The scenes have been historic: Pope Francis travailing the streets of the United States, first in D.C. and then in New York. The City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, is on the agenda for Saturday..
Before Pope Francis gets to meet Mayor Nutter, other whirlwind events have been occurring..
The media has been battling pedestrians for a shot of Pope Francis in either the famed Popemobile or now the equally famous Fiat car that the Church chose for him to travel in between armored vehicles. Francis rolled the windows down and turned the lights on, ensuring people saw him at night emulate from inside the tiny box-car vehicle..
Francis met with the families of victims of 9/11, he talked to schoolchildren in Harlem.
The jubilant crowds were euphoric. New York's CBS affiliate quoted a number of people who saw Francis that spoke, immediately, in big statements. Such as this notable quotable:
It's fair to say that anyone watching is getting a sense of the historic nature of this visit. Imagine a Pope visiting a number of cities in the United States, especially one loved, admired, and often hated, throughout the world.. and that same Pontiff addressing the Congress--religious figures don't get that chance often..
“He’s going to bring us all back to our faith and make us all one in this universe,” one spectator said.
With smart phone cameras held high, his very presence in Central Park stirred a wave of emotion.
“That was probably one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen,” said another spectator. “I’ve never felt closer to God in my life.”
The pope moved through the crowd and moved many to tears, offering his blessing to all and his personal touch to a fortunate few.
The pontiff then celebrated Mass at Madison Square Garden, a scene of a solemn service celebrating New York in all its diversity.
“Living in a big city is not always easy,” Francis told 18,000 people at the Garden, easily one of the most respectful crowds the arena has ever seen. “Yet big cities are a reminder of the hidden riches present in our world in the diversity of its cultures, traditions and historical experiences.”
The pope delivered the homily in Spanish, drawing a parallel between the Garden and the city itself.
As Mass ended, Cardinal Timothy Dolan spoke the words that led to rapturous applause.
“We pray for you on Sunday and now you are here,” he told Francis.
As people left, it was clear the experience had changed lives.
“He talked about seeing the face of Christ in the people of the city,” said Sister Margaret O’Brien. “That resonated.”
Perhaps the strangest of all circumstances thus far regarding the Pope's visit is the now famous Congressman from Philadelphia PA who, after seeing the Pope drink from a water glass during his speech to the assembly, stole the glass. He went on to drink from it, have his family drink from it, and pour water over the heads of his children.. Congressman Bob Brady also broadcast the images over the social mediaverse.
People who have acted strange this weekend.