Have you ever admired the beautiful, hand-painted certificates at your parish or at a friend's home, commemorating an individual or couple's lifetime or sacramental milestone? This Apostolic blessing from the Pope, known also as a Benediction Papalis, is available to any baptized Catholic. Requesting a blessing from the Holy Father, along with a certificate that tangibly commemorates that blessing, is a surprisingly simple process that costs under $50 to cover the cost of the hand-drawn and lettered parchment and the shipping from Vatican City (wedding or Christmas gifts, anyone?).
The Apostolic Blessing is granted for Baptism, First Communion, Confirmation, Marriage, Priestly Ordination, Religious Profession, Secular Consecration, Ordinations of Permanent Deacons, marriage anniversaries (10, 25, 40, 50, 60 years), birthdays (18, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100), and upon Catholic individuals or families.
Requests for Papal Blessings on parchment are only available online as of March 10, 2019. There are several beautiful parchments available to choose from, ranging from €18-26. The time required for receiving the parchment is approximately 20 days from the date the request is received, but plan on one month just to be sure it arrives on time. Postage is €18 with DHL Worldwide.
A statement from your diocese or the recipient’s diocese to certify that they are in good standing with the church is no longer required, however you are responsible for declaring that the person(s) you are requesting the blessing for are baptized Catholics, living a Christian life, are not participating in any groups hostile to the faith, are married in the Church, are not under any canonical penalties, and do not hold public office or public roles.