Urbi et Orbi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The 2008 Urbi et Orbi given by Pope Benedict XVI on Christmas Day, from Saint Peter's Square, Vatican City

Urbi et Orbi ('to the city [of Rome] and to the world') denotes a papal address and apostolic blessing given by the pope on certain solemn occasions.


The term Urbi et Orbi evolved from the consciousness of the ancient Roman Empire. The invocation is expressed by the pope in his capacity as both the bishop of Rome (urbs = city; urbi the corresponding dative form; compare: urban) and the head of the Roman Catholic Church throughout the world (orbis = earth; orbi the corresponding dative form; compare: orbit).[citation needed]

The formula is found more frequently in the language of the Church, as in the inscription at the Lateran Basilica, which is: omnium urbis et orbis Ecclesiarum mater et caput[1] - "the head and mother of all churches of the city and of the earth" = the principal and mother of all churches of the world.[citation needed]

In the 4th century, Pope Damasus I wrote in a letter to the bishops of Illyricum: Unde iustum est, omnes in Universo Romanorum Orbe Doctores legis, ea, quae legis sunt, sapere, et non fidem doctrinis variis maculare.[2] - (English: "Hence, it is just, that all doctors of the law in the Universe of the World of the Romans, those, who are of the law, are wise, and do not teach the faith with various doctrines.")

The ritual of the papal blessing Urbi et Orbi developed in the 13th century during the reign of Pope Gregory X, who consulted Niccolò and Maffeo Polo before his election.[3][4]


The façade of Saint Peter's Basilica with loggia balcony, where the pope usually gives the blessing Urbi et Orbi

The Urbi et Orbi address and blessing is the most solemn form of blessing in the Catholic Church, and is reserved for the most solemn occasions. These occasions include Easter, Christmas, and the proclamation of a newly elected pope concluding a conclave.

Urbi et orbi blessings are usually given from the central loggia of Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome, at noontime, and are broadcast worldwide through the European Broadcasting Union and other linkups. The address concludes with greetings in many languages in relation to the feast celebrated.

The Roman Catholic Church grants a plenary indulgence by the willful grace and intent of the pope, on the usual conditions, to those who "devoutly receive" the blessing that the pope imparts Urbi et Orbi.

For any ordinary plenary indulgence, the "usual conditions" are:

  • Reception of sacramental confession through a Catholic priest within 20 days (before or after) of performing the specific work
  • Reception of Eucharistic communion within 20 days (before or after) of performing the specific work
  • Prayers for the intentions of the pope designated for that particular month or occasion, usually at the same time the work is performed, though recitation some days before or after also suffices

Gaining a plenary indulgence requires that a baptized Roman Catholic must also exclude any attachment to sin, even venial sin.[5]

Since 1985, this indulgence is granted not only to the people in Saint Peter's Square, but also to those who though unable to be physically present, "piously follow" it by radio or television.[6][7]

This is now extended to all who receive the papal blessing over the Internet ("the new communications medium"), since the blessing is preceded by an announcement by a cardinal (usually the cardinal protodeacon): "His Holiness Pope N. grants a plenary indulgence in the form laid down by the Church to all the faithful present and to those who receive his blessing by radio, television and the new communications media. Let us ask Almighty God to grant the Pope many years as leader of the Church and peace and unity to the Church throughout the world."[8]

The only yearly occasions for the Urbi et Orbi blessing are Christmas and Easter. Besides that, another systematic occasion for the Urbi et Orbi comes at the end of a papal conclave when the new pope makes his first appearance to the world following his election. In addition, Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis started with a short speech, with the latter requesting prayers from the faithful, and John Paul II deliberately mispronouncing the word “correct” in Italian in an effort to gain the support of the followers below.[citation needed] The people were nervous about having a non-Italian as pope for the first time since the Dutch born Pope Adrian VI who reigned from January 1522 to September of 1523.

On 27 March 2020, Pope Francis imparted an extraordinary Urbi et Orbi blessing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.[9] He stood in the door of Saint Peter's Basilica, at the head of Saint Peter's Square (without the presence of the public) following a prayer.[10] For this blessing, the Apostolic Penitentiary loosened the requirements to receive the Eucharist and go to confession, due to the impossibility for people affected by lockdowns and suspension of liturgies.[11] The Salus Populi Romani image and the crucifix from the church of San Marcello al Corso were brought to the square for the occasion. The Pope did not use the formula of the apostolic blessing; instead, he performed a Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.[12][13]

Greetings in different languages[edit]

From Pope Paul VI to Pope Benedict XVI, after delivering their Urbi et Orbi message, the pope would greet the different nations in their native languages. The pope typically began by saying: "To those who listen to me, I address a cordial greeting in the different language expressions." Pope Francis has since stopped this practice.

Language Easter




Italian Buona Pasqua a voi, uomini e donne di Roma e d’Italia! Buon Natale agli abitanti di Roma e dell’intera Italia!
French Le Christ est ressuscité. Sainte fête de Pâques ! Que pour vous ce mystère soit source de bonheur et de paix profonde. Heureuse et sainte fête de Noël ! Que le Christ Sauveur vous garde dans l’espérance et qu’il vous fasse le don de la paix profonde !
English May the grace and joy of the Risen Christ be with you all. May the birth of the Prince of Peace remind the world where its true happiness lies; and may your hearts be filled with hope and joy, for the Saviour has been born for us.
German Euch allen ein gesegnetes und frohes Osterfest! Der Friede und die Freude des auferstandenen Herrn sei mit Euch. Die Geburt Jesu Christi, des Erlösers der Menschen, erfülle Euer Leben mit tiefer Freude und reicher Gnade; sein Friede möge in Euren Herzen wohnen. Gesegnete und frohe Weihnachten!
Spanish Os deseo a todos una buena y feliz fiesta de Pascua, con la paz y la alegría, la esperanza y el amor de Jesucristo Resucitado. ¡Feliz Navidad! Que la Paz de Cristo reine en vuestros corazones, en las familias y en todos los pueblos.
Portuguese Uma Páscoa feliz com Cristo Ressuscitado. Feliz Natal para todos! O nascimento do Menino Jesus ilumine de alegria e paz vossos lares e Nações!
Dutch Zalig Pasen!

Ik wil mijn hartelijke dank tot uitdrukking brengen voor de fraaie bloemen uit Nederland voor de Paasmis op het Sint Pietersplein.

Zalig en gelukkig Kerstmis.
Luxembourgian Frou a geseent Oushteren. Schéin Chreschtdag.
Greek Χριστός άνέστη

(Christós ánésti̱)

Καλά Χριστούγεννα

(Kalá Christoúgenna)

Albanian Për shumë wjet Pashkët. Per shum vjet Krishtlindjen.
Romanian Cristos a ínviat. Sărbători Fericite de Crăciun si Anul Nou.
Hungarian Krisztus feltámadott. Alleluja. Áldott Karácsonyt.
Polish Chrystus zmartwychwstał. Błogosławionych świąt Bożego Narodzenia.
Czech Kristus vstal z mrtvých. Narodil se vám Spasitel. Radujte se!
Slovak Radostné veľkonočné sviatky. Milostiplné a radostné Vianočné Sviatky.
Croatian Sretan Uskrs! Sretan Božić, Isusovo Porođenje!
Slovenian Blagoslovljene velikonočne praznike. Božje Dete, naj vam podeli svoj blagoslov.
Serbian Христос васкрсе!

(Hristos vaskrse!)

Среħан Божиħ – Христос се роди!

(Srećan Božić – Hristos se rodi!)

Serbian-Lusatian Chrystus z mortwych stanył. Zohnowane hody! A zbožowne Nowe lěto!
Bulgarian Христос възкресе

(Khristos vŭzkrese)

Честито Рождество Христово

(Chestito Rozhdestvo Khristovo)

Macedonian Христос Воскресна.

(Hristos Voskresna.)

Нека ви е честит Божик и Нова Година

(Neka vi e čestit Božiк и Nova Godina)

Byelorussian Christos uvaskrós. Viasiòłych kalàdnych Sviàtaû!
Russian Христос Воскресе.

(Hristos Voskrese.)

Сердечно поздравляю всех с Праздником Рождества Христова

(Serdechno pozdravlyayu vsekh s Prazdnikom Rozhdestva Khristova)


Khristiin Dakhin Amilalyn Bayaryn Mendkhurgeye!

Hristijn Tersen Edrijn mendhurgie
Kazakh Иса тірілпті

(Ïsa tirilpti)

Родecтвo мepeкeci ктты болсын!

(Rodectvo mepekeci kttı bolsın!)

Ukrainian Христос Воскрес!

(Khrystos Voskres!)

Веселих Свят з Різдвом Христовим і Новим Роком!

(Veselykh Svyat z Rizdvom Khrystovym i Novym Rokom!)

Lithuanian Linksmų Šventų Velykų. Linksmų Šventų Kalėdų.
Latvian Priecīgas lieldienas. Priecīgus Ziemsvētkus!
Estonian Kristus on surnuist üles tõusnud. Häid jõulupühi.
Finnish Siunattua pääsiäistä. Hyvää joulua.
Swedish Glad påsk. God jul, gott nytt år.
Icelandic Gleðilega Páska. Gleðileg jól!
Irish Beannacht na Cásca dhaoibh go léir. Nollaig shona dhaoibh go léir.
Romani Lachi Patrači. Baxtalò Krečùno! Thaj Nevo berš!
Maltese L-Għid it-tajjeb. Il-Milied it-tajjeb lill-poplu kollu ta' Malta u Għawdex.
Georgian K’riste Aghsdga Gilotsavt Krist’es Shobas
Turkish Paskalya bayramini kutlarim. Noel bayramı kutlu olsun.
Arabic El Messieh kahm! Hakken kahm! Miládon-mazídon
Ethiopian-Eritrean Burúk Fasika Burúk ledét
Hebrew Brachot le Chag HaPesach. Hamashiach Nolad. Chag Molad Mevorach.
Aramaic Qmlēh maran Shwubuḥaʾ lshemēh Hwylēh maran Shwubuḥaʾ lshemēh
Armenian Kuhreestos harryav ee merrelotz Sznorawórsz surp dz'nunt
Swahili Heri na baraka zangu kwa sikukuu ja Pasaka kwenu wote. Heri kwa noeli na baraka nyingi kwa mwaka mpya.
Kirundi and Kinyarwanda Pasika Nziza, mwese. Gumya umutima mu mahoro! Noeli nziza!
Malagasy Arahaba Tratry Ny Paka. Arahaba tratrin'i Noely.
Hindi पास्का की शुभकामनाएं

(Paaska kee shubhakaamanaen)

ख्रिस्त के जन्म उत्सव की शुभकामनाएं

(Khrist ke janm utsav kee shubhakaamanaen)

Tamil Kiṟistu uyirppu nāḷil uṅkaḷ ellōrukkum eṉ vāḻttukkaḷ! கிறிஸ்து பிறந்த தின வாழ்த்துக்கள்

(Kiṟistu piṟanta tiṉa vāḻttukkaḷ)

Malayalam ഉയിര്‍പ്പു തിരുനാളില്‍ എല്ലാവർക്കും ഹൃദയുംഗമായ മുംഗളങ്ങള്‍

(Uyirppu thirunaalil ellaavarkkum hrudayamgamaaya mangalangal)

തിരുപിറവിയുടെ ആശുംസകള്‍ നനരുന്നു

(Thiruppiraviyute aashamsakal nerunnu)

Urdu (Pakistan) Eid e Qayamat al Masih mubarak ho Eid e Wiladat al Masih mubarak ho
Chinese 復活節快樂 / 复活节快乐

(Fùhuójié kuàilè)

聖誕節快樂 / 圣诞节快乐

(Shèngdànjié kuàilè)

Japanese ご復活おめでとうございます

(Go fukkatsu omedetō gozaimasu)


(Krismas to shínnen omédeto gozáimasu)

Korean 부활을 축하합니다

(buhwal-eul chughahabnida)

기쁜 성탄에 한국의 평화를 비노라

(gippeun seongtan-e hangug-ui pyeonghwaleul binola)

Vietnamese Mừng lễ Phục sinh. Chúc mừng Giáng sinh.
Sinhalese Śrī laṁkāvāsī obaṭa halelūyā! Natthal Saamaya Oba Semata Labewaa!
Thai สุขสันต์วันปัสกาแด่ชาวไทยทุก ๆ ท่าน!

(S̄uk̄h s̄ạnt̒ wạn pạs̄kā dæ̀ chāw thịy thuk thuk th̀ān)

สุขสันต์วันคริสตสมภพ แด่พี่น้องชาวไทยที่รักทุกคน!

(S̄uk̄hs̄ạnt̒ wạn khris̄t̒mās̄ s̄mp̣hph dæ̀ phī̀n̂xng chāw thịy thī̀rạk thuk khn)

Indonesian Selamat Paskah. Selamat Hari Natal.
Cambodian Serea suosdei Bonchamlong. Rīkarāy Bon Noel
Filipino Maligayang Pasko ng Pagkabuhay. Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong Taon.
Maori Nga mihi o te Aranga ki a koutou. Meri Kirihimete.
Samoan Ia manuia le Efeta. Ia manuia le Kirisimasi.
Esperanto Feliĉan Paskon en Kristo resurektinta. Dibenitan Kristnaskon kaj prosperan novjaron.
Guaraní Ña nerenyhe vy’agui, Aleluya. Ko navidad árape che maitei ame'ê peême.
Latin Different greeting every year

Formulæ of apostolic blessing[edit]


Sancti Apostoli Petrus et Paulus: de quorum potestate et auctoritate confidimus, ipsi intercedant pro nobis ad Dominum.
: Amen.
Precibus et meritis beatae Mariae semper Virginis, beati Michaelis Archangeli, beati Ioannis Baptistae et sanctorum Apostolorum Petri et Pauli et omnium Sanctorum, misereatur vestri omnipotens Deus; et dimissis omnibus peccatis vestris, perducat vos Iesus Christus ad vitam æternam.
: Amen.
Indulgentiam, absolutionem, et remissionem omnium peccatorum vestrorum, spatium veræ et fructuosae pœnitentiae, cor semper paenitens, et emendationem vitae, gratiam et consolationem Sancti Spiritus; et finalem perseverantiam in bonis operibus tribuat vobis omnipotens et misericors Dominus.
: Amen.
Et benedictio Dei omnipotentis, Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti, descendat super vos et maneat semper.
: Amen.[8]

English translation[edit]

May the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, in whose power and authority we trust, intercede for us before the Lord.
: Amen.
Through the prayers and merits of Blessed Mary ever Virgin, Saint Michael the Archangel, Saint John the Baptist, the holy apostles Peter and Paul, and all the saints, may Almighty God have mercy on you and forgive all your sins, and may Jesus Christ bring you to everlasting life.
℟: Amen.
May the almighty and merciful Lord grant you indulgence, absolution and the remission of all your sins, a season of true and fruitful penance, a well-disposed heart, amendment of life, the grace and comfort of the Holy Spirit and final perseverance in good works.
℟: Amen.
And may the blessing of Almighty God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, come down on you and remain with you forever.
℟: Amen.[8]

Former practice[edit]

Prior to the occupation of Rome by the army of the Kingdom of Italy (20 September 1870), this blessing was given more frequently and at specific basilicas at Rome:

On the occasion of a Holy Year the pope gave the blessing on other occasions too for the benefit of pilgrims. In the jubilee year of 1650 Pope Innocent XI did so at Epiphany, Pentecost, and All Saints. He and later popes gave such special-occasion blessings from the balcony of the Quirinal Palace, which was then the papal residence.[16]

After the occupation, Pope Pius IX considered himself a "prisoner in the Vatican" and in protest ceased to give the blessing. The practice was later resumed, though in a more limited manner, following the resolution of the so-called "Roman Question" (i.e., the legal relationship between the Holy See and the Italian government).[citation needed]

Other uses[edit]

It is the motto of Long Island University.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The British and foreign evangelical review and quarterly record of Christian literature, Vol. XV., page 39, James Oswald Dykes, James Stuart Candlish, Hugh Sinclair Paterson, Joseph Samuel Exell, James Nisbet & Co., London 1866.
  2. ^ Cassiodorus, Historia Eccl., 5, CAPUT XXIX. Litterae Damasi et caeterorum ad Illyricum contra concilium in Nicaea Thraciae factum.
  3. ^ Janson, Tore (2007-01-25). A Natural History of Latin. p. 294. ISBN 9780191622656.
  4. ^ The Travels Of Marco Polo, page 214, Henry Yule, Plain Label Books, ISBN 978-1-60303-615-3
  5. ^ Normae de Indulgentiis, 20
  6. ^ Enchiridion Indulgentiarum, "Aliae Concessiones", 4
  7. ^ John Tagliabue, "Vatican to allow indulgences by TV", New York Times, 19 December 1985
  8. ^ a b c "Urbi et Orbi" in Easter Sunday Booklet, Office of Liturgical Celebration of Supreme Pontiff, 27 March, 2016
  9. ^ "Pope's special Urbi et Orbi blessing: 'God turns everything to our good' - Vatican News". vaticannews.va. 2020-03-27. Retrieved 2020-03-28.
  10. ^ "Declaration of the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni". Holy See. 22 March 2020. Retrieved 23 March 2020..
  11. ^ "Here's How You Can Get the Vatican's New Coronavirus Indulgences". National Catholic Register. Retrieved 2020-03-27.
  12. ^ "Extraordinary moment of prayer presided at by the Holy Father before Saint Peter's Basilica Homily of the Holy Father". Holy See. 22 March 2020. Retrieved 27 March 2020..
  13. ^ "Pope at Urbi et orbi: Full text of his meditation - Vatican News". vaticannews.va. 2020-03-27. Retrieved 2020-03-28.
  14. ^ "Auguri del Santo Padre AI Popoli e Alle Nazioni in Occasione della Santa Pasqua".
  15. ^ "Auguri del Santo Padre AI Popoli e Alle Nazioni in Occasione del Santo Natale".
  16. ^ Andrew Meehan, "Urbi et Orbi" in Catholic Encyclopedia (New York 1912)

External links[edit]