List of pastoral visits of Pope Francis outside Italy

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Pastoral visits of Pope Francis

This is a list of pastoral visits of Pope Francis outside Italy.

Francis does not travel much, and he did not travel extensively before he was named Pope. According to Vatican correspondents Lucio Brunelli and Gianni Valente, he considers that part of the pastoral work of priests involves staying close to their churches and not leaving them for long durations.

Francis and Pope John XXIII are the only popes within the past eighty years who had never travelled to the United States before being appointed popes.[1]


 Brazil (July 22 to 29, 2013)[edit]

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.[2] Throughout the celebrations, Francis gathered up to 3.5 million pilgrims to celebrate mass at Copacabana Beach.[3] During his vigil address on Saturday, Francis urged the pilgrims not to be "part-time Christians", but to lead full, meaningful lives.[4] The trip was previously scheduled for his predecessor, Benedict XVI, before his resignation.[5]


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

Francis visited Amman, Bethlehem and Jerusalem during his three day trip to the region (May 24 to May 26). The trip was announced during the Sunday Angelus on January 5, 2014.[6][7] Francis arrived in Jordan on May 24 and after meeting with King Abdullah II, celebrated mass at Amman International Stadium.[8] During his trip, Francis prayed at the Israeli West Bank barrier and also visited the Victims of Acts of Terror Memorial with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.[9] Francis concluded his tour by meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew I to continue inter-faith dialogue with the Orthodox Church.[10]

 South Korea (August 14 to 18, 2014)[edit]

Pope Francis travels through Gwangwhamun Square during the beatification ceremony.

Pope Francis arrived in Seoul Air Base on the 14 August to start his five day visit to South Korea on the occasion of the Sixth Asian Youth Day.[11] Upon arrival, Francis was greeted by South Korean President Park Geun-hye.[12] Afterwards, Francis held a private meeting with the families of victims of the MV Sewol ferry disaster.[13] 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." [14] Francis held the first public mass of his trip on the 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."[15] 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.[16] Francis concluded his five day visit with a Mass for peace and reconciliation of the divided Korean peninsula in Seoul's Myeongdong Cathedral.[17]

 Albania (September 21, 2014)[edit]

Pope Francis announced in his Angelus address on June 15, 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".[18] 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.[19]

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 and Orthodox and Catholic Christians.

During his stay, the 77-year-old Argentine pontiff 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.[20]

 France I (November 25, 2014)[edit]

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 November 25 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.[21]

 Turkey (November 28 to 30, 2014)[edit]

Pope Francis accepted an invitation to visit Turkey at the behest of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in September 2014. This invitation also came from Patriarch Bartholomew I in order to commemorate the feast day of Saint Andrew.[22] Francis arrived at Esenboğa International Airport on 28 November where he was met by Turkish dignitaries before he traveled to Anıtkabir, laying a wreath in memory of the Turkish republic's founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.[23] Francis then traveled to the Presidential Palace where he met with President Erdoğan and gave a speech urging interfaith dialogue to counter fanaticism and fundamentalism and called for a renewed Middle-East peace push, saying the region had "for too long been a theatre of fratricidal wars".[24] The following day, Francis visited the Blue Mosque where he prayed silently alongside senior Islamic clerics.[25] Francis concluded his visit with a liturgy in the Church of St. George alongside Bartholomew I, asking for his blessing "for me and the Church of Rome" and also urging the re-unification between the two Churches, telling the Orthodox faithful gathered in St George's that "I want to assure each one of you gathered here that, to reach the desired goal of full unity, the Catholic Church does not intend to impose any conditions except that of the shared profession of faith,".[26]

Upcoming visits[edit]


 Sri Lanka and  Philippines (January 12 to 19, 2015)[edit]

Pope Francis will visit Sri Lanka (12-15) and the Philippines (15-19) in January.[27][28][29]

 France II (2015)[edit]

Pope Francis has scheduled an official papal visit to France where he shall travel to Paris and to Lourdes.[30]

 United States (September 2015)[edit]

Pope Francis has announced a possible intention to visit the United States in Philadelphia on the occasion of the World Meeting of Families which is slated for 22-27 September. The Vatican has also announced that the Pope was considering a visit to New York City, the United Nations and Washington D.C. but no official date has been set for his visit.[31] The pope himself confirmed that he would visit Philadelphia and New York City but no date was specified.[32]


 Philippines (January 24 to 31, 2016)[edit]

Pope Francis will visit the Philippines on January 24 to January 31 on the occasion of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress.[29]

 Argentina,  Chile, and  Uruguay (July 2016)[edit]

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.[33]

 Poland (July 25 to 31, 2016)[edit]

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

Unscheduled visits[edit]


Pope Francis, on 7 June 2014, accepted an invitation to visit Mexico at the behest of the Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto. The date of the visit has not yet been announced.[34]


Pope Francis has reportedly accepted an invitation from Moncef Marzouki, the President of Tunisia, to visit that country, although no date has been set.[35]


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.[36]


On the "exposition of Jesuit St Francis Xavier", the Indian territory of Goa sought to have Pope Francis visit there at some stage in 2014.[37]


  1. ^ "Why Bergoglio travels so little". Vatican Insider. March 29, 2014. Retrieved May 6, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Pilgrims meet Pope Francis in Brazil". RTE. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  3. ^ "Fr. Lombardi: Brazil is the only scheduled foreign trip for Pope Francis in 2013". Vatican Radio. 25 April 2013. Retrieved 27 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Pope Francis celebrates Brazil Mass on Copacabana beach". BBC. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Pope Francis to visit the Holy Land - Europe". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 2014-05-19. 
  7. ^ "Pope leaves Holy Land after hectic three-day tour". Haaretz Group. 2014-05-26. Retrieved May 27, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Crowds welcome Pope Francis to Jordan at start of Holy Land trip". CNN. Retrieved 1 June 2014. 
  9. ^ "The Pope's Holy-Land Trip Wasn't About the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict". The Atlantic. Retrieved 1 June 2014. 
  10. ^ "Why the meeting between pope and patriarch in Jerusalem matters". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 June 2014. 
  11. ^ "Pope Francis Arrives in South Korea on First Trip to Asia as Pontiff". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  12. ^ "Pope Francis urges dialogue as he begins South Korea visit". BBC. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  13. ^ "Pope meets families bereaved by Korean ferry disaster". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  14. ^ "Pope prays for peace but North Korea fires projectiles". South Korea News.Net. 14 August 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  15. ^ "Pope Francis Holds First Public Mass in South Korea". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  16. ^ "800,000 South Koreans flock to Pope Francis mass in Seoul". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 August 2014. 
  17. ^ "Pope Francis Wraps Up Inaugural Asian Trip". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  18. ^ "Pope to visit Albania". Vatican Radio. June 15, 2014. Retrieved June 15, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Pope Francis starts series of European visits with Albania". Irish Times. Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Pope Francis complains of 'haggard' Europe in Strasbourg". BBC. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  22. ^ "Pope Francis To Visit Turkey In November Following Invitations From Erdogan, Bartholomew". Huffington Post. 9 September 2014. Retrieved 11 September 2014. 
  23. ^ "Pope Francis condemns IS: 'Those who spread violence and savagery are in a state of rebellion against Allah'". Irish Independent. Retrieved 28 November 2014. 
  24. ^ "Pope Francis in Turkey urges faiths to combat fanaticism". BBC. Retrieved 28 November 2014. 
  25. ^ "Pope Francis prays at Blue Mosque during Turkey visit". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 29 November 2014. 
  26. ^ "Pope Francis issues call for unity". Irish Independent. Retrieved 30 November 2014. 
  27. ^ "His Holiness Pope Francis is to visit Sri Lanka in January next year.". 2014-05-20. Retrieved 2014-05-20. 
  28. ^ "Pope Francis to visit Sri Lanka". 2014-02-10. Retrieved 2014-05-20. 
  29. ^ a b
  30. ^ "Pope Francis to visit Paris and Lourdes next year". Catholic Herald. 7 October 2014. Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  31. ^ "Pope Francis is coming to America in September 2015: Philadelphia's archbishop". Daily News. 25 July 2014. Retrieved 26 July 2014. 
  32. ^ "Pope Francis will make NYC stop during 2015 U.S. visit". New York Daily News. 17 November 2014. Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  33. ^ "Detalles de la visita de Francisco a la Argentina" [Details of the visit of Francis to Argentina] (in Spanish). Clarín. May 17, 2014. Retrieved May 19, 2014. 
  34. ^ "Pope Francis accepts invitation to visit Mexico". Fox News Latino. 7 June 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  35. ^ "Vatican confirms papal trip to Turkey in November". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved 13 September 2014. 
  36. ^ "Pope Francis accepts invitation to visit Armenia". Public Radio of Armenia. Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  37. ^ Paul, Cithara (2013-06-30). "BJP, Church bid to bring Pope to Goa raises hopes of new ties". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 2014-05-19. 

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