Vatican Radio celebrates 90 years

Pope Francis sends best wishes to Vatican Radio staff on milestone anniversary.

Vatican Radio celebrates its 90th anniversary today, 12 February, with Pope Francis encouraging its staff to continue the mission of carrying words to "the most distant places."

Praising the radio's staff members, who hail from 69 nations, the pontiff thanked them for the love they put into their work, reports Vatican News.

The radio's mission, and its enormous reach, has taken on new significance during the covid-19 pandemic, connecting people isolated by sickness and lockdowns.

Over the last year Vatican Radio also reached those being held against their will, including Father Luigi Maccalli, for two years a prisoner of jihadists between Niger and Mali.

The missionary managed to get his hands on a little radio with which he was able to listen to the Sunday Gospel and even the pope's Mass of Pentecost broadcast live, reports Vatican News.

The radio station was set up in Vatican City by the inventor of the radio himself, Guglielmo Marconi, and the first words heard in the inaugural broadcast were spoken in Latin by Pope Pius XI when he greeted the world on 12 February 1931.

For the last 50 years the pontifical broadcaster has based at Palazzo Pio, near St Peter's, in a building overlooking Castel S. Angelo.

Today its programmes are offered in 41 languages and are broadcast on short wave, DRM, medium wave, FM, satellite and via the internet.

Massimiliano Menichetti, the head of Vatican News, which incorporates Vatican News, spoke to Italian newspaper La Stampa about future plans for the "Pope's Radio."

"Today radio is audio, text, photos, video and is broadcast on the internet, satellite, digital terrestrial and waves, " said Menichetti.

"For the 90th we are also launching the challenge of Web radio, the debut will be on 12 February in Italian, French, English, Spanish, Portuguese, German and Armenian, but soon around 30 live channels will be created. We will also launch a new web page entirely dedicated to audio."

Photo Vatican Media

General Info

Address Radio Vaticana, Piazza Pia, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy

View on Map

Vatican Radio celebrates 90 years

Radio Vaticana, Piazza Pia, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy