Pope Pius VIII: A folder That Contained 3 Urbi & Orbi Blessings from His Pontificate

Pope Pius VIII: A folder That Contained 3 Urbi & Orbi Blessings from His Pontificate

Identifying Information Inside the Cover of the Papal Urbi et Orbi Blessings

This is the original cover of the formula of Benediction given by Pope Pius VIII “Urbi et Orbi” from the Loggia of  the Lateran, Vatican and Liberian Basilicas.

About the “Liberian” Basilica
Saint Mary Major

NOTE: Documents refer to this basilica as the Liberian Basilica or St. Mary of the Snows, although no trace of this fourth century structure remains. The spot where Liberius built his structure remains a matter of dispute. Research shows that the earliest part of the basilica dates from the time of Pope Sixtus III (432-440).

Saint Mary Major is often referred to as the Liberian, after Pope Liberias.

“Since Pope Pius VIII was pope for only 20 months this folder certainly would have been used for most, if not all, of his Ubi et Orbi blessings.

The folder is much larger than I anticipated signifying the size of the documents it held.  It is a super cool artifact and addition to this Collection!”  –Father Richard Kunst

The Urbi et Orbi Blessings

The term Urbi et Orbi (which means “for the city and for the world”) signifies that a papal document is addressed not only to the City of Rome but to the entire Catholic world.

This phrase is applied especially to the solemn blessing with plenary indulgence which, before the occupation of Rome, the pope was accustomed to impart on certain occasions from the balcony of the chief basilicas of the city.

This blessing was given annually at Saint Peter’s on Holy Thursday, Easter, and the feast of Saints Peter and Paul. It was given at Saint John Lateran on the Ascension and at Saint Mary Major on the Assumption.

It was imparted also on extraordinary occasions, as at Saint Peter’s when the pope was crowned, at Saint John’s when he was enthroned and at various times during the Holy Year or Jubilee for the benefit of pilgrims.

The blessing, Urbi et Orbi, of Ascension Day was sometimes postponed until Pentecost on account of the inclemency of the weather or illness of the pope, etc. 

Innocent X in the Jubilee of 1650, on the Feasts of Epiphany, Pentecost, and All Saints, for special reasons, gave this solemn blessing from the balcony of the Quirinal Palace.  Later popes, including Pope Pius IX, also did this.


Pope (Saint) John XXIII: Urbi et Orbi Blessing 1961
  • Date May 15, 2024
  • Tags Documents, Pius VIII