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Pope Francis to visit Paris and Lourdes next year

Pope Francis (AP)

Pope Francis is to visit France next year, stopping off in Paris and Lourdes, the Vatican has confirmed.

The Pope is already visiting Strasbourg next month to address the European Parliament, but that will not count as an official papal visit to France.

Francis is also booked in to go to Sri Lanka and the Philippines in January and is likely to visit the United States in September for the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.