Before his plane landed in Kenya on Wednesday, Pope Francis confirmed to reporters that he would indeed visit Mexico early next year.
Valentina Alazraki of Mexico’s Noticieros Televisa confirmed to CNA that Pope Francis told her his trip to Mexico would include four cities, not three.
He said his trip will include a visit to the town of Ciudad Juarez on the Mexican-U.S. border.
The Holy See Press Office has not officially announced the trip, but rumors, reports and announcements have been building.
The vice director of the Holy See Press Office, Father Ciro Benedettini, told CNA on Oct. 6 that the Pope was seriously considering a trip to Mexico next year. He said that if the trip takes place, an agenda is expected to be released in November.
On Nov. 1 Cardinal Norberto Rivera, Archbishop of Mexico City, announced that Pope Francis would visit Mexico the week of Feb. 12.
Back in March, Pope Francis told the Mexican media group Televisa 1 that he wished to make a weeklong trip to the country, with visits to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Ciudad Juarez.
Mexico will be Pope Francis’ fourth trip to the Americas. He visited Brazil for World Youth Day in August 2013. In July of 2014 he traveled to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay. He visited the United States and Cuba Sept. 19-27.
In March 2015 Pope Francis said that for his U.S. trip he had hoped to enter the country from the Mexican border. However, such an effort would have caused “a bit of havoc” and he did not want to visit Mexico without visiting the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Pope Francis is visiting Africa from Nov. 25-30. He is scheduled to stop in Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic.