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List of pastoral visits of Pope Francis outside Italy

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List of pastoral visits of Pope Francis outside Italy

Pastoral visits of Pope Francis.

This is a list of pastoral visits of Pope Francis outside Italy. Pope Francis' visit to the Philippines in January 2015 had become the largest papal event in history with around 6-7 million attendees in his final mass at Manila, surpassing the then-largest papal event at World Youth Day 1995 in the same venue 20 years earlier.


 Brazil (22 to 29 July 2013)

Pope Francis visits a favela in Brazil during the World Youth Day 2013.

Francis visited Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for World Youth Day. This was the only scheduled foreign trip for him in the year. Francis was officially welcomed to Brazil during a ceremony at Guanabara palace and met with Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff.[1] Throughout the celebrations, Francis gathered up to 3.5 million pilgrims to celebrate mass at Copacabana Beach.[2] During his vigil address, Francis urged the pilgrims not to be "part-time Christians", but to lead full, meaningful lives.[3] The trip was previously scheduled for his predecessor, Benedict XVI, before his resignation.[4]


 Israel,  Jordan, and  Palestine (24 to 26 May 2014)

Pope Francis waving for the people after the mass in Bethlehem. (By/ Mustafa Bader)
Francis visited Orthodox Church.[9]

 South Korea (14 to 18 August 2014)

Pope Francis travels through Gwangwhamun Square during the beatification ceremony.

Pope Francis arrived in Seoul Air Base on 14 August to start his five-day visit to South Korea on the occasion of the Sixth Asian Youth Day.[10] Upon arrival, Francis was greeted by South Korean President Park Geun-hye.[11] Afterwards, Francis held a private meeting with the families of victims of the MV Sewol ferry disaster.[12] He later made a speech in English, his first as Pope. Speaking at the Presidential Office in Seoul he said "I came here thinking of peace and reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula." [13] Francis held the first public mass of his trip on 15 August in front of a 50,000 strong crowd at Daejeon World Cup Stadium where he asked Koreans to "reject inhumane economic models which create new forms of poverty and marginalize workers."[14] He beatified the first generation of 124 Korean Martyrs in Gwangwhamun Square on front of an estimated crowd of 800,000 people on 16 August.[15] Francis concluded his five-day visit with a Mass for peace and reconciliation of the divided Korean peninsula in Seoul's Myeongdong Cathedral.[16]

 Albania (21 September 2014)

Pope Francis announced in his Angelus address on 15 June 2014 that he would make a one-day visit to the city of Tirana in Albania. He said: "With this brief visit, I want to confirm the Church of Albania in the faith, and bear witness to my encouragement and love for a country that has suffered for so long in consequence of the ideologies of the past".[17] Security concerns were raised in the days before the visit after Iraqi governmental officials warned they had received intelligence reports suggesting Islamic fundamentalists may be planning an attempt on the Pope's life while in Albania.[18]

The 11-hour visit was the first European trip made by Francis. He said in August that he had chosen Albania as the first destination because it has set a model for harmony between the various religions by establishing a national unity government that includes Muslims, Orthodox, and Catholic Christians.

During his stay, he met Albanian President Bujar Nishani, celebrated mass in Mother Teresa square in Tirana, and met with religious leaders, including those of the Muslim, Orthodox, Bektashi, Jewish and Protestant faiths. He also honored those persecuted under the rule of former communist dictator Enver Hoxha. Some 130 Christian clergy died in detention or were executed during the 1944-1985 dictatorship of Hoxha, who declared Albania the world's first atheist state in 1967. Pictures of some of the priests persecuted or executed during the period were hung in Tirana's main Martyrs of the Nation boulevard ahead of the pope's visit. Albania has since seen a revival of Catholicism partly owing to the popularity of Mother Teresa, who had Albanian origins despite being born in what is now Macedonia.[19]

 France (25 November 2014)

Francis making his address to the European Parliament.

Pope Francis made a four-hour visit, the shortest made by any Pope abroad, to Strasbourg on 25 November 2014, where he addressed the European Parliament and the Council of Europe raising issues such as the dignified treatment of immigrants arriving illegally in Europe and better conditions for workers.[20]

 Turkey (28 to 30 November 2014)

Pope Francis accepted an invitation to visit Turkey at the behest of President [25]


 Sri Lanka and  Philippines (13 to 19 January 2015)

Pope Francis in Colombo, Sri Lanka. 14 January 2015
Pope Francis rides around the faithful after the open air Mass in Tacloban. 17 January 2015

Pope Francis visited Sri Lanka on 13–15 January and the Philippines (15–19) in January.[26][27][28]

Pope Francis' visit to Philippines was the fourth papal visit to the island nation. Blessed Paul VI visited Philippines in 1970 and St. John Paul II came in 1981 for the beatifications of then Blessed Lorenzo Ruiz and then Blessed Domingo Ibáñez de Erquicia and returned in 1995 for the celebration of the World Youth Day.

Pope Francis' visit to the Philippines in January 2015 had become the largest papal event in history with around 6-7 million attended his final mass at Manila surpassing the then largest papal event at World Youth Day 1995 in the same venue 20 years earlier.[29] [30][31]

 Bosnia and Herzegovina (6 June 2015)

Pope Francis arriving at Koševo Stadium in Sarajevo

Pope Francis announced on 1 February 2015 that he intended to visit Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, on 6 June 2015. His visit placed importance on ecumenical dialogue. It is estimated that 67.000 people visited the event whose height was the mass at Koshevo stadion. Most pilgrims were from Croatia and Bosnia but there were also 1000 pilgrims from Serbia, many groups from Hungary, Slovenia, Macedonia, communities of Croats from Germany, Austria, United States, and group of nuns from Panama and even Egypt.[32]

 Bolivia,  Ecuador, and  Paraguay (5 to 13 July 2015)

It was announced by the Holy See in May 2015 that Pope Francis would visit Bolivia in July 2015, as well as two other [33][34] The schedule released indicated that the pope would be in Ecuador from 5–8 July, Bolivia from 8–10 July and Paraguay from 10–12 July 2015. His return to Rome is scheduled for 13 July 2015.[35][36] The Holy See Press Office's Director, Federico Lombardi, S.J., acknowledged there were reports that Pope Francis might chew coca leaves, or perhaps drink tea made from coca (he ended up drinking coca tea with a couple other ingredients), which in that region is considered sacred by some and is a key crop (it is rich in calcium, protein, and iron, among other nutrients, and could potentially fight altitude sickness- a popular reason for its use, but it is also the main ingredient in cocaine), during the trip, but he stated nothing had been decided yet. Pope John Paul II and Pope Paul VI both had similar experiences, so engaging in this particular cultural custom would not be unprecedented.[37]

In the course of his visit to Ecuador, Pope Francis met President Rafael Correa, visited with priests and seminarians, paid a private visit to a Jesuit priest friend and visited a home for the elderly in Quito. His last Mass in Ecuador drew about 1.5 million people.[38] Arriving in Bolivia on 8 July, Pope Francis was received by President Evo Morales at El Alto International Airport near La Paz. In his speech after arrival the pope said among other: "Bolivia is making important steps towards including broad sectors in the country’s economic, social and political life. Your constitution recognizes the rights of individuals, minorities and the natural environment, and provides for institutions to promote them." Later during the meeting in Government palace Morales awarded Pope Francis with the highest Bolivian state decoration, the Grand Cross of the Order of the Condor of the Andes and with the State decoration of Luis Espinal Camps, named after a Jesuit priest and activist known for his commitment to the disadvantaged people of the country, who was murdered by paramilitary forces in March 1980 for his defense of them. He also presented the pope with a crucifix in form of a hammer and sickle, which form the symbol of the Communist Party, which he explained had been a form created by Espinal himself in his efforts to identify with the oppressed poor of that country. This gift immediately proved controversial.[39] The pope also prayed in the place near La Paz where the body of this murdered Jesuit priest was found and by this occasion he highlighted his preaching of the Gospel. Pope Francis visited also the Cathedral of La Paz and after leaving La Paz he traveled to Santa Cruz de la Sierra in the eastern part of Bolivia.[40][41][42][43][44][45][46][47] On 9 July Pope Francis celebrated Mass in Santa Cruz de la Sierra connected with the opening of the Fifth National Eucharistic Congress.[48] He also attended the World Meeting of Popular Movements, taking place in Santa Cruz de la Sierra. This event brought together delegates from popular movements from around the world and there also participated President of Bolivia Evo Morales. Pope Francis expressed in his speech on this event his solidarity with gathered popular movements and their efforts.[49][50]

 Cuba and  United States (19 to 27 September 2015)

On September 19, 2015 Pope Francis departed aboard an Alitalia A330 (Shepherd One) from Rome's Fiumicino International Airport, to Havana's José Martí International Airport where he arrived to an official Welcoming Ceremony. The next day, he was the principal celebrant at a Papal Mass at the Plaza de la Revolución in Havana at 9:00, before he paid a courtesy visit to the President of the Council of State and of the Council of Ministers of the Republic at Palacio de la Revolución in Havana. His day ended with celebrations of Vespers with priests, men and women religious, and seminarians, at the Cathedral of Havana, and a greeting to the young people of the "Centro Cultural Padre Félix Varela" in Havana during the early evening.[51]

On September 21, he departed by plane from Havana for Holguín, to preside at a Papal Mass at Plaza de la Revolución. Before departing for Santiago de Cuba, he gave a blessing to the city, from Loma de la Cruz, in Holguín. Having arrived in Santiago, he met with the Bishops of Cuba at St Basil the Great Seminary, and say a prayer to the Virgen de la Caridad, with the Bishops and the Papal Entourage, at the Minor Basilica of the Shrine “Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre” in Santiago.

The next day he celebrated a Papal Mass at the Minor Basilica of the Shrine “Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre” in Santiago in the morning and later had a meeting with families at Our Lady of the Assumption Cathedral in Santiago. After a blessing of the city of Santiago from the square in front of the Cathedral of Santiago, he left with a farewell ceremony from Santiago Airport, en route to Washington, D.C., where he arrived at Joint Base Andrews during evening of September 22, 2015.

On Wednesday, September 23, the pope met with President Barack Obama at the Pope Benedict XVI in April 2008.[52]

Also that day, Francis took part in a prayer with bishops from the United States at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, the seat of Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington. Later that day, he celebrated Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, near the Catholic University of America. During the Mass, he canonized (declared to be a Saint) Blessed Father Junípero Serra, a Spanish Franciscan friar who founded a mission in Baja California, and the first nine of 21 Spanish missions in California.

On Thursday, September 24, Pope Francis gave an address to a Joint session of the United States Congress, the first Supreme Pontiff to do so. He followed that with a visit to St. Patrick's Church, the oldest parish church in Washington. The church was founded in 1794.[53] He also visited the Washington, D.C. local Catholic Charities office. He then flew from Washington, to New York City. After arriving at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, he took part with New York's Cardinal Timothy Dolan in Evening Vespers (part of the Liturgy of the Hours), at St. Patrick's Cathedral.

On Friday, September 25, Pope Francis addressed the United Nations General Assembly. It was the fifth address by a Pope to the U.N. General Assembly, following appearances by Pope Paul VI in October 1965, Pope John Paul II in October 1979 and October 1995, and Pope Benedict XVI in April 2008.

Following the address to the U.N., he participated in an ecumenical service at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, at the former World Trade Center site. In the afternoon, he visited a school in East Harlem, then celebrated a Papal Mass at Madison Square Garden.

On Saturday, September 26, Pope Francis traveled from New York to Philadelphia, where he was welcomed by city and state leaders and Philadelphia's Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. He celebrated a Papal Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. He visited Independence Mall in the afternoon, and the Festival of Families of the 2015 World Meeting of Families[54] in the early evening. The Pope's visit concluded on Sunday, September 27, with a Papal Mass in the afternoon. After a departure ceremony, he departed on a jet for Rome and the Vatican.

In honor of the visit, the Museum of the Bible will sponsor a special exhibition entitled, "Verbum Domini II,"at the Philadelphia Convention Center, adjacent to the World Meeting.[55]

The official schedule of his visit was announced at the end of June. [56]

Upcoming visits

 Kenya,  Uganda, and  Central African Republic (25 to 30 November 2015)

Pope Francis stated, aboard the papal plane returning from the Philippines, that he hopes to visit Africa late in 2015 and mentioned the Central African Republic and Uganda as likely sites.[57] The Holy See Press Office confirmed in June 2015 that the pope would visit those two countries.[58] The Vatican confirmed in September that Francis' last trip for 2015 would in fact consist of Kenya, Uganda, and the Central African Republic.[59]


 Mexico (February 2016)

Pope Francis, on 7 June 2014, accepted an invitation to visit Mexico at the behest of the Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto. In October 2015 it was confirmed by the Vatican spokesman that the Pope will travel to Mexico in early 2016. It was also confirmed that Pope Francis will visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.[60][61] On 1 November 2015, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, Archbishop of Mexico City, confirmed the pope's visit and said the pope would arrive on 12 February 2016. [62]

 Argentina,  Chile, and  Uruguay (July 2016)

Pope Francis will visit his nation and two neighbour countries during the bicentennial of the 1816 Argentine Declaration of Independence. The date was also selected to be after the 2015 presidential elections, to avoid interfering with it.[63] It has been speculated that the pope could potentially canonize Jose Gabriel del Rosario Brochero during his visit to Argentina.

 Poland (25 to 31 July 2016)

Pope Francis will visit Krakow, Poland on 25 to 31 July on the occasion of World Youth Day 2016. This was announced in 2013 at the end of the previous event.

 Armenia (2016)

President Serzh Sargsyan of Armenia extended an official invitation to Pope Francis to visit Armenia in 2015, which the pontiff readily accepted, expressing his sincere desire to visit the country. No date was given for the visit.[64] It was confirmed in 2015 that the pope would visit Armenia sometime in 2016.[65]

 Malta (2016)

President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca of Malta extended an official invitation to Pope Francis to visit Malta. The Pope did not commit himself, and no date was given for the visit.[66] It was confirmed in 2015 that the pope would visit Malta sometime in 2016.[67]


 Brazil (2017)

Before he departed Brazil after W.Y.D. 2013 the pope announced that he would return to Brazil in 2017 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the appearance of the Virgin of Aparecida.[68][69]

 Indonesia (2017)

Pope Francis will visit Indonesia on the occasion of Asian Youth Day according to the secretary-general of the Indonesian Bishops Conference, Archbishop Johannes Pujasumarta. No official details have been released yet.[70]

 Portugal (May 2017)

Bishop Antonio Marto announced that on 25 April 2015 the pope confirmed that he would visit Fátima in Portugal to mark the centenary of the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima. It was also made known that the government and Portuguese Episcopal Conference extended invitations to the pope. There is the potential possibility that the pope could also canonize Francisco and Jacinta Marto, two of the three seers of Fatima.[71][72]


 Czech Republic (2018)

President Miloš Zeman extended a visit to the pope who accepted to visit for an ecumenical meeting with leaders of the Orthodox Church. The president stated that the visit would occur in 2018.[73]

Unscheduled visits


Pope Francis is reported to have accepted to visit Germany soon when he was invited by German Chanceller Angela Merkel and President Joachim Gauck. However, in 2017, Germany will celebrate the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's Ninety-Five Theses.[74]


Pope Francis has reportedly accepted an invitation from Moncef Marzouki, the President of Tunisia, to visit that country, although no date has been set.[75]


Pope Francis confirmed to Ukrainian bishops in their ad limina visit that he would go to Ukraine for a papal visit. It was reported that an invitation by President Petro Poroshenko was also conveyed to the pope.[76]


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe invited the pontiff to visit Japan in his visit on 6 June 2013. The pope expressed his willingness to go there.[77]


King Felipe VI extended an invitation to Pope Francis to visit Spain in 2015 upon his visit in June 2014. The pope expressed his desire to visit but it was confirmed in 2015 he would not visit since he did not wish to interfere with elections. It has been hinted the visit could take place in 2016.[78]


Pope Francis reportedly expressed his desire to visit Nigeria according to President Goodluck Jonathan after the pair met in 2013.[79]


Pope Francis stated in November 2014 that he would want to visit Iraq according to Archbishop Bashar Warda but that his staff would not allow it for some time.[80]


The President of Romania Klaus Iohannis invited the pope to visit the nation to which the pope agreed to; a date must be decided upon.[81]


Pope Francis reportedly intends to visit Colombia at the earliest possible chances. It was believed that it would occur during his 2015 Latin America tour, but it was revealed that it would occur at some other point in the future.[82]


The President invited the pope to visit Croatia to which the pope agreed; the visit would occur likely in 2017. There was the possibility that the pope could canonize Blessed Aloysius Stepinac.[83]


President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi invited the pope to visit the nation in November 2014 when the pair met; the pope agreed to the visit. Pope Tawadros II also invited the pope to visit. The official ambassador delivered a formal invitation to the pope in June 2015.[84]


The Vatican announced that an official papal visit to France would take place where the pope would travel to Paris and to Lourdes. It was believed it would take place in 2015 but will in fact be placed on hold.[85]


Pope Francis personally chose Ireland to be the next host of the next World Meeting of Families scheduled for 2018, indicating his desire to visit around that time.[86]


In 2013 President Nicolas Maduro invited the pope to visit the nation to which the pontiff accepted. The pope also intends to beatify José Gregorio Hernández while he visits.[87]


On the "exposition of Jesuit Saint Francis Xavier", the Indian territory of Goa sought to have Pope Francis visit there at some stage in 2014.[88]


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  40. ^ Pope Francis Praises Morales' Gov't Upon Arrival in Bolivia teleSUR. 9 July 2015. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  41. ^ Pope Francis: I have come to confirm the faith of believers Vatican Radio. 8 July 2015. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  42. ^ Bolivia distingue a Papa Francisco y entrega obsequios Bolivia TV 8 July 2015. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  43. ^ El Santo Padre rezó por Luis Espinal y resaltó su prédica del Evangelio Bolivia TV 8 July 2015. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
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  45. ^ Papa Francisco instó a dialogar entre países hermanos teleSUR. 8 July 2015. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  46. ^ Francisco pisa tierra cruceña y es recibido por autoridades Bolivia TV 8 July 2015. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
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  48. ^ "Toma, bendice y entrega", el Papa al pueblo boliviano Radio Vaticano. 9 July 2015. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  49. ^ Pope Francis: Speech at World Meeting of Popular Movements Vatican Radio. 10 July 2015. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  50. ^ Papa Francisco: Cuando el capital se convierte en ídolo, arruina la sociedad teleSUR. 9 July 2015. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
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External links

  • Official webpage from the Vatican: Apostolic Voyages outside Italy

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