Designed and constructed by Guglielmo Marconi at the request of Pope Pio XI, Vatican Radio began transmitting on 12 February 1931 with the pontificial message “Omni creaturae” of Pope Pius XI. Also in attendance was Guglielmo Marconi and Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, who would become Pope Pius XII. Its first director was physicist Giuseppe Gianfranceschi, who was also the president of the Accademia dei Nuovi Lincei.
In 1936, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) recognized Vatican Radio as a “special case” and authorized its broadcasting without any geographical limits. Today its programs are offered in 47 languages.
The programming is produced by over two hundred journalists in 60 different countries. Vatican Radio covers international news, religious festivals, in-depth programs and music.