Apostolic Blessing


The benediction given by the pope at the end of liturgical functions at which he presides, and sometimes after audiences; also the solemn benediction “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and world) pronounced by the pope immediately after his election, from the balcony of Saint Peter’s, as well as on Maundy Thursday, Easter, Ascension Day, and the Assumption. The power to bestow the papal blessing has been delegated to all bishops, who may give it in their own dioceses, on Easter Sunday and on one other solemn feast. Abbots or prelates nullius, vicars Apostolic and prefects Apostolic, even when not bishops, can give it in their territories on only one of the more solemn feasts each year. Regulars who are privileged to bestow the blessing, may do so only in the town churches or in those of nuns or tertiaries lawfully aggregated to their own order, and in the prescribed formula. All priests who are assisting the sick should grant them the Apostolic Blessing or “last blessing” with a plenary indulgence for the moment of death, according to the formula and under the usual conditions.

MLA Citation

  • “Apostolic Blessing”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 5 September 2013. Web. 22 September 2020. <>