Almost a full week has passed since final preparations began for the Pope’s visit. This time last week the traffic box hadn’t gone up, but there was already an eerie silence in Center City. Many residents left, replaced with weary-eyed pilgrims from around the world, moving in crowds down the middle of usually crowded streets. If nothing else, the Pope seemed to bring his own brand of heaven for runners, cyclists and rollerbladers alike.
By now we’ve all heard of the Argentine family who traveled 13,000 miles in an old VW bus to see Papa Francisco. Even the Pope said they were crazy. But before it all happened, I told you our initial reasons for staying, but in retrospect, there was so much more to see.
For those of us who stayed, we surely witnessed something we will never see again: a major American city, void of most cars and lacking in people. A city that, for all intents and purposes, remained open for business, but shut off from the outside world. Ironically though, from Friday evening through Sunday, the city was more global than ever.
After all, how many times have you woken up on a weekend morning to chants and song from people parading down the middle of Walnut?
And while some lament the missed business opportunities of the Papal visit, there’s a great deal of long term benefit at a macro level to a city—nicknamed by some as “Killadelphia” and remembered most for pelting Santa Claus at an Eagles game—hosting a global leader without major incident.
In case you missed any of it or, like me, are looking to relive the experience, below are links to our full coverage of the weekend.
- Archived live coverage from Philly In Focus and partners
- Other Papal news
- Fun facts and other info related to the Pope’s visit
- Archived street team coverage on Stringwire
- Transcripts of all of Pope Francis’ speeches