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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis' trips for 2019

Pope Francis' schedule for 2019 is already full of international trips. There are five currently confirmed and two others pending confirmation in the coming months.

As soon as the year begins, the pope is traveling to Panama to participate in World Youth Day. He will be in Panamanian territory from January 23 to 27.

Just a week after returning from WYD, he will travel to the UAE. He will be there from February 3 to 5 and is only scheduled to visit Abu Dhabi.

Pope Francis will travel to Morocco on March 30 and 31. It will be a short, two-day trip in which he will visit Rabat and Casablanca.

The pope is traveling to these two eminently Muslim countries to strengthen interreligious dialogue, on the 800th anniversary of another historic visit: that of St. Francis of Assisi and the Sultan of Egypt, Al-Malik al-Kāmil. 

In May, he will make two trips. The first will be from 5 to 7 in Bulgaria and Macedonia, with the motto "Peace on Earth." There he will visit Skopje, St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta's hometown. 

The second will be to Romania, from May 31 to June 2. He visit Bucharest, Iaşi, Blaj, the Marian Sanctuary of Şumuleu Ciuc and Transylvania. 

Among trips expected to be confirmed is one to Japan, a teenage desire of Pope Francis the he shared in this meeting with a Japanese group. 

"And taking advantage of your visit, I would like to announce my willingness to visit Japan next year. I hope I can do so."

He also hinted at a possible trip to Mozambique during a meeting with the president of the African country. 

"May I announce that next year you will come to Mozambique?"

"Yes, if I'm alive."

"He will be alive, he will be."

In addition, Pope Francis received, through the South Korean president, the curious invitation to visit North Korea by Kim Jong-un. Yet, this trip is rather unlikely.

It will be a very busy year. During his almost six years of pontificate, Pope Francis has already visited 37 countries, an astonishing figure given that he was elected at age 76.