June 19, 2017 / 3:39 PM / a year ago

Pope Francis to visit Peru and Chile in January 2018

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis will visit Chile and Peru in January, the Vatican said on Monday, the latest in a series of trips to his home continent.

Pope Francis leads a Corpus Domini mass in Rome's Basilica of St. John in Lateran, Italy June 18, 2017. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

Starting in Chile on Jan. 15, the Argentine pontiff will go to the cities of Santiago, Temuco and Iquique, before heading to Peru, where he will stop in Lima, Puerto Maldonado and Trujillo.

The Vatican said in a statement Francis had accepted invitations from the heads of state and bishops of the two countries. The trip will wrap up on Jan. 21.

Since his election to lead the world’s 2 billion Catholics in 2013, Francis has visited Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Cuba and Mexico, but has not made a pastoral trip to Argentina.

Reporting by Isla Binnie, editing by Steve Scherer

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