Welp, I’ve got 12 years of Catholic school, a semester in Italy, two visits to the Vatican (including one for Easter mass), a priest uncle, and a heavy handful of years as a bridal editor under my belt, and I learned something this morning that I have never, ever heard before: the Pope will personally meet with newlyweds!
This morning on Good Morning America, Josh Elliott and Robin Roberts were reporting live from the Vatican, you know, just hanging with the peeps in St. Peter’s Square and being greeted by Pope Francis himself, when they started talking about this thing where if newlywed couples come to the Vatican within three months of getting married in the Catholic Church, in their wedding regalia and with their marriage certificate in hand, the Pope will greet them personally and bless their marriage. What?
I wasn't sure if I had heard Robin right, so I took my teeth-brushing into my bedroom to find Robin and Josh standing with an adorable newlywed couple from Kansas, I think it was (if they post the video online later today, I will update this post with it!)—sure enough, in their gorgeous wedding garb, and having just had an audience with the 77 year-old Pope. The bride said she had heard about this before she even met her groom and knew it was something she'd want to do one day if she got married—and luckily, she found a guy who felt exactly the same way.
So I was going to say who knew, but apparently, some people did! (Too bad my friend Erin—from my Catholic high school—who got married this summer in Cape May and honeymooned immediately afterwards in Italy didn't, as evidenced by her response to my text this morning: What?????)
I did find this 2012 article from the Catholic News Agency, which actually adds that these papal blessings upon newlyweds happen on Wednesday mornings, says that couples have to be within the first two months of their marriage and are only encouraged to wear their attire (meaning you won't be turned away, I guess, if you opt not to pack your Monique in your carry-on), and that you can expect to have your valid Catholic sacramental marriage certificate inspected pretty closely. If it's a go, you'll get your special newlywed or “Sposi Novelli” tickets through the Bishop’s Office for U.S. Visitors to the Vatican (that's in Rome), and next thing you know, Pope Francis could be bestowing his holy blessing on your new union.
What with the popularity of this particular Pope, it seems this is gaining interest among newly married couples—and I have to say, I think it's just lovely. What a cool thing. And if you agree, I wanted to make sure you knew.
Have you or anyone you know actually done this? Is there anyone honeymooning in Italy who would definitely consider making a stop at the Vatican to get blessed by Pope Francis?