Pope Francis, 87, will travel to Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, East Timor and Singapore in September. The 12-day, 30,000 km tour will be his longest trip since his election in 2013.

This will be the first trip abroad in a year and a major physical challenge for the Argentine Jesuit. He has shown fragile health in recent months having forced him to cancel several commitments, including a trip to Dubai for COP28 in December due to bronchitis. More than nine million Christians - almost the entire population - live in Papua New Guinea. No pope has visited there since John Paul II in 1995. The last visit of a pope to Papua NewGuinea was in 1995, when Pope John Paul I was visiting the country. The pope, who never takes vacation, continues to submit to a frantic pace of work at the Vatican, where he can receive around ten people in a morning. Despite a major abdominal operation in 2023, the pope continues to Submit to the frantic pace.