Belfast Telegraph

Pope Francis will visit Baltic nations to mark their centenaries

Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia declared independence from Russia in 1918 but were later incorporated into the Soviet Union until 1991.

Pope Francis will visit Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia on September 22-25 as the three Baltic nations celebrate their 100th anniversaries.

The Vatican confirmed the trip on Friday, saying Francis would visit Vilnius and Kaunas in Lithuania, Riga and Aglona in Latvia, and Tallinn in Estonia.

Lithuania has the largest Catholic community in the Baltics, accounting for more than 75% of the nation’s nearly three million inhabitants.

The three Baltic nations declared their independence from Russia in 1918 but were incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1940 and remained part of it until 1991.

Francis has only one other confirmed trip for the rest of 2018, to Geneva in June.

He is widely expected to go to Ireland in August for the World Meeting of Families.

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