Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, informed journalists today that Pope Francis has decided for the time being to stay in the Domus Sanctae Martae house rather than move into the papal apartments.
The Domus Sanctae Martae is a modern residence building located near St. Peter’s Basilica on the site of a former hospice for pilgrims. Since its construction in 1996 it has provided housing for prelates and others having business with the Holy See. The five-story building has 106 suites, 22 single rooms, and one apartment. Its management is entrusted to a director, whose appointment is reserved to the Secretariat of State, and its tasks are defined by statute.
The cardinal electors reside at the Domus Sanctae Martae during conclave. Once a Pope is chosen, the newly elected Pontiff transfers to a slightly larger room- Suite 201 – until preparations are finished in the papal apartments.
Prior to the start of the conclave, lots were drawn to determine which room each Cardinal would stay in the residence. Since his election, Pope Francis has stayed in the room chosen for him rather than move to the papal suite at the Domus Sanctae Martae.
Fr. Lombardi stated that now that the Papal apartment is ready, the Holy Father has chosen instead to move to Suite 201 for the time being and will use the the papal apartment for official audiences and for his weekly Sunday Angelus address. Living at Domus Sanctae Martae, Fr. Lombardi stated, would allow the Pope to live in a communal atmosphere with those who reside there.