Pope Francis in the Western Wall in Jerusalem, 2014
Pope Francis in the Western Wall in Jerusalem, 2014

Papal travel outside Rome has been historically rare, and voluntary travel of the Pope was non-existent for the first 500 years. Pope John Paul II (1978–2005) undertook more pastoral trips than all his predecessors combined. Pope Francis (2013–present), Pope Paul VI (1963–1978) and Pope Benedict XVI (2005–2013) also travelled globally, the latter to a lesser extent due to his advanced age.

Popes resided outside Rome—primarily in Viterbo, Orvieto, and Perugia—during the 13th century, and then absconded to France during the Avignon Papacy (1309–1378). Pope Vigilius (537–555) in 547, Pope Agatho (678–681) in 680, and Pope Constantine in 710 visited Constantinople, whereas Pope Martin I (649–655) was abducted there for trial in 653. Pope Stephen II (752–757) became the first pope to cross the Alps in 752 to crown Pepin the Short; Pope Pius VII repeated the feat over a millennium later to crown Napoleon.

The Palais des Papes in Avignon
The Palais des Papes in Avignon

Travel before the Second Vatican Council

Outside Rome, within Italy

Pope Clement I, the first pope recorded to have left Rome as pope
Pope Clement I, the first pope recorded to have left Rome as pope

Pope Clement I was exiled to Chersonesos Taurica by Roman emperor Trajan and then martyred into the Black Sea, according to apocryphal accounts circa 99. Pope Pontian (230–235) died in exile in Sardinia, but resigned his pontificate before leaving the city. Pope Cornelius (251–253) died after a year of exile in Civitavecchia, 80 km from Rome. Pope Liberius (352–366) was the first pope to get far from the city as pope when he was exiled to Beroea in Thrace by Roman Emperor Constantius II.[1] Pope John I (523–526) became the first pope to willfully travel outside Rome when he sailed for Constantinople in 523.[2]

Pope Clement II (1046–1047) was the first pope consecrated outside Rome.[3] Pope Urban II (1088–1099) became the first pope to travel extensively outside Rome.[4] Elected in Terracina, Urban II held synods in Amalfi, Benevento, and Troia. He preached the First Crusade at the Council of Clermont (1095) in Clermont-Ferrand. Prior to this, Pope Leo IX (1049–1054) had been the last pope to cross the Alps for 50 years.[5]

Although the cardinals have historically gathered at a handful of other locations within Rome and beyond, only six elections since 1455 have been held outside the Apostolic Palace, Twenty-eight papal elections have been held outside Rome, in: Terracina (1088), Cluny (1119), Velletri (1181), Verona (1185), Ferrara (Oct. 1187), Pisa (Dec. 1187), Perugia (1216, 1264–1265, 1285, 1292–1294, 1304–1305), Anagni (1243), Naples (1254, 1294), Viterbo (1261, 1268–1271, July 1276, Aug.–Sept. 1276, 1277, 1281–1282), Arezzo (Jan. 1276), Carpentras/Lyon (1314–1316), Avignon (1334, 1342, 1352, 1362, 1370), Konstanz (1417) and Venice (1799–1800).[6]

Outside Italy, within Europe

Constantinople

Main article: Byzantine Papacy

Pope John I (523–526) in 523 (as a delegate of Theodoric the Great), Pope Vigilius (537–555) in 547 (called by Justinian I to account for his refusal to sign on to the canons of the Council of Chalcedon), Pope Agatho (678–681) in 680 (attending the Third Council of Constantinople), and Pope Constantine in 710 visited Constantinople (called by Justinian II), whereas Pope Martin I (649–653) was abducted there for trial in 653 following the Lateran Council of 649. Constantine was the last pope to visit Constantinople until Pope Paul VI did again in 1967.[7][8]

France

Main article: Frankish Papacy

Pope Stephen II (752–757) became the first pope to cross the Alps in 752 to crown Pepin the Short. This made him the first pope to visit the Frankish empire.[9] Pope John VIII (872–882) visited France in 878, and Pope Leo IX (1049–1054) travelled to France on September 29, 1049.[10] The next pope to enter France was Pope Urban II (1088–1099), who stopped at Valence and Le Puy on his way to the Council of Clermont (1095).[11]

Pope Pius VII (1800–1823) was in Paris in 1804 for the Coronation of Napoleon I.[12]

Holy Roman Empire

Main article: History of the Papacy (1048–1257)

Pope Benedict VIII (1012–1024) visited Bamberg on 14 April 1020; no pope had visited the borders of modern Germany for 150 years.[13] Pope Leo IX (1049–1054) also travelled through the modern borders of Germany.[14] Probably the last papal visit to the Holy Roman Empire was in 1782, when Pope Pius VI visited Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor, in Vienna, and Munich in Bavaria.

Travel since the 1960s

Pope Paul VI (1963–1978) became the first pope to leave Europe; no pope ever left Europe before the Second Vatican Council.[15][16] He was the first to travel by airplane as pope, the first to leave Italy since 1809, and the first to visit North America, South America, Africa, Oceania and Asia as pope.[17][18]

Pope John Paul II travelled more miles as pope than all his predecessors combined, and as a result he was seen—in person—by more people than anyone else in history.[19][20][21][22][23][24] He travelled approximately 721,052 miles, the equivalent of approximately 31 trips around the circumference of the Earth.[25]

Paul VI (1963–1978)
Paul VI (1963–1978)
John Paul II (1978–2005)
John Paul II (1978–2005)
Benedict XVI (2005–2013)
Benedict XVI (2005–2013)
Francis (2013–present)
Francis (2013–present)

Table of destinations outside Italy (1964–present)

The table lists the international trips outside Italy made by Pope Paul VI,[26] Pope John Paul II,[27][28] Pope Benedict XVI,[29] and Pope Francis.[30]

Region Country or territory NV Pope and year of visit
(Note: column sorts by year of first visit, not by pope's name.)
Angola
2
1992John Paul II 1992 • Benedict XVI 2009
Cameroon
3
1985John Paul II 1985, 1995 • Benedict XVI 2009
Central African Republic
2
1985John Paul II 1985 • Francis 2015
Chad
1
1990John Paul II 1990
Congo
1
1980John Paul II 1980
Democratic Republic of the Congo [Note 1]
2
1980John Paul II 1980, 1985
Equatorial Guinea
1
1982John Paul II 1982
Gabon
1
1982John Paul II 1982
São Tomé and Príncipe
1
1992John Paul II 1992
Burundi
1
1990John Paul II 1990
Kenya
4
1980John Paul II 1980, 1985, 1995 • Francis 2015
Madagascar
2
1989John Paul II 1989 • Francis 2019
Malawi
1
1989John Paul II 1989
Mauritius
2
1989John Paul II 1989 • Francis 2019
Mozambique
2
1988John Paul II 1988 • Francis 2019
Réunion
1
1989John Paul II 1989
Rwanda
1
1990John Paul II 1990
Seychelles
1
1986John Paul II 1986
Tanzania
1
1990John Paul II 1990
Uganda
3
1969Paul VI 1969 • John Paul II 1993 • Francis 2015
Zambia
1
1989John Paul II 1989
Zimbabwe
1
1988John Paul II 1988
Egypt
2
2000John Paul II 2000 • Francis 2017
Morocco
2
1985John Paul II 1985 • Francis 2019
Sudan
1
1993John Paul II 1993
Tunisia
1
1996John Paul II 1996
Botswana
1
1988John Paul II 1988
Eswatini [Note 2]
1
1988John Paul II 1988
Lesotho
1
1988John Paul II 1988
South Africa
2
1988John Paul II 1988, 1995
Benin
3
1982John Paul II 1982, 1993 • Benedict XVI 2011
Burkina Faso [Note 3]
2
1980John Paul II 1980, 1990
Cape Verde
1
1990John Paul II 1990
The Gambia
1
1992John Paul II 1992
Ghana
1
1980John Paul II 1980
Guinea
1
1992John Paul II 1992
Guinea-Bissau
1
1990John Paul II 1990
Ivory Coast
3
1980John Paul II 1980, 1985, 1990
Mali
1
1990John Paul II 1990
Nigeria
2
1982John Paul II 1982, 1998
Senegal
1
1992John Paul II 1992
Togo
1
1985John Paul II 1985
The Bahamas
1
1979John Paul II 1979
Belize
1
1983John Paul II 1983
Costa Rica
1
1983John Paul II 1983
Cuba
4
1998John Paul II 1998 • Benedict XVI 2012 • Francis 2015, 2016
Curaçao
1
1990John Paul II 1990
Dominican Republic
3
1979John Paul II 1979, 1984, 1992
El Salvador
2
1983John Paul II 1983, 1996
Guatemala
3
1983John Paul II 1983, 1996, 2002
Haiti
1
1983John Paul II 1983
Honduras
1
1983John Paul II 1983
Jamaica
1
1993John Paul II 1993
Mexico
7
1979John Paul II 1979, 1990, 1993, 1999, 2002 • Benedict XVI 2012 • Francis 2016
Nicaragua
2
1983John Paul II 1983, 1996
Panama
2
1983John Paul II 1983 • Francis 2019
Puerto Rico
1
1984John Paul II 1984
Saint Lucia
1
1986John Paul II 1986
Trinidad and Tobago
1
1985John Paul II 1985
Bermuda
1
1968Paul VI 1968
Canada
3
1984John Paul II 1984, 1987, 2002
United States of America
10
1965 Paul VI 1965 • John Paul II 1979, 1981, 1984, 1987, 1993, 1995, 1999 • Benedict XVI 2008 • Francis 2015
Argentina
2
1982John Paul II 1982, 1987
Bolivia
2
1988John Paul II 1988 • Francis 2015
Brazil
6
1980John Paul II 1980, 1982, 1991, 1997 • Benedict XVI 2007 • Francis 2013
Chile
2
1987John Paul II 1987 • Francis 2018
Colombia
3
1968Paul VI 1968 • John Paul II 1986 • Francis 2017
Ecuador
2
1985John Paul II 1985 • Francis 2015
Paraguay
2
1988John Paul II 1988 • Francis 2015
Peru
3
1985John Paul II 1985, 1988 • Francis 2018
Uruguay
2
1987John Paul II 1987, 1988
Venezuela
2
1985John Paul II 1985, 1996
Kazakhstan
1
2001John Paul II 2001
Hong Kong [Note 4]
1
1970Paul VI 1970
Japan
2
1981John Paul II 1981 • Francis 2019
South Korea
3
1984John Paul II 1984, 1989 • Francis 2014
Bangladesh [Note 5]
3
1970Paul VI 1970 • John Paul II 1986 • Francis 2017
India
3
1964Paul VI 1964 • John Paul II 1986, 1999
Pakistan
1
1981John Paul II 1981
Sri Lanka [Note 6]
3
1970Paul VI 1970 • John Paul II 1995 • Francis 2015
East Timor [Note 7]
1
1989 John Paul II 1989
Indonesia
2
1970Paul VI 1970 • John Paul II 1989
Myanmar
1
2017Francis 2017
Philippines
4
1970Paul VI 1970 • John Paul II 1981, 1995 • Francis 2015
Singapore
1
1986John Paul II 1986
Thailand
2
1984John Paul II 1984 • Francis 2019
Armenia
2
2001John Paul II 2001 • Francis 2016
Azerbaijan
2
2002John Paul II 2002 • Francis 2016
Cyprus
2
2010Benedict XVI 2010 • Francis 2021
Georgia
2
1999John Paul II 1999 • Francis 2016
Iran
1
1970Paul VI 1970
Iraq
1
2021Francis 2021
Israel
4
1964Paul VI 1964 • John Paul II 2000 • Benedict XVI 2009 • Francis 2014
Jordan
4
1964Paul VI 1964 • John Paul II 2000 • Benedict XVI 2009 • Francis 2014
Lebanon
3
1964Paul VI 1964 • John Paul II 1997 • Benedict XVI 2012
Palestinian Authority
3
2000John Paul II 2000 • Benedict XVI 2009 • Francis 2014
Syria
1
2001John Paul II 2001
Turkey
4
1967 Paul VI 1967 • John Paul II 1979 • Benedict XVI 2006 • Francis 2014
United Arab Emirates
1
2019Francis 2019
Bulgaria
2
2002John Paul II 2002 • Francis 2019
Czech Republic
3
1995John Paul II 1995, 1997 • Benedict XVI 2009
Czechoslovakia [Note 8]
1
1990John Paul II 1990
Hungary
3
1991John Paul II 1991, 1996 • Francis 2021
Poland
11
1979John Paul II 1979, 1983, 1987, 1991 (2), 1995, 1997, 1999, 2002 • Benedict XVI 2006 • Francis 2016
Romania
2
1999John Paul II 1999 • Francis 2019
Slovakia
3
1995John Paul II 1995, 2003 • Francis 2021
Ukraine
1
2001John Paul II 2001
Denmark
1
1989John Paul II 1989
Estonia
2
1993John Paul II 1993 • Francis 2018
Finland
1
1989John Paul II 1989
Iceland
1
1989John Paul II 1989
Latvia
2
1993John Paul II 1993 • Francis 2018
Lithuania
2
1993John Paul II 1993 • Francis 2018
Norway
1
1989John Paul II 1989
Sweden
2
1989John Paul II 1989 • Francis 2016
Albania
2
1993John Paul II 1993 • Francis 2014
Bosnia and Herzegovina
3
1997John Paul II 1997, 2003 • Francis 2015
Croatia
4
1994John Paul II 1994, 1998, 2003 • Benedict XVI 2011
Greece
3
2001John Paul II 2001 • Francis 2016, 2021
Malta
5
1990John Paul II 1990 (2), 2001 • Benedict XVI 2010  • Francis 2022
North Macedonia
1
2019Francis 2019
Portugal
7
1967Paul VI 1967 • John Paul II 1982, 1983, 1991, 2000 • Benedict XVI 2010 • Francis 2017
San Marino
2
1982John Paul II 1982 • Benedict XVI 2011
Slovenia
2
1996John Paul II 1996, 1999
Spain
8
1982John Paul II 1982, 1984, 1989, 1993, 2003 • Benedict XVI 2006, 2010, 2011
Austria
4
1983John Paul II 1983, 1988, 1998 • Benedict XVI 2007
Belgium
2
1985John Paul II 1985, 1995
France
9
1980John Paul II 1980, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1996, 1997, 2004 • Benedict XVI 2008 • Francis 2014
Germany
6
1980John Paul II 1980, 1987, 1996 • Benedict XVI 2005, 2006, 2011
Ireland
2
1979John Paul II 1979 • Francis 2018
Liechtenstein
1
1985John Paul II 1985
Luxembourg
1
1985John Paul II 1985
Netherlands
1
1985John Paul II 1985
Switzerland
6
1969Paul VI 1969 • John Paul II 1982, 1984, 1985, 2004 • Francis 2018
United Kingdom
2
1982John Paul II 1982 • Benedict XVI 2010
American Samoa
1
1970Paul VI 1970
Australia
4
1970Paul VI 1970 • John Paul II 1986, 1995 • Benedict XVI 2008
Fiji
1
1986John Paul II 1986
Guam
1
1981John Paul II 1981
New Zealand
1
1986John Paul II 1986
Papua New Guinea
2
1984John Paul II 1984, 1995
Samoa [Note 9]
1
1970Paul VI 1970
Solomon Islands
1
1984John Paul II 1984

Notes

  1. ^ Name was changed from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Zaire on 27 October 1971, and back to the Democratic Republic of the Congo on 16 May 1997.
  2. ^ Name was changed from Swaziland to Eswatini on 19 April 2018.
  3. ^ Name was changed from Upper Volta to Burkina Faso on 6 August 1984.
  4. ^ Hong Kong was a British crown colony at the time of Pope Paul VI's visit in 1970. It was returned to China on 1 July 1997.
  5. ^ Bangladesh was a province of Pakistan under the name of East Pakistan at the time of Pope Paul VI's visit in 1970. It became an independent sovereign state in 1971 following the Bangladesh Liberation War and the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.
  6. ^ Name was changed from Ceylon to Sri Lanka on 29 August 1972.
  7. ^ East Timor was a province of Indonesia at the time of Pope John Paul II's visit in 1989. It became an independent sovereign state in 2002 following the 1999 East Timorese crisis and the 1999 East Timorese independence referendum.
  8. ^ Czechoslovakia was split into the independent countries of the Czech Republic and Slovakia on 1 January 1993.
  9. ^ Name was changed from Western Samoa to Samoa on 4 July 1997.

See also

References

  1. ^ von Hefele, Karl Joseph and William Robinson Clark. 1876. A history of the Christian councils: from the original documents. p. 231.
  2. ^ Thomas, P.C. 2007. A compact history of the popes. p. 35.
  3. ^ Lightfoot, Joseph Barber 1890. The Apostolic Fathers. p. 98.
  4. ^ Lewis, Archibald Ross 1984. Medieval society in southern France and Catalonia. p. 280.
  5. ^ France, France 2005. The Crusades and the expansion of Catholic Christendom, 1000–1714. p. 52.
  6. ^ Baumgartner, Frederic J. (2003). ""I Will Observe Absolute and Perpetual Secrecy:" The Historical Background of the Rigid Secrecy Found in Papal Elections". Catholic Historical Review. Vol. 89, Issue 2. pp. 165–181.
  7. ^ Fiske, Edward B (1967-07-26), "Papal Pilgrimage Is Viewed as a Major Step Toward Reunion", New York Times: 2
  8. ^ "Pope holds Mass at ancient Christian site in Turkey". USA Today. 2006-11-29. Retrieved 2009-09-09.
  9. ^ Kleinhenz, Christopher 2004. Medieval Italy: an encyclopedia. p. 847.
  10. ^ Tellenbach, Gerd 1993. The Church in western Europe from the tenth to the early twelfth century. pp. 188-89.
  11. ^ Peters, Edward 1998. The First Crusade: the chronicle of Fulcher of Chartres and other source materials. pp. 17–18
  12. ^ Congressional Quarterly. 1962. Editorial research reports. p. 318.
  13. ^ Bury, John Bagnell 1922. The Cambridge Medieval History: Germany and the Western empire. p. 250.
  14. ^ Edwards, David Lawrence 1997. Christianity: the first two thousand years. p. 197.
  15. ^ Tomkins, Stephen A short history of Christianity 234 (2006).
  16. ^ Pham, John-Peter Heirs of the Fisherman: behind the scenes of papal death and succession 95, 126 (2004).
  17. ^ Facts on File, Inc. 1969. World Almanac and Book of Facts. p. 249.
  18. ^ The New York Times Encyclopedic Almanac. 1969. p. 440.
  19. ^ Sullivan, Robert 2000. Pope John Paul II: A Tribute. "John Paul II has traveled more miles than all previous popes combined and [...]"
  20. ^ The New Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 9. 2003. "Pope John Paul II." p. 122.
  21. ^ Coppa, Frank J. 2008. Politics and the papacy in the modern world. p. 10.
  22. ^ Streissguth, Thomas 2006. Pope Benedict XVI. p. 96.
  23. ^ Columbia Link. 2007. "Pope John Paul II."
  24. ^ Polk, Peggy and Kevin Eckstrom. April 4, 2005. "Pope John Paul II, Leader of World's 1 Billion Roman Catholics, Is Dead at 84."
  25. ^ Trigilio, John; Kenneth Brighenti; Jonathan Toborowsky. 2006. John Paul II for Dummies. p. 225.
  26. ^ "Paul VI Travels". vatican.va. n.d. Archived from the original on 25 November 2021.
  27. ^ "Viaggi Apostolici del Santo Padre Sua Santità Giovanni Paolo II Statistiche" (in Italian). Vatican News Services. 13 January 2005. Archived from the original on 7 November 2011.
  28. ^ "List of travels of Pope John Paul II". Vatican.va. Archived from the original on 7 November 2011.
  29. ^ "Apostolic Voyages of the Holy Father His Holiness Benedict XVI". vatican.va. n.d. Archived from the original on 25 November 2021.
  30. ^ "Pope Francis Apostolic Journeys outside Italy". vatican.va. n.d.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)