Pope Francis made an unexpected stop as he was leaving the airport in Philadelphia Saturday morning to bless a boy in a wheelchair.
Chuck Keating prepared for weeks for Pope Francis’ arrival in Philadelphia, but what followed was something he could have never anticipated. Pope Francis then exited his vehicle to bless a young boy.
Shortly after Pope Francis disembarked from the American Airlines’ charter, Shepherd One, the Keating family’s experience changed.
Keating, a former Bergen County resident, brought his family along to the airport where he was to director the Bishop Shanahan High School band from Downingtown, Pa., as it performed on the tarmac to greet the pontiff’s arrival to Philadelphia.
Pope Francis stopped to kiss a boy with cerebral palsy in Philadelphia, causing the boy’s parents to be overwhelmed with emotion. “Unbelievable. Unbelievable. That’s the word I just keep saying over and over again”, said the boy’s father, Chuck Keating, NBC 10 reported.
“He was starting to get a little exhausted, a little agitated”, Keating said.
“When the pope took his hand off him, he had a bit smile on his face”.
Francis later blessed several disabled children at a Mass at Cathedral Basilica of Sts.
“We urge anyone using the RiverLINE light rail to be on board by 3 p.m.in order to be in Philadelphia on time” for the Pope’s appearances at Independence Mall and the Festival of Families. Peter and Paul.
– One of the Pope’s first actions when he arrived in Philadelphia has already gone viral.
Meanwhile, Pope Francis says the future of the church depends on an increased role for the laity and on valuing the “immense contribution” of women.
Playing for this large crowd was definitely a little different for her, as she’s used to playing and singing just at Mass and small church gatherings, but she was enjoying the celebration and community of the event, even if she wasn’t inside.
Later Saturday, he will give a speech on religious freedom and immigration and then join in the final night of the World Meeting of Families.