The soul legend will have the honour of singing for the leader of the Catholic church on 26 September (15), during the Pope's much-anticipated visit to the United States.

Franklin, who is the daughter of a Baptist minister and grew up singing in the church, shares her excitement for the upcoming gig in a statement which reads: "It is indeed a blessing to sing in the presence of His Holiness and to the attendees of the Festival of Families in the City of Brotherly Love. I look forward to this event. Be blessed!"

Actor Mark Wahlberg will host the festival, which takes place every three years, while other billed performers include Andrea Bocelli, Juanes, The Fray and Sister Sledge.