Francis is in NYC!
Pope Francis got off at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, on Thursday. He stepped off the jet smiling and was met by five Catholic school students chosen because of their excellence in school and devotion to faith.
Francis and his staff then boarded two helicopters to fly them to a Wall Street helipad where he will then make his arrival in midtown Manhattan.
Thousands of people surrounded St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City– anxiously awaiting for Pope Francis’s arrival as he was scheduled to participate in an evening prayer service. Besides the thousands of people are hundreds of police officers surrounding Fifth Avenue, late Thursday afternoon.
Around the perimeter are metal fences that are being pressed against by the thousands of people as several hold flags. A few with tickets for entrance through x-ray machines inside 10-foot metal fences of black mesh that lined the pope’s motorcade route slept on sidewalks using their arms as pillows.
Sanitation Department trucks are filled with sand so it can block side streets leading to the cathedral. Journalists were banned from bringing “round fruit” inside — oranges, apples and anything else that could be thrown, according to USA Today.
This prayer service is the first event on the pope’s itinerary in New York. Earlier, he spent the day in Washington where he wrapped up his trip there with an address to Congress and a trip to St. Patrick Catholic Church and Catholic Charities.
Many hours before the pope’s arrival, parts of Manhattan were already locked down with with tight security.
“It’s special to see all the American people here, I’m proud,” said Alfredo Celesti, 19, who traveled with his family from Buenos Aires to see the pope.”