What Pope Francis Does the Other 95% of September – EpicPew

What Pope Francis Does the Other 95% of September

Pope Francis will visit the US this week. This marks his first visit to the US since his papacy began in 2013. He will visit the White House, address Congress, attend the World Meeting on Families, and immerse himself in a spectrum of other engagements.

When the details of his visit became public, the rarity of this trip became apparent as all modern pontiffs spent the majority of their time at the Vatican. Pope John Paul II, the most traveled of modern pontiffs, visited 129 countries and the US seven times during his 27-year papacy. These visits totaled 104 trips which averages down to three to four trips away from the 109-acre Vatican and surrounding area per year. With Pope John Paul II as the most traveled pontiff, this leaves all other popes spending even more time in the Vatican.

So with Pope Francis on a two-nation trip away from his normal schedule, let’s look at what the rest of September holds for him:

1. World Meeting for Young Religious


Pope Francis invited over 5,000 young religious to the mid-September conference. This four-day conference celebrated the Year of Consecrated life and allowed young religious to ask Pope Francis questions. In his address, he warns the audience of the “comforts of religious life” but also shares the joys and happiness of religious life. You can find a portion of the address here.

2. General Audience

Day 2 Rome. St. Peter's Square

Every Wednesday, Pope Francis addresses the crowd in St. Peter’s Square. Tickets are free. Pope Francis mainly addresses the audience in Italian, but also includes other languages as appropriate. He shares teachings and readings and also gives the Papal Blessing. Special tickets can even be requested for a personal greeting with the pope for newlyweds.

3. Letters

Mailing stuff from the most useless mailbox ever

Pope Francis corresponds with letters. Check out this one: “Letter to the Special Envoy at the celebration for the dedication of the new Cathedral of Créteil (France)“. The Vatican website publishes these exchanges but typically lacks a translation. The languages and purposes vary with many of the letters in Italian. You’ll need Latin to read “Letter to the Special Envoy…”, so study up!

4. Reaching out to refugees

St. Peter's Square, Vatican, Rome, May 2015

With the ongoing refugee crisis, Pope Francis called upon people to care for refugees. The Vatican recently welcomed at least one refugee family and asked European churches to adopt and support at least one family. Multiple sources cite Pope Francis as saying, “The closed couple, the closed family, the closed group, the closed parish, the closed country, that comes from us, it has nothing to do with God.”

5. Meetings and Addresses

Empty seats at Vatican

Pope Francis’s September schedule includes a cornucopia of meetings. He met multiple times with groups concerning the environment, pastoral outreach, and migration. He also spends time addressing various groups including a video message to Hungarian refugees. You can read many of these interactions straight off the Vatican’s website with a little help from Google translate.