Pope Francis was elected as the 266th pope on March 13, 2013. Since then, he has made a splash as a more inclusive and more progressive pope than his predecessors, even earning the royal American treatment of gracing the cover of Rolling Stone in February 2014 .
Come September 22nd, the pope is making a historic visit to Washington DC, followed by visits to New York and then Philly for the World Meeting of Families.
Why is this news? Whether you are Catholic, Episcopalian, Pagan or atheist, the power and political influence of the pope — as a world leader — in undeniable. After all, the Vatican is it’s own sovereign entity. And when the pope touches on international relations, gay rights, reproductive rights, or any other issue of note, he has a built-in, 1.2 billion audience.
This is going to be a monumental event, sure to draw millions of visitors to DC. If you are interested in seeing the pope, take a careful look at his DC schedule. If you are not interesting in seeing the pope, it may be a good idea to take a look at the schedule just so you know which way to wave of crowds will be moving.
Some of the highlights of Pope Francis’s trip include a private meeting with President Obama and a welcoming ceremony at the South Lawn of White House; and an address to a join session of Congress—an event considered historic because it will be the first time that a reigning pontiff has addressed Congress.
Interesting facts about Pope Francis:
- He is the second most followed world leader on Twitter, behind the leader of the free world—President Obama;
- Born in Argentina, he is the first non-European pope to be elected since the year 741;
- He is the first member of the Jesuit order to become pope;
- He is fluent in Spanish, Latin and Italian, and he understands German, French, Portuguese, English, and Ukrainian;
- He loves soccer and tango dancing;
- And he will be just the third pope in history to visit Washington DC.
For more information about the pope’s schedule and tickets to events surrounding his visit, please click here.