Pope Francis in Philadelphia celebrating Mass

Published: Sep. 26, 2015 at 3:02 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 26, 2015 at 7:42 PM EDT
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(WWBT) - NEW YORK (AP) - Pope Francis arrived in the City of Brotherly Love on Saturday for the final leg of his U.S. visit - a festive weekend devoted to celebrating Catholic families.

The pontiff's plane touched down at the Philadelphia airport after takeoff from New York, bringing him to a city of blocked-off streets, sidewalks lined with portable potties, and checkpoints manned by police, National Guardsmen and border agents.

After speeches to Congress and the United Nations earlier this week aimed at spurring world leaders toward bold action on immigration and the environment, he is expected to focus more heavily on ordinary Catholics during his two days in Philadelphia.

From the airport, Francis rode by motorcade to the downtown Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul to celebrate a Mass for about 1,600 people, twice turning around to wave to the hundreds of cheering people standing outside the church.

Also on the itinerary for Saturday: a late-afternoon speech in front of Independence Hall on religious freedom and immigration. The weekend's events will culminate in an outdoor Mass Sunday evening for 1 million people.

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