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The Peregrinatio ad Petri Sedem, also abbreviated P.A.P.S., is a papal institution for assistance to pilgrims to Rome and certain other pious sites and events.
It was founded by Pius XI at the conclusion of the extraordinary Jubilee of Redemption, when the Central Committee, set up that same Holy Year 1933-1934 to assist all pilgrims to Rome, was established as a permanent Office. Pope Paul VI erected it a Canonical Body in 1972; the reorganisation in 1977 confirmed the spiritual initiatives born during the Holy Year 1975.
On January 16, 1997 John Paul II granted it new Statutes which emphasized its pastoral characteristics and specified its purpose and nature:
- help particular Churches in order to promote the spiritual and material assistance to pilgrims visiting Peter’s See, whether groups or individuals, who have come for a pious visit, especially for ecclesial events promoted by the Holy See.
- implement the provisions of the Central Committee during the Holy Years in order to ensure the appropriate reception of pilgrims traveling from Dioceses located throughout the world to Rome, in response to the appeals of the National and Diocesan Committees encouraging pilgrimages to Rome.
- assist and coordinate the flow of pilgrims directed to the various world Sanctuaries to participate in religious events led by the Holy Father.
- encourage the participation of the most needy to the above-mentioned pilgrimages.
Organization and working
The Board of Directors endorses annual programs and balance sheets and expresses its opinion on major issues. The Pastoral Council, whose members are multinational and multilingual Pastoral workers, is in charge of issues concerning the spiritual activity of the pilgrims in order to fulfill the religious goals of the Peregrinatio. The Pope appoints the President of the Peregrinatio, usually an Archbishop, in various instances even a Cardinal.
Its location in Rome is Piazza Pio XII°, 4 - 00120 Città del Vaticano. The Peregrinatio appoints its Delegates in different parts of the world, in agreement with the Ecclesiastic Authorities of the local Churches.
P.A.P.S. organizes guided tours for groups of pilgrims inside the Vatican City and around Christian Rome, especially to the Vatican Museums, Vatican Gardens, Catacombs of Rome and Papal basilicas, Liturgical Celebrations and Audiences with the Holy Father, and organizes Congresses (on demand), Holy Masses, prayer gatherings and services with full assistance during Beatifications and Canonizations. It works primarily with religious Institutions and houses which receive pilgrims as well as commercial hotels, restaurants and various other logistics, and offers air ticket services for all the employees of the Vatican City, for the Departments and Offices of the Holy See and for all religious families.