Popes on the Road
Before the late Pope John Paul II became known as the "Pilgrim Pope" for visiting other nations (a record 125 countries!) during his years in the Vatican, Pope Paul VI (seen above in an undated photo) originally earned the nickname. As pope between 1963-1978, Paul VI became the first pope to travel outside the Vatican by airplane. (AP photo)
Click through our gallery to see photos of the late Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI globetrotting to spiritually mesmerizing and instantly recognizable places.
San Francisco, California
September 1987: On a stop to San Francisco during his trip to the U.S., Pope John Paul II is captured in an exuberant pose in front of the Golden Gate Bridge. (AP photo/Dave Tennenbaum)
September 1990: Pope John Paul II chats with children in an Urugwiro village in Kigali, Africa. (RNS photo)
January 1998: While in Santiago, Cuba, the Popemobile (with John Paul II sitting behind bulletproof glass) passes a wall painting of revolutionary hero Ernesto "Che" Guevera.
Mount Nebo, Jordan
March 2000: During his Jubilee Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Pope John Paul II visits a monastery overlooking Mount Nebo in Jordan. He was the first pope in 2,000 years to officially visit the Land of Israel and recognize it as a state. (RNS photo)
March 2000: Also during his Holy Land tour, John Paul II says a prayer at the Western Wall (also known as the Wailing Wall) in Jerusalem. (RNS photo)
May 2006: Pope Benedict XVI greets youth at a Mass located in Blonie Park in Krakow, Poland. (Reuters photo/Pawel Kopczynski)
May 2006: On the same trip to Poland, Pope Benedict XVI says a prayer and enters the gates of Auschwitz, the former Nazi concentration camp. He was the second pope to visit Auschwitz, after John Paul II. (Reuters photo)
July 2006: While on vacation in the Italian Alps, Pope Benedict makes a surprise visit to Martigny, Switzerland. Here, he strolls through the Gran San Bernardo mountains to visit a famous Saint Bernard kennel at a monastery. (Reuters photo)
December 2006: On his three-day trip to Turkey, Pope Benedict visits the Blue Mosque in Istanbul and shares a prayer with Mustafa Calgrici, the head mufti of Istanbul, and other Muslim clerics. After the late Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict was the second pope to visit a mosque. (Reuters photo/Osservatore Romano)
April 2008: On his first trip as pope to the United States, Pope Benedict is greeted at the airport in Washington, D.C. by President George W. Bush, the First Lady Laura Bush, and their daughter, Jenna. (RNS photo)