Belfast Telegraph

Pope Francis confirms trip to Ireland in August 2018 - first papal visit in 40 years

Destined to be Pope - Jorge Mario Bergoglio as a teenager, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Destined to be Pope - Jorge Mario Bergoglio as a teenager, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Sergio Rubin, Mario Jose Bergoglio, center, the father of Pope Francis, not in picture, poses for a portrait with his father Juan Bergoglio, left, and his mother Magarita Vasallo in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Pope Francis (Jorge Mario Bergoglio) left, and his late brother Oscar, posing for a photo in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Priest Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pope Francis) right, and priest Pedro Arupe give a Mass at the church in the El Salvador school in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pope Francis)Archbishop of Buenos Aires, second from left in back row, poses for a picture with his family in an unknown location.
Priest Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pope Francis)
Regina Maria Sivori and Mario Jose Bergoglio, the parents of Pope Francis
Pope Francis will visit Ireland in August (Tim Rooke/PA)

Pope Francis has said he will make the first papal visit to Ireland in near 40 years.

The Pope will visit Dublin on August 25 and 26 as the city hosts of the World Meeting of Families, an international Catholic event which is staged every three years.

Pope John Paul II was the last pontiff to visit the Republic of Ireland in 1979.

There had been speculation that the pope (81) would also visit Northern Ireland, whose leaders had floated the idea of a papal visit.

The World Meeting of Families is taking place in Dublin August 21-26. The pope (81) will preside at the closing ceremonies on the final two days.

He will take part in the ‘Festival of Families’ in Croke Park on August 25 and the following day he will celebrate mass in the Phoenix Park.

The Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference has welcomed the news and said they are "deeply honoured" that the pontiff has chosen to come to Dublin.

“We are deeply honoured that Pope Francis will come to our country to participate in this universal Church celebration of faith and joy, as well as of the contemporary challenges which face families," the bishops said in a statement.

"With great anticipation we also look forward to hearing the apostolic guidance of His Holiness during his stay with us.”

Full details of the pope's visit will be released at a later date.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pope Francis), right, posing with unidentified schoolmates of a preparatory school in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pope Francis), right, posing with unidentified schoolmates of a preparatory school in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Pope Francis addresses the faithful in Rome
Pope Francis addresses the faithful in Rome
Pope Francis will visit Ireland in August (Tim Rooke/PA)

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