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His Holiness is a style and form of address (in the variant form Your Holiness) for some supreme religious leaders. The title is most notably used by the pope, Oriental Orthodox patriarchs or Catholicoi, and Dalai Lama.
The full papal title, rarely used, is:
- His Holiness (Francis), Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the Vatican City State, Servant of the servants of God.
The best-known title, that of "Pope", does not appear in the official list of titles, but is commonly used in the titles of documents, and appears, in abbreviated form, in their signatures as "PP." standing for Papa (Pope). The 2020 Annuario Pontificio lists all of his formal titles, except Bishop of Rome, as "historical titles."
It is customary when referring to popes to translate the regnal name into local languages. Thus he is Papa Franciscus in Latin (the official language of the Holy See), Papa Francesco in Italian (the language of the Vatican), Papa Francisco in his native Spanish, and Pope Francis in English.
The term is sometimes abbreviated to "HH" or "H.H." when confusion with "His/Her Highness" is unlikely. The associated form of address is "Your Holiness".
Orthodox and Eastern churchesEdit
His Holiness (Latin: Sanctitas) is the official style also used to address the Oriental Orthodox Catholicoi/patriarchs. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople has the title of His All-Holiness (abbreviation HAH). It is also used for certain other Eastern patriarchs, notably those who head a church or rite which recognizes neither Rome's nor Constantinople's primacy.
The English language honorific "His Holiness", and as female version "Her Holiness", has commonly been used for religious leaders from other traditions, including Buddhism (for figures such as Lu Sheng-yen, the Dalai Lama, the Karmapa, and the Je Khenpo in Bhutan), Shinto in Ahmadiyya Islam for the Caliph and in Dawoodi Bohra sect of Ismaili Shia for esteemed office of Da'i al-Mutlaq, Syedna.
- Shahan, Thomas Joseph (1907). Catholic Encyclopedia. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company. . In Herbermann, Charles (ed.).
- "Pope". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2013. Retrieved 14 April 2013.
- Cappelli, Adriano. "Lexicon Abbreviaturarum". p. 283. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
- "Contractions and Abbreviations". Ndl.go.jp. 4 August 2005. Archived from the original on 10 December 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
- "What Does PP Stand For?". Acronyms.thefreedictionary.com. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
- "Other than 'bishop of Rome,' yearbook lists papal titles as 'historic'". Crux. 3 April 2020. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
- Parker, Alan (15 March 2013). "A Few Things You Might Not Know About Pope Francis". Toronto Sun. Archived from the original on 11 April 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2014.
- Royal Albert Hall ticket office: His Holiness the Dalai Lama, 19 June 2012 Archived 15 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- Asian Tribune: example of reference to "Her Holiness Shinso Ito, the Head Priest of Shinnyo en Temple in Tachikawa, Tokyo", 3 July 2012