His Holiness

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The honorific His Holiness (Latin: Sanctitas) is the official style used to address the Roman Catholic Pope and the Greek Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch. In February 2013, the Holy See announced that Pope Benedict XVI will 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".

In more recent years[clarification needed], the English language honorific "His Holiness", and as female version "Her Holiness", has also been used for religious leaders from other traditions, including Shinto,Buddhism,Islam. and it is self-applied in certain new religious movements such as Hare Krishnas.


  1. Asian Tribune: example of reference to "Her Holiness Shinso Ito, the Head Priest of Shinnyo en Temple in Tachikawa, Tokyo", 3 July 2012
  2. Royal Albert Hall ticket office: His Holiness the Dalai Lama, 19 June 2012
  3. Mahjuba: Certain Qur’anic Ladies ... Her Holiness Khadijah was the first lady to believe in the Divine prophetic Mission of [Muhammad]...
  4. according to site "ISKCON desire tree"

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