Rhode Islanders emotional as pope spends last day in America

(AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

PHILADELPHIA (WPRI) — Pope Francis’ incredible visit to America has officially come to an end.

The Holy Father left Philadelphia around 7:45 p.m. Sunday – after a whirlwind 10-day tour of Cuba and the United States.

Pope Francis waved farewell to the crowds at Philadelphia International Airport as he boarded Shepherd One to head home to Rome.

More than 400 Rhode Islanders made the pilgrimage to Philadelphia to hear and see the pontiff – and many say it was a weekend they will never forget.

“He’s such a loving man, he projects that love to everybody but he makes every person feel they’re special as an individual, I think. Even when he goes by in a blur, you feel like you’ve connected with him. He makes great eye contact and it’s, it’s awesome,” one woman said.

“I just think it’s such a special, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It was so wonderful to see him yesterday even though it was fleeting, it came by so quickly, but it was wonderful,” another woman added.

Photos: Eyewitness News covers Pope Francis' trip to America
Photos: Eyewitness News covers Pope Francis’ trip to America

Pope Francis celebrated Mass at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul on Saturday. On Sunday, he was on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on the steps in front of the Museum of Art.

People from all around the world were there to see the pontiff, and the Rhode Islanders who made the pilgrimage said the whole experience was breathtaking.

Watch Mike Montecalvo’s complete report in the video above.

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