International attention has now shifted to Kenya, his first stop on his maiden visit to Africa since he was made the 266th leader of the world’s largest denomination in February 2013.
The last Pope to visit Kenya was John Paul II in September 1995.
He will also hold another meeting with youth from around the country and after that meet religious leaders from all sects to discuss tolerance and strategies for co-existence.
He will visit one of the slums in Nairobi to highlight the plight of poverty in informal settlements and listen to the experiences of slum residents.
Apart from being the Bishop of Rome; the headquarters of the Catholic Church, the Pope also doubles as the Head of State of the Stato della Città del Vaticano (Vatican City State), a 110-acre walled enclave within the city of Rome. Created through a treaty in 1929, it is the smallest internationally recognised independent state in the world. Apart from his papal duties, the Pope exercises principal legislative, executive, and judicial power over the state.
Hundreds of thousands are expected to gather in Nairobi when the Pope jets in for the three-day visit from November 25 to 27th.
As Vatican Head of State, the Pope, on overseas tours, is usually guarded by members of the Swiss Guard – an elite security team whose history of protecting Popes dates back to 1506 and have sworn their lives to protect the Pontiff.
The Pope travels like a regular person but with a large entourage. He does not own a plane and flies in a chartered passenger plane whose flight call sign is “Shepherd One” whenever he is on board.
While overseas and during his return flight, he uses a plane belonging to the national airline of his host country.
While in the host country, the Pope does not sleep in a hotel, he sleeps at the Vatican diplomatic quarters if they are available and, if not, he stays in Catholic Church property.