List of pastoral visits of Pope John Paul II outside Italy
During his reign, Pope John Paul II ("The Pilgrim Pope") made 104 foreign trips, more than all previous popes combined. In total he logged more than 1,167,000 km (725,000 mi). He consistently attracted large crowds on his travels, some among the largest ever assembled. While some of his trips (such as to the United States and the Holy Land) were to places previously visited by Pope Paul VI (the first pope to travel widely), many others were to countries that no pope had ever previously visited.
Pope John Paul II’s World Travels:
- Nine visits to Poland
- Eight visits to France (including one visit to Réunion)
- Seven visits to the United States (including two stopovers in Alaska)
- Five visits to Mexico and Spain
- Four visits to Brazil, Portugal, and Switzerland
- Three visits to Austria, Canada, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Czech Republic (including one visit to Czechoslovakia), Dominican Republic, Germany, Guatemala, Kenya, Malta (including one stopover in Luqa,) and Slovakia (including one visit to Czechoslovakia)
- Two visits to Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Benin, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, El Salvador, Hungary, India, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Slovenia, South Korea, Uruguay, and Venezuela
- One visit to Albania, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curaçao (then part of the Netherlands Antilles), Denmark, East Timor (then part of Indonesia), Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Guam, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Palestinian territories, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Romania, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, San Marino, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Syria, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Zambia, and Zimbabwe
The Pope's visit to Ireland on 29 September drew immense crowds. 1,250,000 people, one quarter of the population of the island of Ireland, one third of the population of the Republic of Ireland, attended the opening Mass of the visit in Dublin's Phoenix Park. Over 250,000 attended a Liturgy of the Word in Drogheda later that evening. Hundreds of thousands lined the streets of Dublin that night for a motorcade from Dublin Airport to the Presidential Residence in the Phoenix Park.
The following day, Sunday 30 September, included Masses in Galway (300,000), Knock (450,000) and a stop over at the monastic ruins of Clonmacnois (20,000). The final day of the visit began with a visit to the National Seminary in Maynooth (attended by 80,000). The final Mass of the visit was at Greenpark Racecourse in Limerick in the south of the country before 400,000 people which was more than had been expected.
John Paul II made his first visit to the United States in October 1979. He arrived in Boston on 1 October. The next two days were spent in New York City, where he addressed the United Nations General Assembly, spoke to students gathered at Madison Square Garden, and conducted Mass at the original Yankee Stadium for 75,000 people as well as at Shea Stadium to an audience of over 52,000. He arrived in Philadelphia on 3 October and Des Moines, Iowa on the next day before arriving in Chicago. There he celebrated Mass in Grant Park, met with civic leaders and Chicago's Polish community. Chicago was the largest Catholic archdiocese in the United States at the time and the home of the largest Polish community outside of Poland. He concluded his pilgrimage to the U.S. in Washington, D.C. where he became the first Pope to visit the White House. He was greeted warmly by President Jimmy Carter, and they met privately in the Oval Office.
|1||25 January-1 February 1979|| Dominican Republic
|Attended the Third General Conference of the Latin American Bishops held in Puebla|
|2||2–10 June 1979||Poland|
|3||29 September-8 October 1979|| Ireland
|Centenary of the Knock apparitions. Address at United Nations General Assembly|
|4||28–30 November 1979||Turkey|
On 2 June 1980, he made a pilgrimage to Lisieux in northern France, the home town of St. Therese of the Child Jesus of the Holy Face. In 1997 he declared St. Therese the third woman Doctor of the Church. His 1980 visit to France was the first by a pope since 1814 and his journey to West Germany in November 1980 was the first since 1782.
On 18 February 1981, he beatified several martyrs, including those later sainted, St. Lorenzo Ruiz and Magdalene of Nagasaki, in Manila. This was the first beatification to be held outside Vatican City. He became the first reigning pope to travel to the United Kingdom in 1982, where he met Queen Elizabeth II, the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. This trip was in danger of being cancelled due to the then current Falklands War (Spanish: Guerra de las Malvinas/Guerra del Atlántico Sur), against which he spoke out during the visit. In a dramatic symbolic gesture, he knelt in prayer alongside Archbishop of Canterbury Robert Runcie, in the See of the Church of England, Canterbury Cathedral, founded by St Augustine of Canterbury. They prayed at the site of the martyrdom of St. Thomas Becket, meant as a show of friendship between the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches. Pope John Paul II was the first Pontiff to visit Scotland. 300,000 of the Roman Catholic minority in that country celebrated Mass with the Pope at Bellahoustan Park. On this visit the Pope faced protest from Protestant Pastor Jack Glass and his followers. This visit had to be balanced for fairness with an unscheduled trip to Argentina that June.
Throughout his trips, he stressed his devotion to the Virgin Mary through visits to various shrines to the Virgin Mary, notably Knock in Ireland, Fatima in Portugal, Guadalupe in Mexico, and Lourdes in France.
In 1984, John Paul became the first Pope to visit Puerto Rico. Stands were specially erected for him at Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan, where he met with governor Carlos Romero Barceló, and at Plaza Las Americas.
The pope made a pastoral trip to Singapore in 1986, and was warmly received by the Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew in the Istana. Following that, the Pope made pastoral speeches concerning the Catholic doctrines in the National Stadium of Singapore, which was viewed by a large audience.
|5||2–12 May 1980|| Zaire
Republic of the Congo
|6||30 May-2 June 1980||France||Pilgrimage to Lisieux|
|7||30 June-12 July 1980||Brazil|
|8||15–19 November 1980||West Germany|
|9||16–27 February 1981|| Pakistan
|Beatified Lorenzo Ruiz in Manila. Includes stopovers in Karachi and Anchorage; 2nd visit to US|
|10||12–19 February 1982|| Nigeria
|11||12–15 May 1982||Portugal|
|12||28 May-2 June 1982||United Kingdom|
|13||10–13 June 1982|| Brazil
|Includes stopover in Rio de Janeiro; 2nd visit to Brazil. Argentina was at war at the time.|
|14||15 June 1982||Switzerland||Addressed the 68th Session of the International Workers Conference|
|15||29 August 1982||San Marino|
|16||31 October-9 November 1982||Spain||400th anniversary of Teresa of Ávila|
|17||2–10 March 1983|| Portugal
|Includes stopover in Lisbon; 2nd visit to Portugal|
|18||16–23 June 1983||Poland||2nd visit|
|19||14–15 August 1983||France||Lourdes; 2nd visit to France|
|20||10–13 September 1983||Austria|
|21||2–12 May 1984|| United States
Papua New Guinea
|Canonization of 103 martyrs in Seoul, Korea. Includes stopover in Fairbanks; 3rd visit to US|
|22||12–17 June 1984||Switzerland||2nd visit|
|23||9–20 September 1984||Canada|
|24||10–13 October 1984|| Spain
|2nd visit to Spain|
|25||26 January-6 February 1985|| Ecuador
Trinidad and Tobago
|26||11–21 May 1985|| Netherlands
|27||8–19 August 1985|| Togo
Central African Republic
|28||8 September 1985|| Switzerland
|Kloten; 3rd visit to Switzerland|
|29||31 January-10 February 1986||India|
|30||1–8 July 1986|| Colombia
|31||4–7 October 1986||France||3rd visit to France, including Lyon and other five cities|
|32||18 November-1 December 1986|| Bangladesh
|33||31 March-13 April 1987|| Chile
|Celebration of World Youth Day in Buenos Aires|
|34||30 April-4 May 1987||West Germany||Beatification in Cologne|
|35||8–14 June 1987||Poland||3rd visit.|
|36||10–21 September 1987|| United States
|4th visit to US; Visited Miami, Columbia, South Carolina, New Orleans, San Antonio, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Monterey, San Francisco, Detroit), and Fort Simpson, NT|
|37||7–19 May 1988|| Uruguay
|38||23–27 June 1988||Austria|
|39||10–20 September 1988|| Zimbabwe
|South Africa was excluded from the itinerary because of apartheid, although the flight to Maseru Airport was redirected to Johannesburg Airport and the pope travelled overland to Lesotho.|
|40||8–11 October 1988||France||Alsace-Lorraine; 4th visit to France|
|41||28 April-6 May 1989|| Madagascar
|5th visit to France; Réunion|
|42||1–10 June 1989|| Norway
|43||19–21 August 1989||Spain||Celebration of World Youth Day in Santiago de Compostela; 3rd visit to Spain|
|44||6–10 October 1989|| South Korea
|44th International Eucharistic Congress of Seoul. East Timor was a province of Indonesia at the time of this visit|
The Pope's foreign travel programme for 1994 was suspended due to a fall resulting in hip-replacement surgery. Visits to Belgium, the United States, and Lebanon were cancelled as a result. The visits to Belgium and the United States took place in 1995, while the visit to Lebanon was delayed until 1997.
There was a plot to assassinate the Pope during his visit to Manila in January 1995, as part of Operation Bojinka, a mass terrorist attack that was developed by Al-Qaeda members Ramzi Yousef and Khalid Sheik Mohammed. A suicide bomber dressed as a priest and planned to use the disguise to get closer to the Pope's motorcade so that he could kill the Pope by detonating himself. Before 15 January, the day on which the men were to attack the Pope during his Philippine visit, an apartment fire brought investigators led by Aida Fariscal to Yousef's laptop computer, which had terrorist plans on it, as well as clothes and items that suggested an assassination plot. Yousef was arrested in Pakistan about a month later, but Khalid Sheik Mohammed was not arrested until 2003. During this trip to the Philippines, on 15 January 1995, the Pope offered Mass to an estimated crowd of 4–5 million in Luneta Park, Manila, the largest papal crowd ever. On 19 September 1996, the Pope traveled to Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre, France to meditate and pray st the adjacent tombs of Saint Louis de Montfort and Blessed Marie Louise Trichet. On 22 March 1998, during his second visit to Nigeria, he beatified the Nigerian monk Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi. In 1999, John Paul II made a final trip to the United States, this time celebrating Mass in St. Louis in the Edward Jones Dome. Over 104,000 people attended the 27 January Mass, making it the biggest indoor gathering in the United States.
|45||25 January-1 February 1990|| Cape Verde
|46||21–22 April 1990||Czechoslovakia|
|47||6–14 May 1990|| Mexico
|2nd visit to Mexico|
|48||25–27 May 1990||Malta|
|49||1–10 September 1990|| Malta
|Includes stopover in Luqa;
Consecration of the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro
|50||10–13 May 1991||Portugal||Fátima, Portugal; 3rd visit to Portugal|
|51||1–9 June 1991||Poland||4th visit|
|52||13–20 August 1991|| Poland
|Celebration of World Youth Day in Częstochowa; 5th visit to Poland|
|53||12–21 October 1991||Brazil||3rd visit; eight cities including Brazilia|
|54||19–26 February 1992|| Senegal
|55||4–10 June 1992|| Angola
São Tomé and Príncipe
|500th anniversary of mission in Angola|
|56||9–14 October 1992||Dominican Republic||4th Latin American Episcopal Conference|
|57||3–10 February 1993|| Benin
|58||25 April 1993||Albania|
|59||12–17 June 1993||Spain||45th International Eucharistic Congress in Sevilla; 4th visit to Spain|
|60||9–16 August 1993|| Jamaica
|3rd visit to Mexico. 5th visit to US; Celebration of World Youth Day in Denver|
|61||4–10 September 1993|| Lithuania
|Visit to the Hill of Crosses|
|62||10–11 September 1994||Croatia||900th anniversary of the Archdiocese of Zagreb|
|63||11–21 January 1995|| Philippines
Papua New Guinea
|Celebration of World Youth Day 1995 in Manila; Largest papal crowd ever.|
|64||20–22 May 1995|| Czech Republic
|Canonization of John Sarkander in Olomouc, Czech. And 6th visit to Poland|
|65||3–4 June 1995||Belgium||Beatification of Father Damien|
|66||30 June-3 July 1995||Slovakia|
|67||14–20 September 1995|| Cameroon
|68||4–9 October 1995||United States||6th visit to US; Visited Newark, East Rutherford, New York City, the United Nations, Yonkers, and Baltimore|
|69||5–12 February 1996|| Guatemala
|70||14 April 1996||Tunisia|
|71||17–19 May 1996||Slovenia|
|72||21–23 June 1996||Germany||Visited Paderborn and Berlin|
|73||6–7 September 1996||Hungary||1,000th anniversary of Pannonhalma Archabbey's foundation|
|74||19–22 September 1996||France||6th visit to France|
|75||12–13 April 1997||Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|76||25–27 April 1997||Czech Republic||1,000th anniversary of Adalbert of Prague's martyrdom|
|77||10–11 May 1997||Lebanon|
|78||31 May -10 June 1997||Poland||46th International Eucharistic Congress in Wrocław; 7th visit to Poland|
|79||21–24 August 1997||France||Celebration of the 12th World Youth Day in Paris; 7th visit to France|
|80||2–6 October 1997||Brazil||4th visit|
|81||21–26 January 1998||Cuba|
|82||21–23 March 1998||Nigeria|
|83||19 June 1998||Austria|
|84||2–4 October 1998||Croatia||Beatified Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac|
|85||22–28 January 1999|| Mexico
|4th visit to Mexico. 7th visit to US; Visit to St. Louis for the Closing of the Special Assembly for America of the Synod of Bishops|
|86||7–9 May 1999||Romania|
|87||5–17 June 1999||Poland||Beatification of 108 Martyrs of World War II in Warsaw; 8th visit to Poland|
|88||19 September 1999||Slovenia||Beatification in Maribor|
|89||5–9 November 1999|| India
In May 2001, the Pontiff took a pilgrimage that would trace the steps of his co-namesake, Saint Paul, across the Mediterranean, from Greece to Syria to Malta. John Paul II became the first Pope to visit Greece in 1291 years. The visit was controversial, and the Pontiff was met with protests and snubbed by Eastern Orthodox leaders, none of whom met his arrival.
In Athens, the Pope met with Archbishop Christodoulos, the head of the Greek Orthodox Church in Greece. After a private 30 minute meeting, the two spoke publicly. Christodoulos read a list of "13 offences" of the Roman Catholic Church against the Orthodox Church since the Great Schism, including the pillaging of Constantinople by crusaders in 1204. He also bemoaned the lack of any apology from the Roman Catholic Church, saying that "until now, there has not been heard a single request for pardon" for the "maniacal crusaders of the 13th century".
The Pope responded by saying, "For the occasions past and present, when sons and daughters of the Catholic Church have sinned by action or omission against their Orthodox brothers and sisters, may the Lord grant us forgiveness", to which Christodoulos immediately applauded. John Paul also said that the sacking of Constantinople was a source of "deep regret" for Catholics.
Later, John Paul and Christodoulos met on a spot where Saint Paul had once preached to Athenian Christians. They issued a "common declaration", saying, "We shall do everything in our power, so that the Christian roots of Europe and its Christian soul may be preserved. ... We condemn all recourse to violence, proselytism and fanaticism, in the name of religion." The two leaders then said the Lord's Prayer together, breaking an Orthodox taboo against praying with Catholics.
In September 2001 amid post-September 11 concerns, he travelled to Kazakhstan, with an audience of largely Muslims, and to Armenia, to participate in the celebration of the 1700 years of Christianity in that nation. The Pope's final visit was to the Marian Shrine of Lourdes in the south of France.
|90||24–26 February 2000||Egypt||Great Jubilee pilgrimage to Mount Sinai|
|91||20–26 March 2000|| Jordan
|Great Jubilee pilgrimage to the Holy Land|
|92||12–13 May 2000||Portugal||Great Jubilee pilgrimage to the Marian shrine in Fátima; 4th visit to Portugal|
|93||4–9 May 2001|| Greece
|94||23–27 June 2001||Ukraine|
|95||22–27 September 2001|| Kazakhstan
|96||22–26 May 2002|| Azerbaijan
|97||23 July - 2 August 2002|| Canada
|Celebration of the 17th World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto. Canonization of Juan Diego; 5th visit to Mexico|
|98||16–19 August 2002||Poland||9th visit|
|99||3–4 May 2003||Spain||Canonization in Madrid; 5th visit to Spain|
|100||5–9 June 2003||Croatia|
|101||22 June 2003||Bosnia and Herzegovina||Beatification in Banja Luka|
|102||11–14 September 2003||Slovakia|
|103||5–6 June 2004||Switzerland||Bern; 4th visit to Switzerland|
|104||14–15 August 2004||France||Lourdes; 8th visit to France|
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- Bonavia, Carmel G. (18 April 2010). "MaltaPost Pope Benedict XVI commemorative stamp set". The Malta Independent. Archived from the original on 2011-11-06. "Quite unexpectedly, Pope John Paul II was in Malta again for a couple of hours during a stopover at Luqa Airport while on his way to Tanzania on 1 September 1990."
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- Weigel, George (2005). Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II. Harper Perennial. p. 350. ISBN 0060732032. "On the night of his UN address, John Paul celebrated Mass for 75,000 in Yankee Stadium."
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- Sullivan, Robert (2000). Pope John Paul II A Tribute. Life. p. 85. ISBN 0821226770.
- Weigell p. 435: "The hurriedly arranged papal visit became an opportunity to offer encouragement to a people suffering a bitter defeat."
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- Chidi (22 March 1998). "Blessed Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi". Afrikaworld.net. Archived from the original on 2013-06-30. Retrieved 6 May 2009.
- "God Bless America! Pope Bids Farewell". Eternal Word Television Network. 28 January 1999. Archived from the original on 2013-06-30. Retrieved 30 June 2013. "Lines several deep wrapped around the Trans World Dome, home of the St. Louis Rams, to enter a temporary cathedral for what is believed to be the largest indoor gathering ever in the United States."
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- 1987 Papal visit to Fort Simpson NWT