Updated 11:01 PM EDT, Sat, Oct 16, 2021

Pope Francis' Trip to Mexico: Pontiff's Travel Calendar; Visit to Highlight Immigration

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Pope Francis' Mexico trip next year will have four stops.

In an interview with reporters in Africa before he headed back to Vatican on Monday, the pontiff said that he will begin his itinerary in the country's capital, Mexico City, to pray at the Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe, which is called "the mother of the Americas," Times Union reported from the Associated Press.

According to Fox News Latino, the basilica is one of the most significant pilgrimage sites for Catholics, where an indigenous Mexican claimed of an appearance of a dark-skinned version of Mary. Pope Benedict XVI flew over the basilica in a Mexican military helicopter en route to a Mass at Bicentennial Park in March 2012. The retired pontiff's trip was the last time a pope visited the country.

Pope Francis' trip will also make a stop in Morelia in the country's north central part and in Chiapas located on Mexico's southern border with Guatemala, where many Central African migrants pass through as they travel to the United States, Times Union added. The pope also said that he is "almost sure" that his visit will wrap up in Ciudad Juarez situated on the U.S.-Mexico border.

According to Church officials, the pontiff's Mexico trip will begin on Feb. 12, 2016, and will have immigration as its key theme, Times Union noted.

An estimated 100 million Catholics are said to be residing in Mexico, making up more than 80% of the nation's population, Fox News Latino wrote.

The Huffington Post reported that Pope Francis has expressed a desire to visit Mexico in the past and even considered flying to the U.S. from the country in September as a sign of support for immigrants. He ended up entering from Cuba instead.

The pope is also planning to return to Brazil in 2017 for a special feast of the Virgin of Aparecida, Times Union further reported.

Pope Francis' Africa Trip

Pope Francis' recent Africa trip called on Christians and Muslims to put a stop to hate, revenge, and bloodshed that has separated a nation and claimed thousands of lives over the past three years, Reuters wrote.

In the last day of his visit, the pontiff went to a no-man's zone to enter PK5, a district that houses Muslims seeking refuge. In his speech before the people, the pope said that those "who claim to believe in God must also be men and women of peace" and asked for "an end to every act which, from whatever side, disfigures the face of God and whose ultimate aim is to defend particular interests by any and all means," Reuters noted.

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