Apologia: The Fullness of Christian Truth

``Where the Bishop is, there let the multitude of believers be;
even as where Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church'' Ignatius of Antioch, 1st c. A.D

How to Receive a Papal Blessing

For those not lucky enough to be able to meet the Pope, here's a little tidbit many Catholics might won't know about: it is possible for Catholics to receive beautiful certificates of a papal blessing ("Benediction Papalis") for themselves or their families, for other Catholics, or for certain special occasions, like weddings or anniveraries. The matter of it is a lovely parchment, handpainted with calligraphy, design, the papal seal and signature; the blessing itself is invisible to the eye, of course, but the certificate is a beautiful keepsake and reminder of it. There are a few restrictions as to who can and can't get one and the sort of occassions one will be issued: 

People for whom a blessing will or will not be issued

Any baptized Catholic can receive a blessing, but they are denied to non-Catholics, to the dead, to inanimate objects, and to animals.

Occasions for which a Blessing will or will not be issued

Papal blessings will not be issued to those wanting them on the occasions of birth (because until we are baptized, we are not Catholic), death, or the anniversaries of death. They probably will not be issued for events already passed, i.e., they will be issued for Catholic wedding anniversaries, but not for past weddings themselves.

They will be issued for such things as birthdays, ordinations, religious profession, anniversaries of religious profession, Baptisms, First Communions, Confirmations, conversions, and, as said, Catholic weddings and anniversaries of Catholic weddings, etc.

How to get one

To get a Benediction Papalis, visit your diocese's Chancery Office. They will have you fill out paperwork, answering questions pertaining to the sort of blessing you want, what language you want the certificate to be written in, what style of certificate you want, etc. They will need the full name of your priest, parish, town and country so there is witness to the fact that you are, indeed, Catholic (you can just call the Chancery's office and they will send you the papers).

The cost is around $40, the proceeds from which go to feed the poor. To be safe, allow 6 months to receive your certificate if you're wanting it by a certain date

Beware: don't try to get a Papal Blessing through the internet or some mailing you might receive: scammers are out there. Be sure to go through your diocese!

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