Philly When the Pope's in Town

Pope Francis rolls into Independence Mall
For a vibrant, world-class city, Philly has a bit of an inferiority complex.  How could it not, in the twin shadows cast by those heavyweights, Washington D.C. and New York City?  

Maybe that's why Rocky Balboa resonates so much here.  The scruffy, down-on-his-luck prizefighter who gets one shot at the big time?  That was us this weekend, when the World Meeting of Families brought Pope Francis to our city.

For Catholics and the many non-Catholics who admire this Pope for his vision, his humility, his heart, and his willingness to shake things up, Philly was--for a shining moment--Caput Mundi.  

Here's what you experienced if you braved the Popepocalypse:

--Deliciously car-free streets.

--Singing in unexpected places.

--Pilgrims from around the globe.

--A rainbow of habits, vestments, and robes.

--Bobbleheads and Hug-a-Popes:


Enthusiastic college students:

photo by Melissa Kelly/Saint Joseph's University

--Eager but remarkably civil crowds.

Seriously beefed-up security:

--including Secret Service agents and even rooftop snipers.

Photo by Melissa Kelly/Saint Joseph's University

--A surprise papal visit to a certain Jesuit University:

Melissa Kelly/Saint Joseph's University

--Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

One of many priests venturing into the crowd for the Euchrist
...and the adoration that follows Pope Francis everywhere he goes.


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