With Pope Francis set to travel to Philadelphia for next September’s World Meeting of Families, New York City is preparing to welcome the pontiff.
The leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics was elected in March 2013. Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S. will be the fourth visit by a pope, following Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI.
The pope is also expected to visit Washington D.C. and the United Nations, though those plans have not yet been confirmed by the Vatican.
On Monday, several visitors to St. Patrick’s Cathedral said they were excited at the prospect of the pope’s visit.
“I’m very excited to see the 44th pope,” Yvette Estime said. “I like him because he is addressing current issues and trying to make a change, unlike the last pope who left because he didn’t want to deal with current issues.”
“I think it is great for him to be coming here,” Jericho Condor, a Catholic, said. “I think he’s very appealing because he is a very humble and simple pope.”
Juan Mercado said that although the visit might “give people hope,” he’s not sure anything would come of it.
“He won’t make much of a substantial difference for what the people here need,” Mercado said.
Lucas Vazquez contributed reporting.