Pope Francis Attracted 6.6 Million Visitors to Vatican in 2013; 3X the Pilgrims in 2012 During the Reign of Pope Benedict XVI
By Vittorio Hernandez | January 3, 2014 1:57 PM EST
As if his Time Magazine Person of the Year award is not enough evidence, Vatican released on Thursday visitor data that confirmed Pope Francis is an extremely popular figure with the status of a celebrity or rock star.
Pope Francis has been named as Person of the Year for 2013 by Time magazine (Reuters)
Prayer is the Best Medicine, Says Pope Francis While Distributing 20,000 Rosaries in Pill Box (VIDEOS)
His rise to global popularity, just barely 10 months after his election as head of the 2 billion plus Roman Catholic Church, however, is not the handiwork of media buzz, but a translation of how his genuine faith and love radiates.
Thus, it surprises no one that in his 10-month reign, Pope Francis attracted over 6.6 million people to the Vatican, the seat of the Roman Catholic Church. It is almost thrice the 2.3 visitors who visited the Holy See in 2012, when the pontiff was still Pope Benedict XVI.
Pope Francis has been breaking records, including number of Twitter followers, but has also been breaching Vatican protocol which has endeared him more to the faithful.
The former Buenos Aires Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio is known to have taken public transport, refused the luxury cars used by his predecessor, cooked his own meals, opted for a simple accommodation than a palatial residence, sneaked out at night to give alms to the poor, washed the feet of prisoners, offered a Swiss guard a chair and snacks and hugged a severely disfigured man.
YouTube/Channel 4 News
The basis of the 6.6 million visitors released by the Vatican are the number of tickets issued for papal events such as general audiences, Masses and private audiences and also estimates of people at events where tickets are not required such as his weekly appearance from a window that overlooks St Peter's Square.
Because of the huge crowds that Pope Francis draws, with over 100,000 attendees during a general audience or Sunday address, Rome police have to close off the boulevard that leads to the Vatican to accommodate more pilgrims.
The tickets to these events are free, issued by Vatican's Prefecture of the Pontifical Household and often distributed via parishes and church institutions.
It excluded the numbers of people who attended his foreign or other local audiences such as the World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro and events in Assisi and Lampedusa in Italy. During the final event of his Brazil trip on July 28, an estimated 3 million attended the gathering on Copacabana Beach.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- 2014 MLB World Series Game 1: San Francisco Giants 7, Kansas City Royals 1 [PHOTOS]
- 2014 MLB World Series - Game 2: Kansas City Royals 7, San Francisco Giants 2 [PHOTOS]
- NFL Thursday Recap - Denver Broncos 35, San Diego Chargers 21: Peyton Manning Has 3 TDs In Easy Win [PHOTOS]
- 2014 MLB World Series Game 3: Kansas City Royals 3, San Francisco Giants 2 [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Xiaomi Redmi 1S vs. Sharp Aquos Crystal – Specifications, Features And Price Showdown
- Verizon Motorola Droid Turbo Leaked Live Images Surfaces, Scheduled To Get Unveiled On Oct 28
- Update HTC One M7 with LG G2 with Android 4.4.2 as Sprint OTA: Fixes and Installation
- U.S. Targets Buyers of ISIS Oil, Threatens Sanctions
- ISIS Syria Airstrike Bombing Has Killed 550 People, Civilians Included
- Russia Shifts Blame On US For Ukraine Crisis, Putin Accuses West of 'Remaking World'
- Russia Blocking OSCE Monitoring Of Its Border With Ukraine