25,000 attend historic mass with Pope Francis

WASHINGTON D.C., Va. (WRIC) — Pope Francis arrived to an enthusiastic, energetic and hopeful crowd  at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Wednesday, many of whom had dreamed of this moment for months.

“Just seeing him come in on his ‘Pope mobile’ was just incredible and we’ve been looking forward to this for so long,” Richmonder Anna Mohler said.

The historic Mass was the Pope’s biggest event while in Washington as 25,000 plus faithful followers gathered to witness the canonization of Junipero Serra.

Today, Pope Francis made Serra an 18th century Franciscan Missionary- the first Catholic Saint on U.S. soil.

The pontiff also gave the homily in Spanish. His message was that we all need to be responsible for one another.

“He brings us home that all of us are one,” said Sister Joanna Okereke with Empowered by Mass. “Even if you’re rich, you’re poor, you’re black, you’re brown … We are all one made by God.”

Frank Fiorillo of Boston said, “He wants everyone to have an encounter by Christ. I think that’s the important thing. And that’s what it is all about. That’s what our faith is all about.”

Added Sister Gloria Mary with Grateful to God, “To be right in front of the Pope, wow. It’s amazing, so fulfilling. I’m so grateful to God that I came here today.”

Pope Francis’ whirlwind trip to Washington winds up tomorrow. He starts early with a speech to Congress, then he’s going to have lunch with some of the city’s homeless before getting on a plane and heading to New York City.

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