Soaring attendance at Vatican events since Francis’ election

ROME — Some 735,000 people attended Vatican events during each of the nine months of Pope Francis’ papacy, according to information released Thursday (Jan. 2) by the Holy See. It’s the highest average recorded in recent years.

Attendance at Vatican events — which includes Masses and other celebrations, but not tourism to St. Peter’s Basilica or the Vatican Museums — usually surges during the first year of a new papacy or during special church celebrations.

But the 735,000 monthly attendance tally outpaced the average of around 500,000 visitors per month in 2005 after Pope Benedict XVI’s election, or the average of 710,000 monthly visitors during the 2000 jubilee year.

The rising attendance at the Vatican shows no signs of abating: Attendance at Masses during the Christmas season set new records, the Italian press reported, despite rainy weather for much of the period. It may be due to the “Francis effect,” which includes the soaring popularity in Italy for the name Francesco, the Italian version of the pontiff’s name; increased tourism to Rome from the pope’s native Argentina; and a rise in church attendance across Italy.

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Religion News Service LLC.

national

religion

Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Comments
Show Comments

Sign up for email updates from the "Confronting the Caliphate" series.

You have signed up for the "Confronting the Caliphate" series.

Thank you for signing up
You'll receive e-mail when new stories are published in this series.
Most Read National

national

religion

Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.