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Pope Francis Resumes Public General Audience in September

The audiences will be held in a courtyard in the Apostolic Palace, and not in St. Peter's Square.

Pope Francis will resume his general audience with the public present starting Sept. 2, the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household says. 

Twenty-six weeks after the Pope last held his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square, the Vatican has announced that the public general audiences will now resume. However, the audiences will be held in the San Damaso courtyard of the Apostolic Palace, and not in St. Peter’s Square. (Watch: Pope Francis holds first public Mass as Vatican reopens churches)

Strict health protocols will be followed in order to avoid the spread of coronavirus. No tickets are needed, and attendance “will be open to anyone who wishes” to participate, the prefecture said in a written communique. The audience will begin at 9:30 AM and people will be allowed to enter from 7:30 AM. (Read: Your Guide on Your First Visit to the Vatican)

San Damaso Courtyard, September venue for weekly General Audience. (Photo from Vatican Media / CBCPNews)

Live General Audience

Since March 11, all of the Pope’s general audience were being live-streamed from the library of the Apostolic Palace. Aides were present to read the Scriptures and summaries of his words in different languages. However, no pilgrims are allowed to attend.

The last audience held with a public audience was on February 26, Ash Wednesday. However, it stopped the following week for Pope Francis’ annual Lenten retreat which he did not attend because he had a cold. (Read: Pope Francis makes first appearance after being sick since Ash Wednesday)

Pope Francis celebrates Ash Wednesday Mass at the Basilica of Santa Sabina in Rome Feb. 26, 2020. (Photo from CNS / Cristian Gennari, pool / America Magazine)

Pope Francis has been very vocal during the pandemic and has even issued a plea to nations that vaccines should not be reserved for rich countries only. He also urged the public to pray to those distraught during these trying times. 

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