Pope Francis News and Quotes: Pope Wishes to Enter the US Through Mexico Border in Unity With Immigrants, Will Visit NYC, Washington DC & Philadelphia

By Selena Hill | Jan 20, 2015 09:39 AM EST

Pope Francis officially confirmed on Monday that he will visit Washington, D.C., New York City and Philadelphia during his upcoming trip to the United States this fall.

During his highly anticipated September trip, Francis is expected to stop by the White House and address Congress, before speaking to world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly in New York and then holding a large Catholic rally for families in Philadelphia, according to NBC News.

Although it is likely that he will fly directly to the East Coast, the pontiff told reporters that he wishes he could enter the U.S. through the Mexican border "as a sign of brotherhood and of help to the immigrants."

"You know that [to] go to Mexico without going to visit the Madonna [of Guadalupe] would be a drama. A war could break out," he said, laughing. "I think there will only be those three cities. Later there will be time to go to Mexico."

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Following Pope Francis' announcement, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio released a statement saying that the Big Apple will gladly welcome the 79-year-old leader "with open arms."

"New York City will be excited and delighted to host Pope Francis during his visit to the United States this September," Mayor de Blasio said according to WABC-TV. "I was proud to extend an invitation for His Holiness to visit New York when I met with Cardinal Parolin during our visit to the Vatican last year, and the pope should know New York will welcome him with open arms. Pope Francis is the leading global voice on issues of social justice and income inequality, and New Yorkers from all backgrounds will be tremendously humbled and honored to hear his message right here in our city later this year."

It is also possible that the pope will hold Mass at Madison Square Garden, depending on the length of his visit to New York.

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