Pope FrancisPope FrancisFormer pope ill after trip to Germany: report Group says China hackers infiltrated Vatican ahead of expected talks McCarthy calls on Pelosi to condemn 'mob violence' after toppling of St. Junipero Serra statue MORE is coming to the U.S. for the first time since becoming pontiff and will hold a public mass in Philadelphia.

He confirmed Monday that he will visit Philadelphia in September 2015 for the World Meeting of Families. The visit will also coincide with the United Nation’s General Assembly, and Francis is expected to visit New York in the same trip.


The World Meeting of Families is a gathering of Catholic families that takes place every three years.

Francis will arrive in Philadelphia on Sept. 25. Two days later, he will hold a public mass that officials expect up to 2 million people to attend, according to NBC Philadelphia.

The new pope has taken a different approach from predecessors by signaling an openness to gays and lesbians, saying in one interview, “Who am I to judge?” He has also spoken out against income inequality and looked to broaden the church’s reach.

He has drawn criticism from some in the conservative wing of the church who have perceived statements as a loosening of doctrine.

As his profile has risen around the world, some in America have looked to bring Francis stateside. Earlier this year, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) invited him to speak to a joint session of Congress.