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First pope in more than 100 years not to live in the Apostolic Palace
This photograph, taken March 9, shows the bedroom in the residence where Pope Francis has stayed since his election at the Vatican. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

Putting an end to much speculation, the Vatican spokesman confirmed today that Pope Francis will continue to reside at the Vatican guesthouse for the foreseeable future and not move into the papal apartments on the third floor the Apostolic Palace. Francis will, however, use the library within the papal apartments for meetings and other official business, and will recite the Angelus on Sundays from the window overlooking St. Peter’s Square.

From Catholic News Service:

Pope Francis has decided not to move into the papal apartments in the Apostolic Palace, but to live in a suite in the Vatican guesthouse where he has been since the beginning of the conclave that elected him, said Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman.

"He is experimenting with this type of living arrangement, which is simple," but allows him "to live in community with others," both the permanent residents -- priests and bishops who work at the Vatican -- as well as guests coming to the Vatican for meetings and conferences, Father Lombardi said March 26.

The spokesman said Pope Francis has moved out of the room he drew by lot before the conclave and into Suite 201, a room that has slightly more elegant furnishings and a larger living room where he can receive guests.

The Domus Sanctae Marthae, the official name of the guesthouse, was built in 1996 specifically to house cardinals during a conclave.

According to CNS, Francis will be the first pope in more than 100 years to not reside in the Apostolic Palace. The report also includes details about the Holy Father’s current residence:

The Domus Sanctae Marthae, named after St. Martha, is a five-story building on the edge of Vatican City. 

While offering relative comfort, the residence is not a luxury hotel. The building has 105 two-room suites and 26 singles; about half of the rooms are occupied by the permanent residents. Each suite has a sitting room with a desk, three chairs, a cabinet and large closet; a bedroom with dresser, night table and clothes stand; and a private bathroom with a shower.

The rooms all have telephones and access to an international satellite television system.

The building also has a large meeting room and a variety of small sitting rooms. In addition to the dining room and the main chapel, it also has four private chapels, located at the end of hallways on the third and fifth floors of each of the building's two wings.


About the Author
Catherine Harmon

Catherine Harmon is managing editor of Catholic World Report.
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