Pope Francis began his 10th overseas tour earlier this week in Cuba. Here he urged the country to continue down their path of reconciliation with the United States. Straight from the resumption of diplomatic ties between the US and Cuba, Pope Francis was welcomed personally by President Barack Obama along with his family, and Vice President Joe Biden and his wife at 4 pm Tuesday at the Joint Base Andrews Facility in Washington D.C.
Wednesday morning started off with a visit to the White House for a State Arrival ceremony on the South lawn of the White House. The State Arrival Ceremony was then followed by Pope Francis traveling from the White House to Cathedral of St. Matthews the Apostle where thousands of people were lined up along the streets to see him. The Pope was riding in the “Popemobile” a jeep with a clear protective screen in the front for about 30 minutes. During this ride to the Cathedral, Pope Francis called several children from the crowd to his popemobile where he either hugged or kissed them. Following the papal parade on Wednesday was a midday prayer with United States bishops at the Cathedral and then Junipero Serra Canonization Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
Thursday morning at 9:20 am, the Pope arrived at the Capitol and at 10 am he addresses a joint Congress where he talked about healing the world of hatred, greed, poverty and pollution. The Argentine-Pope spoke slowly because he gave his speech in English which he spent learning all summer so he could speak the primary language of the United States in the peoples house. After his joint Congress address, the Pope stepped outside to the Speakers Balcony and had prayer in Spanish with thousands of people and then concluded his speech by saying “God bless America” in English once more. After he left the Capitol, Pope Francis payed a visit to Saint Patrick’s Church to give a blessing to clients and the homeless. At 4 pm Thursday Pope Francis left Washington DC for departure to New York from Joint Base Andrews. When he arrived at JFK, the Pope then had an evening prayer at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Friday morning started out early for Pope Francis, where he formally addressed the United Nations General Assembly celebrating its 70th anniversary at 8:30 am. Following this Assembly, the Pope visited the 9/11 memorial site where he spoke with 10 9/11 families and held a multi-religious service. He followed his 9/11 memorial visit with a visit to Our Lady Queen of Angles School in East Harlem. Once again followed by another Papal parade through Central Park where he rode in a Fiat. This ride to Madison Square Garden ended in another night mass.
Early Saturday morning, Pope Francis departed JFK to head to Philadelphia International Airport.An hour after the Pope arrived, he held mass at Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. After the mass, he visited Independence Hall where he gave a speech focusing on immigration and religious freedom. After his speech, Pope Francis ended his Saturday night by visiting the Festival of Families at Benjamin Franklin Parkway and having a prayer vigil with the World Meeting of Families.
Early today, Pope Francis held a Papal meeting with Bishops of the World Meeting of Families at Saint Matins Chapel, followed by a visit to Curran-Fromhold Correction Facility where the Pope met with several inmates. The inmates gave Pope Francis a chair that they made, and two inmates stood up and hugged him. At 4, there will be a Papal MAss for World Meeting of Families, followed by a visit with organizers, volunteers, and benefactors at 7 pm. Before Pope Francis leaves back to Vatican City at 8 pm.