After landing in the city on Shepherd One, greeted by an enthusiastic crowd and a host of dignitaries, the 78-year-old pontiff celebrated Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul, where he delivered some pointed messages about the role of women and laity in the church.
From there, he visited a college of seminarians at St. Charles Borromeo, greeted by a chorus in Latin. The pope met with bishops at the seminary and rested briefly before traveling in his motorcade to Independence Mall for an address about religious liberty and immigration.
From there, Pope Francis took a spin through Philadelphia and up the parkway along faithful throngs, waving from his pope-mobile. He closed out a long day at the Festival of Families, which featured performances sacred and secular from Aretha Franklin, The Fray, Sister Sledge and Andrea Boccelli on stage at Eakins Oval. The pope spoke about the importance of family and called on everyone to protect children and the elderly. Despite the occasional headaches, said the pontiff, “family is ike a factory of hope, a factory of resurrection.”
Thick crowds who had been gathering — and waiting — all day did not seem disappointed, and the mood through the city all day was festive and cheerful.
Here’s Pope Francis’ schedule for today:
9:15 a.m. Meeting with bishops at St. Martin’s Chapel, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary
11 a.m. Visit to Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility
4 p.m. Mass for the conclusion of the World Meeting of Families, Benjamin Franklin Parkway
7 p.m. Visit with organizers, volunteers and benefactors of the World Meeting of Families, Atlantic Aviation
8 p.m. Departure for Rome