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His Holiness

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Title: His Holiness  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Pope Francis, Pope Benedict XVI, Pope, Anthim I, Atiśa
Collection: Ecclesiastical Titles, Papal Titles, Religious Titles, Styles (Manners of Address)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

His Holiness

His Holiness is a style and form of address (in the variant form Your Holiness) for supreme religious leaders, most notably the Pope.

Christian churches

His Holiness (Latin: Sanctitas) is the official style used to address the Roman Catholic Pope and the Greek Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, as head of the Orthodox community. In February 2013, the Holy See announced that former Pope Benedict XVI would retain the style "His Holiness" after resigning and becoming Pope Emeritus.

The term is sometimes abbreviated or "HH" or "H.H." when confusion with "His/Her Highness" is unlikely. The associated form of address is "Your Holiness".

It is also used for certain other Eastern Patriarchs, notably those who head a church or rite whch recognizes neither Rome's nor Constantinople's primacy, notably any Catholicos of the East.

Other religions

The English language honorific "His Holiness", and as female version "Her Holiness", has commonly been used for religious leaders from other traditions, including Buddhism[1] (notably for the Dalai Lama), Shinto[2] and Ahmadiyya.

It is also used in certain new religious movements such as Hare Krishnas of Hinduism.


  1. ^ Royal Albert Hall ticket office: His Holiness the Dalai Lama, 19 June 2012
  2. ^ Asian Tribune: example of reference to "Her Holiness Shinso Ito, the Head Priest of Shinnyo en Temple in Tachikawa, Tokyo", 3 July 2012
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