Francis to make the longest trip of his pontificate at 87 years of age

At 87 years of age, Francis is preparing to make the longest trip of his pontificate. The Vatican has announced that he will visit Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, East Timor and Singapore. The trip will take place from September 2 to 13 and, for the moment, it is the only trip confirmed by the Holy See this year. It will be his 45th if he does not first travel to Belgium, as the pope himself had mentioned.

If Pope Francis' health allows it, he will visit countries where the last papal meeting was more than 30 years ago. These are places where Catholics are a minority. Indonesia, for example, is one of the most populated countries in the world with a Muslim majority of almost 90%. Papua New Guinea will be the only one of the four countries located in Oceania—the continent farthest from Rome. It is also the only continent, outside of Antartica, Francis has not yet visited in his 11 years of his pontificate.

Due to his health problems, the pope has had to change two of his trips: one to Africa, which he postponed and the other to the Dubai Climate Summit. If he makes this long trek, he will have visited more than 65 countries.