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Pope Francis’ special messages from previous papal visits

Brazil July 22-29 2013

This was his first foreign trip as Pope during which he celebrated mass at the Copacabana beach and urged young Catholics not to be afraid of serving Christ. The visit was marked with protests by female activists in support of abortion and women’s rights. During a vigil address Pope Francis urged pilgrims not to be part time Christians but instead to lead a full meaningful life.

Jordan May 24 2014

During his trip to Jordan the Pope talked of the need for religious tolerance stating, “The mission of the Holy Spirit is to beget harmony… and to create peace in different situations and between different people.” Jordan has a majority Muslim community and significant Christian community and is characterized by a lot of political differences.


In Jerusalem, the Pope met the city’s chief rabbis, the Western Wall and Vad Vashem, a memorial to the holocaust. He also laid a wreath on the grave of the founder of modern Zionism, Theodor Herzl and celebrated mass at the site of the Last Supper.


In Bethlehem, the Pope visited children from refugee camps, celebrated mass in Manger Square and had lunch with Palestinian families before visiting the site of Jesus’ birth.

South Korea August 14-18 2014

In South Korea, the Pope harbored a message of peace and reconciliation. In the speech addressed to Park and senior officials, the Pope said peace and good ties between the North and South Koreas had implications for “the stability of the entire area and indeed of the whole war-weary world.”

Albania September 21, 2014

This was Pope Francis’ first European trip since he became pope, he said he chose Albania as his first destination because it had set a model for harmony between various religions in the country including Muslims, Orthodox, Jewish and Catholics.

France November 25, 2014

This was the shortest papal visit as he just went to Strasbourg to address the European Parliament calling for a united response to help migrants arriving in Europe.

Turkey November 28-30, 2014

During this visit he appealed for unity between the Catholic and Orthodox churches even holding a joint prayer service with the Eumenical Partriach Barthlomew. The pope at some point during the service bowed to Barthlomew and asked for his blessing while assuring the Orthodox faithful that unity would not mean “submission of one to the other or assimilation.”

Sri Lanka January 13-15, 2015

During this visit Pope Francis canonized the nation’s first saint St Joseph whose canonization was first tracked as only one miracle of an Indian woman whose baby was in danger and was saved is attributed to Joseph Vaz.

Philippines January 15-19, 2015

For this trip a three day holiday was declared to clear traffic in Manila where the Pope during a public mass called upon the church to embrace the poor. The mass was attended by the largest crowd ever witnessed according to Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi who estimated the number to be between 6 to 7 million.

Bosnia and Herzegovina June 6, 2015

Pope Francis’ one day visit was aimed at encouraging Bosnia’s catholic population as well as “give rise to the development of good and contribute to the consolidation of brotherhood and peace, inter-religious dialogue and friendship.”

Ecuador July 5-8, 2015

During this trip Pope Francis urged all people to take care of the environment. He celebrated two masses and later visited an elderly home in Ecuador’s highland capital Quito.

Bolivia July 8-10, 2015

Pope Francis’ spoke during the World Meeting of Popular Movements in Santa Cruz. It was during this visit that he engaged in what was perhaps the most daring activity and visited a notoriously violent, corrupt and drug inhabited Palmasola prison where he urged prisoners not to despair. He also told the prison officials to rehabilitate prisoners and not humiliate them.

Paraguay July 10-12, 2015

Pope Francis urged Christians in Paraguay to avoid being selfish and put hospitality into practice during one of the public masses he celebrated during his visit. He visited a Paraguay slum and a pediatric hospital in Asuncion.

Cuba September 19-22, 2015

During this visit, Pope Francis met briefly with former Cuban President Fidel Castro, then held a longer meeting with his brother, current President Raul Castro. He urged the people and government of Cuba to protect the most vulnerable in the society; children, youth and the elderly.

USA September 22-27, 2015

During this visit Pope Francis met a gay couple at the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington DC and visited a prison in Philadelphia on the last day of his visit.