While the exact date is not yet known, Pope Francis will visit Israel in 2014, likely in March or July.
The trip has not yet been coordinated with Israel's Foreign Ministry.
In May, President Shimon Peres invited Pope Francis to visit Israel, and the pope responded that he intended to. Two weeks ago, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud) met with Pope Francis and also invited him to visit Israel. The pope told Edelstein that he was considering coming in July to mark the 50th anniversary of Pope Paul VI's historic 1964 visit to the Holy Land.
Argentinian Rabbi Abraham Skorka, a personal friend of Pope Francis, said that in a recent conversation the pope had raised the possibility of visiting Israel in March.
"We are planning to visit Israel together in the coming year," Skorka said.
Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said, "The Holy See announced that he plans to visit Israel."