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 the Pope,
Oriental Orthodox Patriarchs, and Dalai Lama.
His Holiness (Latin: Sanctitas) is the official style used to address
the Roman Catholic
Oriental Orthodox Patriarchs. In the
Eastern Orthodox Church, the Ecumenical
Patriarch of Constantinople
has the title of His All-Holiness (abbreviation HAH).
In February 2013, the
Holy See announced that former
Pope Benedict XVI
would retain the style "His Holiness" after resigning and becoming
The term is sometimes abbreviated to "HH" or "H.H." when confusion
with "His/Her Highness" is unlikely. The associated form of address is
Later, it is also used for certain other Eastern Patriarchs, notably
those who head a church or rite which recognizes neither Rome's nor
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 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.
It is also used in certain new religious movements such as Hare
Krishnas of Hinduism.
^ 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",