Pope Francis
Pope FrancisReuters

Pope Francis, the head of the Roman Catholic Church, will touch down on US soil for the first time on Tuesday, and is set to be received by US President Barack Obama himself, in what is seen as an extremely rare gesture by the latter.

Among the high-profile points on the Pope's agenda are addresses to the joint session of the Congress as well as the United Nations General Assembly, a service at the 9/11 Ground Zero and a mass at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Having been credited with pushing the church towards a more liberal outlook during the last two years, Pope Francis is said to be popular among a majority of Americans, as polls have shown. 

The Pope will begin his US trip with a visit to the White House in Washington on Wednesday and will address the joint session of the US Congress the next day, where he will make history as the first Pope to do so.

In the Congress, Pope Francis is expected to talk on the issues of climate change and immigration, two problems the international community is grappling with currently.

The Pope will address the UN general Assembly in New York the next day, where he is likely to bring the same issues to the notice of world leaders.

During his five-day trip, the Argentine Pope is also scheduled to meet several migrant families to discuss their problems.

Here is the itinerary of Pope Francis' three-city trip to the United States (time mentioned is US specific) -

Tuesday, 22 September

4pm: Pope Francis will arrive at the Andrews Air Force Base near Washington and will be received by President Obama.  

Wednesday, 23 September

9.15am:  Welcome ceremony at South Lawn of the White House

10.00am (approx): Pope Francis will join a parade around the Ellipse near the WHite House.

11.30am: The Pope will meet with the Bishops of the United States of America at St Matthew's Cathedral in Washington, DC.

3.50pm: The Pope will travel to the Basilicia of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in the Popemobile, which is a specially equipped Jeep Wrangler.

4.15pm: The Pope will hold a Holy Mass and will canonize th 18-th century saint Fr. Junipero Serra.

Thursday, 24 September:

9.20am: Pope Francis will address the joint session of the Congress.

11.00am: The Pope will make an appearance on the West Front of the Capitol. 

11.15am: The Pope will visit the Charitable Center of St. Patrick Parish and meet with the homeless.

4pm: Pope Francis will leave for New York, where he will reach by 5 pm local time.

6.00pm: The Pope will ride in an open motorcade on Fifth Avenue to St. Patrick's Cathedral.

6.45pm: The Pope will conduct an evening prayer at the St. Patrick's Cathedral, which is close to New York's Rockefeller Center.

Friday, 25 September

8.30am: Pope Francis will visit the UN Headquarters where he will address the UN General Assembly.

11.30am: He will preside an inter-religious service at the 9/11 Ground Zero Memorial. 

4.00pm: The Pope will visit the 120-year-old Our Lady, Queen of the Angels School where he will meet with families of migrants.

6.00pm: Pope Francis will hold a Holy Mass at the Madison Square Garden in New York.

Saturday, 26 September

8.40am: The Pope will leave for Philadelphia and will arrive in the city at 9.30 am local time. 

10.30am: He will hold a Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul.

4.45pm: He will then meet with members of the Hispanic community and other immigrants at the Independence Mall.

7.30pm: He will hold a prayer vigil at the World Meeting of the Families on Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Sunday, 27 September

9.15am: The Pope will meet with the Bishhops participating in the World Meeting of Families at the St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.

11.00am: Pope Francis will visit the detainees at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility, the largest jail in Philadelphia.

4.00pm: He will preside the Mass for the conclusion of the World Meeting of Families at Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

7.00pm: He will meet with the World Meeting organizers, benefactors and volunteers.

7.45pm: There will be a farewell ceremony for the Pope at the International Airport of Philadelphia.

8.00pm: Pope Francis will leave for Rome. 


Live video transmission fo Pope Francis' US visit will be available on the Vatican Television Centre video below - 

You can also watch live streaming on Catholic TV, while Time Warner Cable has set up a 24-hour PAPAL VISIT CHANNEL to cover the complete trip. 

The Vatican's Youtube channel will also upload live videos for every part of the Pope's visit.