Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, confirmed that the Pope will travel to the West African country to mark the 150th anniversary of the nation, led by the missionaries of the Society of African Missions.

During the trip, the Pope will also deliver the postsynodal apostolic exhortation for the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops, which was held in October 2009 on the theme "The Church in Africa in Service of Reconciliation, Justice and Peace."

The Holy Father will also remember Benin's Cardinal Bernardin Gantin, the former dean of the College of Cardinals, who died in 2008 at the age of 86.

Cardinal Gantin was the first bishop named by Pope Paul VI to assume positions of responsibility in the Roman curia.