Pope Francis has confirmed it: He will travel to the U.S. next year to participate in a rally for families in Philadelphia.

Earlier this summer, Francis had said he hoped to make the September meeting. But he confirmed his presence at the World Meeting of Families during a speech Monday to an interreligious conference on traditional family values at the Vatican.

He said: "I wish to confirm according to the wishes of the Lord, that in September of 2015, I will go to Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families."

Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput, who is organizing the meeting, welcomed the news. He told The Associated Press: "I applauded the loudest" when Francis made the announcement.