Pope Francis to visit Colombia in September

Indo Asian News Service

Vatican City, March 11 (IANS/AKI) Pope Francis will make an official visit to Colombia from September 6 to 11, the Vatican announced on Friday.

"Accepting the invitation of the President of the Republic and the Colombian bishops, His Holiness the Pope Francis will make an Apostolic Trip to Colombia from September 6 to 11, 2017, visiting the cities of Bogota, Villavicencio, Medellín and Cartagena," a statement said.

"The programme for the trip will be published shortly," the statement added.

The visit by Francis comes after the Colombian government and leftist Farc rebels signed an historic peace deal in November to end more than 50 years of onflict, in which the Vatican had sought to avoid taking sides.

The logo for the trip contains the motto 'Let's take the first step' and an accompanying message says the words refer to "the more than 50 years of violence" which divided Colombia, Vatican Radio reported.

Francis will be the third pontiff to visit Colombia after Pope Paul VI in 1968 and Pope John Paul II, who visited 11 Colombian cities on a seven-day trip to the country in 1986.