Visits by country

Color represents the number of times a pope arrived in a country.

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Color represents the number of times a pope arrived in a country in each region. Hover over pope names, years and countries to filter the information.

Francis

Emphasis on the Americas

March 13, 2013 - present

By the time Pope Francis leaves North America, he will have been outside Italy for 46 days of his papacy, second to John Paul II (81 days at this point). The Argentina-born pope presides over a church in which nearly half of all members are from the Americas. A goal of this U.S.-Cuba trip, in which he will celebrate Mass in Spanish, is to help heal relations between the two countries.

16 Countries Travel Time: 46 days (5% of papacy)

Color represents the number of times a pope arrived in a country in each region.

Benedict XVI

Delivering messages

March 19, 2005 - Feb. 28, 2013

For a man who was 78 when he became pope, Benedict XVI’s trips were frequent, although usually not long. He used the media spotlight that came with his travels to get out his messages on education, birth control and poverty. In 2008, he made historic apologies to victims of sexual abuse by priests while in the United States and Australia.

24 Countries Travel time: 102 days (3.5% of papacy)

Color represents the number of times a pope arrived in a country in each region.

John Paul II

Wielding political power

Oct. 16, 1978 - April 2, 2005

John Paul II realized the power of a papal visit and used it, spending more than six percent of his long papacy on the road, far more than any other pope. He was the first pope to visit Cuba, to pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem and to visit the president of the Palestinian territories. On his first trip to his homeland of Poland, which was then under Soviet rule, he delivered a defiant message of unity and strength. The visit was widely considered to be the spark that fueled the Solidarity movement and led to the fall of Communism in Poland.

128 countries Travel time: 621 days (6.5% of papacy)

Color represents the number of times a pope arrived in a country in each region.

John Paul I

No travel in short papacy

Aug. 26, 1978 - Sept. 28, 1978

Known as the “the Smiling Pope” for his warm personality, he died suddenly of a heart attack after only 33 days.

Paul VI

Visiting five continents

June 21, 1963 - Aug. 6, 1978

By the time Paul VI was elected, the majority of the world’s Catholics lived outside Europe, a huge change from just 50 years before. He became the first pope to leave Europe and the first to fly, visiting five different continents. On his first trip, swarming admirers in the Holy Land accidentally broke his glasses. In 1970, he was stabbed by a mentally ill man in Manila and did not leave Italy for his remaining eight years.

19 countries Travel time: 30 days (0.5% of papacy)

Color represents the number of times a pope arrived in a country in each region.