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Michael Palagonia wrote:

Hi, guys —

My mother, a life-long practicing Catholic, will turn 90 years old on February 8, 2000. At her birthday gathering I would like to read to her a letter from His Holiness congratulating her and wishing her well. While she would be thrilled, I sometimes doubt that the Vatican sends such letters. It seems more an exercise by elected officials than religious leaders.

  • Do you know if the Vatican, or the local bishop, answers such requests and
    where would I write?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Michael Palagonia

  { How can I get a birthday congratulations letter from His Holiness on my mother's 90th birthday? }

Bob replied:

Dear Michael:

You can get a letter from the Pope if you have enough lead time. Usually, it will be answered by an official from his office. "He" acknowledges all gifts and other letters whenever possible. My friend and I got a letter from the Pope in thanks for a CD we sent him. It was a bishop that answered in his name.

Good luck,

Bob K.

Richard replied:

Hi, Michael —

It is possible to request a personal Papal Blessing for someone.

Contact your diocese to find out the procedure. You would need to provide a letter from a priest attesting that the person is a Catholic in good standing; a small standard offering is requested.

You can have the blessing sent in the form of a letter, or you can have a decorated commemorative certificate made for the occasion. The latter is done by a private firm in Italy,
so there is a charge for that service.

Either way, your diocese can tell you where to write.

God bless!

— Richard Chonak

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