The Pope Visits America

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The White House

The Pope meets with Barack Obama.

Recently, Pope Francis toured New York, Washington DC, and Philadelphia. In his trip, Pope Francis spoke to many major people and groups such as Barack Obama, the House of Representatives, and the United Nations. He also held many sermons and processions. The pope spoke to many about following simple rules.

On Tuesday, September 22, the Pope flew into Washington DC at 4:00 pm. The next day, he was welcomed by the White House Welcoming Ceremony. Pope Francis was the third pope ever to visit the White House! During the ceremony, Pope Francis gave a speech. His speech contained a summary of his tour, his ideas of the American Catholic community, his concerns about air pollution, and preserving our world. After the ceremony, he had a private meeting with President Obama. The pope then traveled through the National Mall inside the popemobile. Hundreds of people lined the street watching him travel on his short procession. The next day, the pope attended a joint meeting in Congress. There, he mentioned the golden rule,”Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” His speech went to more basic morals on how the US should govern their people. Surprisingly, the next day, the speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner resigned. He was planning to resign soon, but the pope’s speech influenced him that he was not treating his country in the best way.

The next day, Pope Francis flew to New York. In New York, he spoke in front of the United Nations, held a religious ceremony in front of the 9/11 memorial and World Trade centers, and attended a parade through Central Park. The United Nations held a special event on the day Pope Francis came because it was the United Nation’s 70th anniversary. Pope Francis was the fourth pope addressing the United Nations. During the assembly, Pope Francis spoke to the UN about sustainable development, climate change, and about many more problems. After speaking in front of the United Nations, Pope Francis headed to the 9/11 memorial. There he recited many different prayers, and met with local representatives in a peace meeting. The second motorcade of his visit to America was held in Central Park. In Central Park, thousands of people watched the procession, but not as many as Washington DC.

On Saturday, Pope Francis flew from New York to Philadelphia. That day, he visited Independence Hall, the place where the Constitution was signed. On Sunday, he held the biggest and last mass of his whole trip. It lasted a few hours and an estimated 1 million people attended. This mass was held in Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway. During his mass, Pope Francis stated,”Love is shown by little things, by attention to small daily signs which make us feel at home. Faith grows when it is shaped by love. That is why our families, our homes, are true domestic churches. They are the right place for faith to become life, and life to become faith.”
Pope Francis’ visit to America has influenced many people in many ways. He has increased awareness in climate change and  influenced officials to follow basic principles. Even though his visit was short, he will leave a mark on America.