Pope Francis t-shirts, bobbleheads, happy hour specials … the head of the Catholic Church is visiting the United States this week, and Washington, New York, and Philadelphia have geared up in anticipation.
T-shirts as proof the pope is coming to DC. pic.twitter.com/7dl0DhvaaR
— Todd C. Frankel (@tcfrankel) September 17, 2015
The Pope has come early to Isgro’s. Get your Pope cookies and cupcakes today! pic.twitter.com/mjOhcaDWw1
— Isgro Pastries (@isgropastries) September 8, 2015
Pope T-shirts! Get yer Pope T-shirts! Pauline Muchina at Conn. & L NW said she’s sold 20+. $8 and $6. pic.twitter.com/DPtaHG6nqq
— JohnKelly (@JohnKelly) September 17, 2015
The Pope’s gonna be so stoked when he orders pizza here in Philly and sees the box. ?? pic.twitter.com/09tSDDrXib
— Melissa (@melhoudart) September 15, 2015
— Penn Beer (@PennBeer) September 10, 2015
Roughly 50,000 visitors are expected to descend on Washington. In Philadelphia, tickets for the Pope’s Independence Hall event were claimed in two minutes. New York City is preparing for total gridlock as 170 world leaders gather to meet him for the annual U.N. conference, as another hundreds of thousands of people try to catch a glimpse.
With all of the buzz and excitement (and bobbleheads), you’d think this was the first time a Pope visited the United States. Contrary, according to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Pope Francis’ visit will be the tenth time a pope has made an apostolic journey to America.
Here’s a look back at past papal visits.
First Papal visit to the United States: Pope Paul VI
First Papal visit to the White House: Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II traveled to the United States six more times during his tenure and was greeted by the sitting president each visit.
The third pope to visit the United States: Pope Benedict XVI