USA, Holy Guardian Angels sent letters in October to our dear Holy Father. We have been suppressed and are awaiting to hear from our Appeal sent to the Congregation of the Clergy. Someone told me we have no chance of winning our appeal. Our Appeal is truthful and everything that could go wrong did go wrong. Our team listened to other people who led them down the WRONG path. Why would we be praying everyday for our Church to be reopened if we did not have a chance. We are a faithful traditional very Catholic Church in Indiana. I know Pope Francis would help us if we could just get to him…

  19. Laura says:

    I sent him a letter and I received a reply the same day. The letter was to tell Pope Francis that my mom and my grandma are very sick,I lost my job and my dad is near the retiring age. He sent me a beautiful pray!😄

  20. Carlos Gabriel says:

    I did send the Pope a Christmas card. He never answered and I do not expect it because he will get it, never mind read it. 30 boxes of correspondence! Not even his secretaries. It is all a ploy and gymic bo appear popular.

  21. Gustavo Ramirez Lacayo says:

    I wrote to him last year, never got a reply… Not from him or any of his secretary. It really left me down, sense I was expecting at least a letter.

  22. Juana Eunice says:

    I pray and love Pope Francis immensely. I wrote him a letter asking him for job at the Vatican City however, I didn’t get any reply and continue praying for the possible access to him to read the letter I sent to him last September 2013. To be honest I was sure he would reply but he didn’t, and feel upset for it.

    Cordially yours,
    Juana Eunice Lozano
    Tegucigalpa, Honduras Central America

  23. Craig Cannon says:

    God Listens to you also. No Stamp, No Paper. I Just Pray to Him. If a You Feel The Pope is Not Answering, He is Just a Busy Man. God Has Many More Centuries of Experience Answering Us. Just Pray! Don’t Give Up. I Tell You They Both Love You…

  24. It is a pity that there is no possibility for e-mailing to Pope. In this internet era. Not only e-mailing is cheaper but also it saves time and unnecessary waste of paper. Can you imagine how much time will it take to reach a post to Vatican as a hard copy from the remote villages of far away countries and mission areas?!!! In urgent matters when a post reaches there fate might have had decided things for itself. Therefore, kindly make e-mail facility available for the faithful to contact Pope.

  25. Wonderboy says:

    Dear Pope Francies
    I’m from South Africa i am writting this massage because i love you,i’m are active youth member to my Parish hardworking,please pray for me to get job and help my family i wish to meet you i love you in the name of the Father,son and holy spirit

  26. Jill Bishton says:

    I pray for Pope Francis each day. One day I will write to him but he has so many letters I think praying for him is the best.

  27. evella montalbo says:

    I will send card to Pope Francis

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