On Monday, September 30, Pope Francis left the Philadelphia airport, culminating his first trip to the United States.
In Washington, the Pope did something unprecedented: He addressed Congress. He also conferred sainthood for the first time on American soil. Apparently, the speech moved John Boehner, House Speaker, enough to have him step down from his position effective at the end of October, earlier than his planned resignation.
In New York, Francis visited the 9/11 Memorial. There was a solemn tone as he encouraged people to never forget those who lost their lives in the tragedy. Later, in front of a sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden, he spoke of poverty.
Philadelphia was the Pope’s final stop. There, he spoke of the importance of religious tolerance and globalization. He presented a theme of unity.
He explained to the mass on CNN: “I like to use a geometrical image for this. If globalization is a sphere where each point is equidistant from the center; it cancels everything out; it is not good. “But,” he continued, “If globalization is like a polyhedron, where each everything is united but each element keeps its identity, then it is good; it causes people to grow, it bestows dignity and it grants rights to all.”.
Excitement filled the Pope’s trip and anyone close enough to Francis was quick to take a selfie with him. Overall, the hype spread across the nation as well.
Tyler Stocum, a Catholic sophomore, is active in the Leesville Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He said that he thinks the visit, “broadens our knowledge of [Pope Francis].” He added that, “It brought people together and reminded people that God has a plan.”
While leaving the United States, Francis, who is ironically 78, tweeted, “With my heartfelt thanks, May the love of Christ always guide the American people! #GodBlessAmerica.” Needless to say, Pope Francis continues to inspire many as a world leader.