(ROME) — Pope Francis is to make his first trip to the United States as the head of the Catholic Church in September, the Vatican said Monday.
He will travel to the World Meeting of the Families, said Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi. The Catholic public event, which celebrates the family as the basic building block of society, is to be held in Philadelphia next year.
“It is the answer to the countless prayers of so many people who have asked God to guide Pope Francis to Philadelphia, the culmination of many months of hopeful anticipation, and the fulfillment of my own confidence that the Holy Father would grace us with his presence next year,” Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput said in a statement.
At a news conference, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter heralded the occasion as “something truly to be excited about.”
“Pope Francis has demonstrated grace, vision and wisdom…
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