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Getting married in St. Peter’s Basilica? All you need to do is ask the pastor for permission

Getting married in St. Peter’s Basilica? All you need to do is ask the pastor for permission

The most important church in Christendom also has its own parish priest, a Franciscan named Fr. Agnello Stoia. He says the number of pilgrims has increased over the past three years.

FR. AGNELLO STOIA
Pastor, St. Peter’s Basilica

When I first arrived, I saw that there were so many people in the basilica and so much noise. They had tried to create places where people could pray more peacefully. And I understand that. But now we have adopted a completely different strategy. That is, we try to involve everyone in the liturgies. So that everyone who enters the basilica can be involved in the chants, the incense… They immediately feel like they are in a church. Because it is a church. That’s it. It is a church first and foremost.

The minister also ensures that the sacraments are accessible to everyone.

FR. AGNELLO STOIA
Pastor, St. Peter’s Basilica

To be baptized or married here at St. Peter’s, all one has to do is write to the parish office website. The sisters respond, they set a date, ask for some documents and then people come to be married or baptized here. There are so many who ask and we try to accommodate as many as possible.

It is not easy to care for the 30,000 to 40,000 people who visit the basilica every day. But measures have been taken to make it easier for those who come to pray.

FR. AGNELLO STOIA
Pastor, St. Peter’s Basilica

The entrance to St. Peter’s has changed. There is a white tent in the square that marks a specific entrance for people who come to pray. So those who come to confess, pray in the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament or celebrate Mass and the liturgical life of the basilica do not have to stand in such a long line.

And the result of this new entrance is clearly visible.

FR. AGNELLO STOIA
Pastor, St. Peter’s Basilica

With this large number of people, how can you tell if it works? By looking at the attendance in the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament or at the masses or in the confessionals. We ask the confessors. They tell us that there is a peak in the number of people.

This initiative of St. Peter’s Basilica can be an example for thousands of churches around the world.

AO
TR: KG