Philly Pope-alooza

Pope Francis

Pope Francis made a whirlwind visit through Philadelphia this weekend in support of the World Meeting of Families conference. While I felt the Pontiff’s message to the United States was scolding in its tone, the people who traveled to this conference were nothing less than joyful. With humble hearts and kindness to all they met, I found interacting with these pilgrims the highlight of this conference.


I spent close to twelve hours on Saturday waiting for the Popemobile to pass by on the Parkway. I grabbed a great spot to photograph the Pontiff in his mobile as he passed by the crowds. Of course, this meant I had to stick to that spot till then. I texted friends for food and water reinforcements to help make the wait more bearable. As I leaned against the temporary railing set up on the Parkway I observed the moveable feast of conference participants and snapped a few photos. The following are some of the more interesting shots I took during that long wait. My gear for the day was the Canon 7DM2 and 70-200 f/4 lens along with the 24mm f/2/8 pancake lens. The photo of Pope Francis in the popemobile was taken with a Canon 70-200 f/4 L.

















I also managed to snap a photo of a rainbow that appeared in the sky during the Papal Mass on Saturday. Quite thrilling to have this beautiful natural phenomenon to happen during this Mass.

Rainbow appears during Pope mass #popeinphilly

A photo posted by Tania Gail (@taniagail) on

What were your impressions of the Papal visit to America? Would you wait twelve hours to snap a photo of the Pope in his famous ‘popemobile’? Leave your thoughts in the comment section.


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  • Tania

    I have to say I was unimpressed by his words outside of visiting with Little Sisters of the Poor. I wish we could have been privy to his exchange with those heroic nuns. In comparison to Cuba where the Pope warmly greeted a mass murderer with not so much as a single rebuking public comment, I’d say his tone in the U.S. was uncommonly harsh.

    Also, there seems to be little interest in the press as to the reason for protesting his visit in Cuba. I can certainly imagine what the ‘protesters’ were trying to communicate to the Pope, but the media has no interest in questioning the arrests further and neither it seems the Vatican.

    The real heroes of this event were the people in attendance. Their warmth and generosity of spirit was a delight to behold. I’d rather an hour in their company than a minute with the Pontiff.

    • rochester_veteran

      You make some good points, Tania, especially the Pope’s warm greeting of Castro. Recall that Pope Francis was one of the behind the scenes negotiators that engineered this deal with Obama. My friend, Joe, is from Cuba and the Castro regime confiscated all of their property and ran them off the island, where as refugees in the early 1960s, as refugees, they had nothing and had to start all over. They were fortunate they made it out with their lives!

  • rochester_veteran

    Your photos are wonderful, Tania, capturing the spirit of the pilgrims for the Pope’s visit! Twelve hours, you are so dedicated! I do hope their were “facilities” nearby! 😉

    My impression of Pope Francis’ visit is, what I and others were speculating that could be the worst, did NOT happen. Yes, he was scolding and he did address climate change (you know how I feel about the ACC claims), but it really wasn’t groundbreaking and he didn’t directly endorse world government. Whew, End Times averted for now at least! 😉

    Pope Francis actually softened my heart concerning my opinion of him. In his interactions with the people, he was candid and genuine. I really like that he met with the homeless and those in prison. Not sure if you saw this photo, but it touched me (along with your photo of the young couple with the sign, asking for the Pope to bless their son and the rainbow photo!):

    See this touching image of Pope Francis holding a prisoner’s hand

    I especially like that he met with the Little Sisters of the Poor and the message he sent to Obama for bullying the good sisters:

    Pope Francis meets with Little Sisters of the Poor, nuns involved in an Obamacare lawsuit

    I also heard on the news this morning, that he met with Kentucky County Clerk, Kim Davis:

    EXCLUSIVE: Kim Davis recounts secret meeting with Pope Francis

    In closing, Tania, you were a real trooper hanging in there to take these beautiful photos to share with those of us who couldn’t be in Philly for Pope Francis’ visit!