During 2016, nearly 4 million people came to see the Pope at the Vatican. The Prefecture of the Papal Household has published its annual summary of the numbers of participants at meetings and audiences with the Pope in the Vatican. The statistics include general and special audiences, jubilee audiences, liturgical celebrations, and the Angelus and Regina Coeli addresses. The Easter celebrations of March and the celebrations surrounding the canonization of Mother Teresa in September brought the highest numbers.
That’s an increase from 2015:
More than 3.2 million pilgrims visited and attended papal events, liturgies or prayer services at the Vatican in 2015, the Vatican said. The statistics, released Dec. 30, were compiled by the Prefecture of the Papal Household, which coordinates papal events and distributes free tickets to papal audiences and liturgies. The prefecture said more than 3.2 million people attended a papal event in 2015. The total was a significant drop from the 5.9 million visitors received by Pope Francis in 2014. It was also slightly more than half the 6.6 million pilgrims who visited the Vatican during the first nine and a half months of his pontificate in 2013.
It’s entirely possible that the wave of high-profile terror attacks that hit Europe this year—in France, Germany and Belgium, among other places—had a significant impact on international travel and the number of visitors to Rome.