Though the visit later this month will be Pope Benedict XVI’s first visit to the United States as pope, it will be the ninth papal visit to this country.
In 1965, Pope Paul VI became the first pope to visit the United States. He traveled to New York to address the United Nations.
Pope John Paul II was a prolific traveler, traveling outside Italy more than 100 times, including eight visits to the United States. On his first visit, in October 1979, Pope John Paul II visited Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Des Moines, Chicago, and Washington, DC. While in New York, he addressed the United Nations. In 1981 and 1984, Pope John Paul made brief stopovers in Alaska while on his way to other countries. He met with President Ronald Reagan during his 1984 stopover in Fairbanks.
Pope John Paul II’s fourth visit to the United States took place in September 1987. He visited Miami, Columbia, S.C., New Orleans, San Antonio, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Detroit. His fifth visit, in August 1993, was to Denver to participate in World Youth Day. In October 1995, Pope John Paul II visited Newark, New York, Brooklyn, and Baltimore and again addressed the United Nations.
Pope John Paul II’s final visit to the United States occurred in January 1999 when he visited Saint Louis.