ASBURY PARK PRESS

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MONDAY

09.28.15

MICHAEL PEREZ/AP

Throngs of people watch and listen on Sunday as Pope Francis celebrates Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia.

Mass for the masses
Pope caps visit with
a flourish in Philly

Pilgrims: Wait was worth
it to see Pope Francis

JERRY CARINO@NJHOOPSHAVEN
SHANNON MULLEN @MULLENAPP

PHILADELPHIA The setting was grand, but Pope
Francis’ parting message to America was simple.
The “little signs of tenderness” in family life are the
biggest gifts people can give, the pope told a crowd of
close to a million people during the homily of Sunday’s
papal Mass.
“Like a blessing before we go to bed, or a hug after
we return from a hard day’s work, love is shown by little
things, by attention to small daily signs which make us
feel at home,” the pontiff said in Spanish. “Faith grows
when it is lived and shaped by love. That is why our families, our homes, are true domestic churches.”
On this cloudy, temperate day, much of Philadelphia’s Center City was a church. People began streaming toward the Benjamin Franklin Parkway before daybreak — some even camped out overnight Saturday —
and transformed the area into a celebration of faith.
Most folks never got close to Francis, viewing the
proceedings on big screens posted throughout the
streets, but seemed to enjoy sharing the moment noneSee PHILLY, Page 6A

JASON TOWLEN/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Pope Francis greets supporters in front of the Cathedral
Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia Sunday.

MORE COVERAGE
‘Normal day’ for Philly church. 6A » Family drives from
Argentina to see pontiff. 7A » Scenes from the event. 10A
See APP.com for videos and galleries from the papal visit

PHILADELPHIA Babies were kissed. Tears were
shed. Memories were made — and widely disseminated
on social media.
And when it was all over, the uncounted mass of humanity that packed the city Sunday for a chance to
catch a glimpse of Pope Francis united in a great, collective “Amen.”
The taxing trek was worth it.
Like a grandfather out for a leisurely Sunday drive,
the pope took his sweet time coming up the Benjamin
Franklin Parkway prior to his 4 p.m. Mass.
And the hundreds of thousands he passed along the
way enjoyed every second of it.
This was no drive-by blessing. The 78-year-old pontiff’s pedestrian pace made many feel as if they had had
a personal encounter with him.
“Emotional breathtaking unbelievable,” a teary Cheryl Krzaczyk of Ship Bottom wrote in a text message
shortly after seeing Francis. “I can’t stop crying.”
Nobody who experienced it firsthand will ever look
See PILGRIMS, Page 7A

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their hosts at MetLife Stadium. Game coverage and commentary, 1D

ADVICE
BUSINESS
CLASSIFIED
COMICS
LOCAL

3C
8A
5C
4C
3A

LOTTERIES
OBITUARIES
OPINION
SPORTS
WEATHER

2A
9A
11A
1D
12D

VOLUME 136
NUMBER 232
SINCE 1879

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