Papalrazzi alert: the news just broke that Pope Francis plans to make his first official visit to the United States next year. According to the Catholic News Service, he accepted an invitation from Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaputto to attend the World Meeting of Families on September 22 through 27, 2015.
While Philly seems to be the first city on the Holy Father's itinerary, he's also considering invitations from New York and Washington, D.C., according to a Vatican spokesperson.
The last papal visit to the U.S. was in 2008 when Pope Benedict XVI made key stops at the White House to meet President George W. Bush, visited Ground Zero and Yankee Stadium, among other appearances. His successor Pope Francis is likely to bring a more stepped-up "rock star" status to his U.S. visit, and attract the American faithful in droves: Francis' mass held on Rio's Copacabana beach last summer attracted over 3 million people, more than the Rolling Stones when they played there in 2006.