April 4, 2016

WARSAW, POLAND - Pope Francis will visit the former Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau during a July 27-31 visit to Poland for the celebration of World Youth Day, the Polish bishops announced.

Up to 2.5 million young people from around the world are expected at the July 26-31 youth gathering in Kraków, which is less than 80 kms from the site of the death camp.

Pope Francis' visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau will include a stop at the nearby death cell of St. Maximilian Kolbe, who died there in 1941.

The pope is expected to address Jewish and other faith representatives and camp survivors at the Holocaust memorial at Birkenau.

The pope will travel July 28 to Poland's Jasna Gora national sanctuary for an open-air Mass marking the 1,050th anniversary of Poland's conversion to Christianity.

Along with his WYD activities, the pope will pray before the relics of St. Faustina Kowalska.

It will be the 12th time a pope has visited Poland in the past 37 years.