At the same time the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household announced a total of 3.1 million people attended the Pope's first 100 general audiences.
10,000 is a fairly typical audience size for these audiences according to the Vatican,
However, the statistics show less people are now attending that they did when the Pope became the Successor of Peter.
In 2013, more than 1.5 million pilgrims came to 30 audiences, an average of 51,617 people per week.
Last year, 2014 and the first full year of the pontificate, about 1.2 million pilgrims saw the Pope at 43 different general audiences. An average of 27,883 per audience.
This year, some 400,000 people have also been present at the 27 events that have so far taken place in Rome. An average of 14,818 per audience.
The Vatican does forecast an upturn however. When the Jubilee Year of Mercy, was announced, it was estimated that 33 million pilgrims would visit Rome to take part in the special celebrations, with many of them using the audience as a means of hearing catechesis.
Father John Zuhlsdorf says on this blog, wdtprs.com, that St Peter's Square is emptier and emptier. He maintains it is not because of the general secularization and he further suggests that as Romans aren’t attending either it is not down to the 'economic slump'.
Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Francisco: Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et beatum faciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius. Amen
Let us pray for Pope Francis: May the Lord preserve him, and give him life, and bless him upon earth, and deliver him not to the will of his enemies. Amen