On the final leg of his first-ever American journey, Pope Francis provided the capstone for the three-city tour with an extraordinary extemporaneous address to overflow crowds at the World Meeting of Families, a ringing and heartfelt homily that left an immense crowd cheering and reflective by turns.
The address came not long after the pontiff’s speech at Independence Hall, where he paid tribute to the founding of the United States and included a particular emphasis on the maintenance of religious freedom.
He exhorted seminarians to rededicate themselves to their vocations at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary and met and embraced inmates at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility—the first time a pope has visited a prison on U.S. soil.
The concluding Mass of the papal trip was celebrated on an altar facing a crowd estimated at more than 1 million people gathered on Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Among his most notable quotes:
Families have a citizenship that is divine. The identity card that they have is given to them by god so that within the heart of the family truth, goodness and beauty can truly grow.
—Pope Francis’ spontaneous address to the world meeting of families
Let us look to Jesus, who washes our feet. He is ‘The way, and The Truth, and The Life.’ He comes to save us from the lie that says no one can change. He helps us to journey along the paths of life and fulfillment.
–Pope Francis to inmates at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility