By Alejandro Freixes, CCNN Head Writer
Pope Francis, the revolutionary leader of the Catholic Church, made his first trip to the USA last week, with a whirlwind tour of Washington, D.C., New York, and Philadelphia!
Born in Argentina as Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the Pope worked a variety of jobs like nightclub bouncer and chemical lab technician, before rising through the Catholic ranks to become the country’s cardinal. In March of 2013, Bergoglio made history as the first Pope ever elected from the Americas. He adopted the name Francis, in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment.
The humble 78-year-old is widely admired for helping the poor, getting rid of corrupt church officials, and turning down the luxury clothes, cars, and apartments that come with being Pope.
During his visit to D.C. from September 22-24, the Pope’s action-packed schedule included meeting President Barack Obama at the White House, addressing a joint-session of Congress, and holding the first ever canonization (saint-making ceremony) Mass on American soil. Then, it was off to New York City until September 26, for a meeting with the United Nations (UN) General Assembly (during the organization’s 70th anniversary) and a multi-religious service at the 9/11 Memorial Museum. Afterwards, the Pope jetted to Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, in Pennsylvania. You know, the birthplace of American democracy! Philadelphia is home to the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed. There, he joined the World Meeting of the Families, a gathering that celebrates the family as the main building block of society. He bade farewell on September 27, traveling back to the Vatican City in Rome, Italy.
Featured image courtesy of Vatican. Image of Pope Francis waving courtesy of World Meeting of Families 2015 Facebook.