Pope Francis Visits the United States


Pope Francis waves to a crowd

[ot-caption title=”The Pope waves to his supporters while on his first ever visit to the United States. (via, Alfredo Borba, Google Images)”]

Pope Francis arrived in Washington, D.C. on September 22, 2015, for a six-day visit to the United States. It was his first visit to the country, creating an unprecedented level of excitement. The pope visited three cities: Washington, D.C., New York, and Philadelphia. President Obama, the first lady, and their daughters, Malia and Sasha greeted him as he walked off the plane at Joint Base Andrews. The crowd buzzed with energy chanting, “Ho ho, hey hey, welcome to the USA.”

Pope Francis is 78 years old and the 266th pope of the Catholic Church. He is from Argentina and is the first non-European pope elected since 741. In the 18 months since being elected pope, Pope Francis has become very popular. He has quickly gained a reputation as a humble man with a powerful voice. Highlighting his modest personality, Pope Francis drove away from the airport in a small Fiat 500.

During the Pope’s visit, he spoke to a joint session of Congress, addressed the United Nations, and visited a homeless shelter and a prison. Pope Francis also had time to check out some tourist hotspots, including Central Park and Madison Square Garden in Manhattan.

In Washington, D.C., the pope urged swift measures on climate change, a topic of great debate among U.S. lawmakers. In response, President Obama stated, “Holy Father, you remind us that we have a sacred obligation to protect our planet – God’s magnificent gift to us.” He also waded into another controversial issue, arguing that Americans should accept immigrants from Latin America and around the world.

Pope Francis is also very popular among young adults, and has embraced technology. He has been a hit on social media with almost 7.4 million followers on Twitter. He is also famous for posing and taking selfies with his fans.  Social media platforms seem to be acknowledging his presence online, as Snapchat even created a new filter, known as the Popemobile filter, for his visit to the United States.  Making travel plans during the Pope’s visit may have been difficult, but it certainly has been a historic and exciting week.

Sources: NBC News, CNN, The Washington Post