Pope Francis’ visit to Philly included meetings with sexual abuse victims, prisoners, and a giant mass for the city.
In the midst of much excitement and anticipation, Pope Francis conducted his last Mass, before returning to Rome, on a major scale in Philadelphia. The Pope’s six-day visit to the U.S. had him visit New York and Washington as well. His final scheduled public appearance of the U.S. trip coincided with the World Meeting of Families, and the Pope took this opportunity to bond faith with family through his homily. Hundreds of thousands of people were seen flocking the streets of Philly with the hope to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis and listen to his homily.
People from all states and different countries were also present in the Mass. This does not come as a surprise as Pope Francis has always been regarded as the people’s Pope and his teachings and speeches have moved not only the Catholic population but also people from various different faiths and atheists too. His take on the real-life problems of the common man has brought him to the forefront as a person who understands and cares.
Meeting With the Sexual Abuse Victims
The Pope had a very busy Sunday as it was the same day that he conducted the large scale Mass in Philly and returned to Rome. Earlier or Sunday, Francis met five sexual abuse victims and spoke to them both individually and in a group and then prayed with them. He also vowed to provide protection to young believers in the future from suffering from such cruelty.
His Visit to the Maximum-Security Correctional Facility
Francis visited the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Philly and met around 100 inmates. This is the first time a Pope has visited a prison in the U.S.
"I have come so that we can pray together and offer our God everything that causes us pain, but also everything that gives us hope, so that we can receive from him the power of the resurrection."
Earlier he had visited a notorious maximum security prison in Bolivia and spoke to the inmates there. He spoke to the Philadelphia inmates about hope and faith and also about forgiveness and redemption. He said that he too has sinned and has been forgiven. Francis told the inmates that they were not the only one who has sinned as everyone has something that they need to be cleansed of.
— Matt Swaim (@mattswaim) September 28, 2015
The Large Scale Mass in Philly
The crowd at Philly chanted and prayed as the mass slowly began. The Mass could be heard halfway across the downtown and people stood in absolute attention, as they saw the Pope speak on the big screens and heard his wonderful homily about family, hope, and love. His words clearly instilled faith in many and gave them the strength to get up and fight for their happiness.
After delivering the Mass, the pontiff boarded an American Airlines private jet to Rome and answered questions to journalists once on board.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) September 28, 2015