Shortly after 3 am this morning EST, the Vatican announced that Pope Francis will indeed be making a visit to the city of brotherly love. This will be his first scheduled visit to the U.S since being appointed pope in March 2013.
It had long been rumored that the Pope Francis would be making an appearance in Philly to attend the Festival of Families which will take place September of next year. While rumors of the pope’s visit were swirling, many catholic followers in Philadelphia were encouraging the pope to make the trip including students in the Archdiocese who sent 10,000 letters to the Vatican.
The Festival of Families is held every three years and is billed the largest international gathering of Catholic families. Philadelphia which will host the festival next year will have the distinct honor or being the first city in the United States to host it. The previous seven festivals were held in the Philippines, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, and Italy.
Having such an important religious gathering backed by the the most popular figurehead of any religion is sure to bring in an enormous amount of followers to the city. Officials have estimated that over 1 million people will be attending Mass which is usually held on the last day of the festival.
Although the exact dates of the pope’s visit have not been announced it is speculated that Pope Francis will be attending the last two days of the Festival of Families. We will keep you updated with any new developments.