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Pope Francis was serenaded by Aretha Franklin at the Festival of Families in Philadelphia tonight in front of hundreds of thousands of people.
The Pontiff smiled as the Queen of Soul sang Amazing Grace with the backing of a gospel choir in front of the largest crowds Francis has seen so far on his six-day tour of the US.
But he seemed more impressed by the voice of a young choirboy, who wowed the head of the Catholic Church and an estimated 300,000-strong crowd with perfect falsetto.
Not for the first time, the Pope took time out of his packed schedule to bless a disabled child, beaming as he talked to an ecstatic Ukrainian teenager with cerebral palsy.
After hearing testimony from Catholic families from across the world, Francis ended the show - hosted by actor Mark Wahlberg - with a long, unscripted speech on the importance of family.
He said families must take care of grandparents and children, but, showing a sign of his wicked sense of humour, said that he would not speak about mother-in-laws.
Pope Francis has arrived at the Festival of Families in Philadelphia, where he will be serenaded by Aretha Franklin in front of hundreds of thousands of people
Packed city: Early estimates suggested up to 300,000 people were at the largest meeting of Catholic families in the world
After taking to the stage, Pope Francis embraced a Ukrainian man with cerebral palsy after listening to a short speech from his mother who cares for him
Pope Francis was serenaded by Aretha Franklin at the Festival of Families in Philadelphia tonight. She sang Amazing Grace
Francis was expected to enjoy music from the Aretha Franklin as well as other acts in a show hosted by actor Mark Wahlberg, before retiring for the night ahead of tomorrow's mass attended by a million people
Pope Francis waved from the popemobile during the parade on Benjamin Franklin Parkway en route to the Festival of Families
The Pope waved as his motorcade traveled down Benjamin Franklin Parkway towards the main stage at the Festival of Families
The Pontiff's huge motorcade was driven into Benjamin Franklin Parkway as the largest crowds he has seen so far on his six-day US tour roared with delight
Pope Francis was heavily guarded as he was driven down Benjamin Franklin Parkway in a Jeep Wrangler popemobile
The vast crowds lined the streets all the way along the Parkway in Philadelphia, with some people arriving to save a place by the road as early as 6.30am Saturday
The Pope made an enthusiastic speech about the value of family after his parade and the series of performances
The Pope's huge motorcade was earlier driven along Benjamin Franklin Parkway as the huge audience roared with delight
The Pontiff said: 'We are celebrating the feast of the family. Families have a citizenship which is divine.
Some of you might say of course, "Father, you speak because you are not married!"
Families have difficulties. Families quarrel. Sometimes plates can fly. And children bring headaches. And I won't speak about mother in laws. But in families there is always light.
'Some things we do have to take care of: children and grandparents. Children are the strength. we place our hope in them. Grandparents are the living memory of the family. They passed on the faith, they transmitted the faith to us.
'To look after grandparents, to look after children, is the expression of love.'
The Pope was joined on stage by families from the US, Australia, Ukraine, Jordan, Nigeria, and his homeland of Argentina.
The first to meet him - engaged Australian couple Camilius O'Kane and Kelly Walsh - asked about gay marriage, voicing their concerns about 'the push to change the legal definition of marriage'.
Ukrainian Lesya Boris and her son Bogdan, who has cerebral palsy, also met the Pope, who spent time talking to them as he has with several disabled children during his tour of the US.
There was a touching moment as young choirboy Bobby Hill took to the stage, singing perfect falsetto and winning over the Pope and the crowd. Francis beamed as he chatted to the boy, who hugged Mark Wahlberg after the performance.
The actor said afterwards: 'That right there was truly the voice of an angel. But then he whispered in my ear that he loved the movie Ted. And I told him that was not appropriate for a boy of his age.
'Holy Father please forgive me. I’ve always hoped that the good Lord has a sense of humor when it comes and pertains to many of the movies that I’ve made.'
Aretha Franklin then took to the stage to sing Amazing Grace, drawing cheers from the crowd and polite applause from Francis.
Welcome: A clergyman kissed the hand of Pope Francis as he went to take his seat on stage at the Festival of Families
Francis read a short prayer in English to the crowds before being welcomed to the festival by actor and host Mark Wahlberg
Play on: An orchestra played as the Pope arrived, with Francis stopping to acknowledge their music before his first prayer
The Pope was set to be joined on stage by families from the US, Australia, Ukraine, Jordan, Nigeria, and his homeland of Argentina
Queen of Soul: Francis politely clapped after the performance, which was cheered by the hundreds of thousands of people in the audience
There was a touching moment as young choirboy Bobby Hill (pictured hugging Mark Wahlberg) took to the stage, singing perfect falsetto and winning over the Pope and the crowd
Australian couple Camilius O'Kane and Kelly Walsh asked the Pope about gay marriage, voicing their concerns about 'the push to change the legal definition of marriage'
Comedian Jim Gaffigan raised the spirits of the thousands of people who had waited all day to see the leader of the Catholic Church
The Pope's huge motorcade was earlier driven along Benjamin Franklin Parkway as the huge audience roared with delight at the largest meeting of Catholic families in the world.
Francis took to the stage and read a short prayer in English before being welcomed by actor and host Mark Wahlberg, who attributed his success in Hollywood to his faith.
Before the Pope's arrival, nuns were seen dancing to Sister Sledge, who performed after comedian Jim Gaffigan raised the spirits of the thousands of people who had waited all day to see the leader of the Catholic Church.
Earlier the Pope had used a speech to 40,000 followers at Independence Hall to defend Latino immigrants who came to America at 'great personal cost' in a thinly-veiled swipe at Donald Trump.
Francis called on migrants from Mexico and the rest of the world to 'not feel discouraged by all the challenges and hardships' they face, saying they should never feel ashamed of their own traditions.
The Pope's words come in direct contrast to Trump's calls for a wall to be built along the Mexican border and for stricter controls on who can enter the US.
Speaking from the lectern used by President Abraham Lincoln when he delivered the Gettysburg Address, Francis directly addressed America's Hispanic population, saying: 'Thank you for opening the doors. Many of you have emigrated. I greet you with my heart.
'Many of you came to this country at great personal cost, but in the hope of building a new life. Do not feel discouraged by all the challenges and hardships you might face. I ask you not to forget that, like those who came here before you, you bring many gifts to this new nation of yours.
'Please: do not feel ever ashamed of your traditions.'
He continued: 'Do not forget the lessons you learned from your elders, which can bring an enrichment to life of this American land. You are also called to be responsible citizens. You are called to be responsible citizens and to contribute, like others, with so much resilience before you – to contribute fruitfully to the life of the communities in which you live.
'Do not forget what happened here over two centuries ago. Do not forget the declaration which said all men and women were created equally – to be equal - that governments exist to protect and defend these rights.'
Pope Francis made a thinly-veiled swipe at Donald Trump as the Pontiff defended Hispanic immigrants who came to America at 'great personal cost' during a moving speech to 40,000 followers in Philadelphia
Pope Francis waved to the crowd at Independence Hall on Saturday as he prepared to give a speech on religious rights and immigration
Pope Francis kisses and blesses Michael Keating, 10, of Elverson, Pennsylvania, after arriving in Philadelphia and spotting the boy
Breezy: The wind lifted the Pope's cassock as he delivered his speech, which called on immigrants in America to not be 'ashamed' of their traditions
Unfortunately the Pontiff's cloak was blown around his face, but he quickly batted it aside to continue his speech on immigration
Pope Francis was passed several babies to kiss as he traveled to Independence Hall in Philadelphia
Bodyguards passed baby after baby to the Pope as he rode down Market Street in Philadelphia so he could kiss them each on their forehead
One baby that was lifted to the Pope's lips wore a onesie and a tiny peaked hat similar to the Pontiff's iconic mitre
Another one: The Pope was passed a steady stream of infants to kiss as the popemobile slowly made its way through the vast crowds
Crowds erupted in cheers as Pope Francis rode down Market Street in his open, converted Jeep Wrangler
Francis called on migrants from Mexico and the rest of the world to 'not feel discouraged by all the challenges and hardships' they face
Pope Francis was surrounded by several bodyguards as he made his way down the streets of Philadelphia
The Pope grinned as he made his way through the crowd on his way to Independence Hall in Philadelphia on Saturday
Pope Francis addressed a crowd of thousands at Independence Hall, covering topics including religious freedom and immigration
The Pope spoke from a lectern that former President Abraham Lincoln used during the Gettysburg Address
The speech seemed to be a nod towards Donald Trump's views on immigration from Mexico. Just yesterday, at the Oklahoma State Fair, the Republican presidential front runner said: 'Mexico... I love Mexico - I love the Mexican people, thousands of them work for me - but we've gotta build a wall on the border.
'We're gonna build a wall and we're gonna have a door in the wall where people who wanna come in can come in legally.'
The crowd erupted in cheers as Pope Francis stepped out of Independence Hall on Saturday to give a speech on religious freedom and immigration. He kept his composure as the hood of his white cloak blew into his face, brushing it aside on what was a windy afternoon.
Many of the 40,000 spectators, who had to have tickets for the event, began waiting in the early morning in hopes of reserving a spot with a good view of the pope.
Shouts of "il Papa" came from the crowd before he began his speech at the site that the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. Thousands of others watched the speech from large TV screens around the city.
Francis arrived on the mall in his white popemobile, waving to crowds on Market Street as he rode in the open and converted Jeep Wrangler.
Bodyguards passed one baby after another to Francis so he could kiss their foreheads. A police officer handed the pope a boy in a Batman shirt; another baby was wearing a tiny peaked hat similar to the pope's iconic mitre.
Pope Francis kicked off the last two days of his his six-day US tour with a stop at the Philadelphia's main cathedral, the Cathedral Basilica of St Peter and St Paul, where he celebrated Mass in front of 1,600 people. Pope John Paul II spoke at the same cathedral in 1979, the only other papal visit to Philadelphia.
'I would like to think, though, that the history of the church in this city and state is really a story not about building walls, but about breaking them down,' Francis said during the Mass. 'It is a story about generation after generation of committed Catholics going out to the peripheries, and building communities of worship, education, charity and service to the larger society.
After the Mass, Archbishop Charles Chaput said Philadelphia 'is a city that would change its name to Francisville' if it could.
Pope Francis stopped to bless children in wheelchairs before leaving the cathedral in downtown Philadelphia.
Francis walked through a chapel adjacent to the main room in the cathedral on Saturday to greet ill and disabled parishioners, along with other visitors. He blessed the children and gave them a kiss on the head.
Pennsylvania State Troopers made a show of force on Benjamin Franklin Parkway before Pope Francis traveled down the street
Nuns could hardly hide their excitement as they waited for Pope Francis to arrive at the World Festival of Families on Saturday
Catholic seminary students marched with a giant portrait of Pope Francis through the streets of Philadelphia
Prior to the speech, the Pope blessed the Cross of the Encuentros Saturday afternoon after arriving at Independence Mall for the speech. A family of seven that came to the United States from Mexico presented the cross to Francis
Encuentros is the Spanish word for meetings or encounters. Catholic officials say the cross will be taken to dioceses across the country as a symbol of an ongoing national pastoral movement called Encuentro, which has spurred Hispanic ministry in the country
Mass crowds erupted in cheers and took pictures as Pope Francis made his way to Independence Hall
A crowd filled Independence Mall ahead of Pope Francis' speech outside Independence Hall in Philadelphia on Saturday
People waited along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to see Pope Francis during the papal parade on Saturday
In Philadelphia, the Pope was greeted at the steps of the Cathedral Basilica of Sts Peter and Paul by former Pennsylvania Gov Tom Corbett and his wife. Corbett originally invited Francis to Philadelphia.
While delivering a homily in Spanish during mass at the city's main cathedral, he said that the future of the church depends on an increased role for the laity and on valuing the 'immense contribution' of women.
Francis has repeatedly said women should have a greater role in church leadership, although he has rejected the idea of ordaining women. By touching on the issue, Francis seemed intent on healing one of the major rifts in American Catholicism that has alienated many from the church.
The former Archbishop of Philadelphia who retired in 2011 amid a scandal over clergy sex abuse was seen at the cathedral celebrating Mass with Pope Francis.
Cardinal Justin Rigali joined Francis and other bishops at the Mass on Saturday on the pope's first stop in Philadelphia. Rigali's successor, Chaput, also was on the altar.
Rigali retired to the Diocese of Knoxville, Tennessee, months after a grand jury accused the Philadelphia archdiocese of sheltering more than three dozen credibly accused priests and lying about it to victims and others.
Fifty members of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas were on hand at the Mass to hear Pope Francis call for the church to value the contribution of women.
Weeping: A woman burst into tears as Pope Francis blessed her disabled son upon arrival in Philadelphia
Pope Francis stopped to meet and bless people after arriving at Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia
Pope Francis waved as he arrived for a mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St Peter and St Paul in Philadelphia
The Pope began his Philadelphia trip with a mass and will end it with another - one that will be outdoors in front of a million people
Former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett, second from left, and his wife Susan greeted Pope Francis as he arrived for mass
Francis settled a controversy in April over a three-year Vatican investigation into the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which the sisters are part of. The umbrella group for women's religious orders had been accused of straying from church teaching.
The Pope's progressive agenda parallels their views on helping the poor and immigrants, preserving life and ending the death penalty.
Sister Catherine Darcy, of Merion, Pennsylvania, says this is a special moment for the Catholic Church and that they have felt strong support from Francis.
Francis spent a few hours at St Charles Borromeo Seminary just outside of the city before giving his speech at Independence Hall on religious freedom and immigration.
When he first arrived at the seminary, where he will stay for his Philadelphia trip, about 150 seminarians serenaded him.
Pope Francis will be the star attraction at the World Meeting of Families, a conference for more than 18,000 people from around the world that has been underway as the pope traveled to Washington and New York.
The Pontiff's time in Philadelphia will embark on the segment of his American journey expected to be the most centered on ordinary Catholics: a Vatican-organized rally for the family that will culminate in an outdoor Mass for a million people.
Pope Francis blessed a girl in a wheelchair after celebrating Mass at Cathedral Basilica of St Peter and St Paul in Philadelphia
Francis walked through a chapel adjacent to the main room in the cathedral on Saturday to greet ill and disabled parishioners, along with other visitors. He blessed the children and gave them a kiss on the head
Francis greeted visitors as he walked through a chapel adjacent to the main room in Cathedral Basilica of St Peter and St Paul
Nuns embraced each other during the greeting of peace as part of the papal mass attended by Pope Francis at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia
A crowd cheered as Pope Francis arrives at St Charles Borromeo Seminary, where he rested before giving a speech at Independence Hall
Pope Francis, center, is greeted by Bishop Timothy Senior, center right, and seminarians as he arrives at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary
Francis was serenaded by a group of about 150 seminarians after arriving at the suburban seminary where he will stay while visiting Philadelphia
And as he departed from New York on Saturday morning, the wind was strong and the Pope, who suffers from sciatica and a bad knee, took a tumble on the stairs as he boarded his plane, but he was all smiles just moments later as he waved goodbye to the crowd.
Once on the plane, the Pope - who only has one lung - asked to circle the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island on his way out of Manhattan, becoming visibly moved as the helicopter carried him over the sights that greeted millions of immigrants to America.
In every city, Francis has been greeted by throngs of cheering, weeping well-wishers, hoping for a glance or a touch from the wildly popular spiritual leader. Philadelphia as been no different thus far.
When the pope arrived in Philadelphia, he kissed the forehead of a boy with cerebral palsy, coaxing a small smile from the severely disabled 10-year-old.
Francis apparently spied Michael Keating as he was being driven away from the plane. Ordering the Fiat to stop, Francis got out and walked over to the boy, put his hand on his head and kissed him as his sobbing mother looked on.
Kristin Keating thanked the pope, who grasped her hand. Francis also shook the hand of Keating's husband, Chuck Keating, the band director at Bishop Shanahan High School in Downingtown. The band serenaded Francis as he arrived in Philadelphia for the last leg of his six-day visit to the United States.
Several spectators and members of the clergy took photos with their phones as Francis arrived at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul
Francis walked down the aisle of the church holding a large staff with a crucifix on top while a choir sang
Clergymen watch as Pope Francis walks during the procession before the start of mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia on Saturday
Spectators smiled and took pictures as Pope Francis arrived at Cathedral Basilica of Sts Peter and Paul for a Mass
Pope Francis, center, walks though a great crowd of people toward the altar at Cathedral Basilica of Sts Peter and Paul to start a mass
Pope Francis is the second pope to visit Philadelphia. Pope John Paul II spoke at Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in 1979
Pope Francis celebrates mass at Philadelphia's main Catholic cathedral in front of approximately 1,600 people
Pope Francis addresses parishioners during mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia
After celebrating mass at Philadelphia's main Catholic cathedral, the Pope will give a speech at Independence Hall and then join in the final night of the World Meeting of Families
Nuns watched as Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul
Pope Francis celebrated Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul on Saturday
'It was an unbelievable feeling,' Kristin Keating said of the papal encounter, adding she felt 'totally blessed and loved' by the Pope.
Her son was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at six months old. He also has a profound intellectual disability as well as vision and hearing problems and cannot do anything for himself, communicating through various moans and cries.
Michael, who got up 2.15am for the trip to Philadelphia, had been agitated off and on throughout the morning, but he seemed to calm in the Pope's presence.
'When the Pope took his hand off him, he had a bit smile on his face. To me, in that moment, he must have felt that blessing,' said Keating, a fourth-grade teacher from Elverson.
'For us, it was beautiful,' she added. 'For us, it meant something.'
The unprecedented security for the anticipated crowds in Philadelphia has been so heavy that organizers of the visit worried people would be scared away.
'He has a magnetic personality that not only appeals to Catholics, but to the universal masses. He's not scripted. He's relatable,' Filipina Opena, 46, a Catholic from LaMirada, California, said. 'His heart, in itself, you can see that reflected through his message.'
People filled Independence Mall as they awaited the arrival of Pope Francis before his speech outside Independence Hall
Crowds looking to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis gather along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway after he concluded Mass across the street at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul
A worthwhile wait: Spectators gathered at barricades in hopes of catching a glimpse of Pope Francis
Crowds gathered on Independence Mall in Philadelphia prior to Pope Francis' speech, where he discussed immigration
People at Independence Hall watched a video feed of Pope Francis celebrating mass at Philadelphia's main Catholic cathedral on Saturday
People claimed their spots in the morning on Independence Mall to see Pope Francis speak later in the afternoon in Philadelphia
People watched a video feed of Pope Francis arriving in Pennsylvania while waiting at Independence Hall on Saturday
People gathered while waiting for Pope Francis at Independence Hall. Many wore shirts and carried posters that held messages for the Pope
Catholic nuns and other worshippers prayed on Independence Mall in Philadelphia as they watch a television feed of Pope Francis celebrating a mass nearby at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul
A sister with the Missionaries of Charity, left, prays in the crowd gathered at Independence Mall in Philadelphia
People watched a video feed of Pope Francis arriving in Pennsylvania while waiting at Independence Hall
'People feel he's sincere and he's genuine. The more people hear him, the more they see him, they all understand and realize it,' Opena added, as tour groups and families walked among Philadelphia's historic sites, taking pictures ahead of the Pope's visit.
Barricades lining the streets, however, have been overwhelmed with crowds already as some people arrived early in the morning and slept on the sidewalk in hopes of getting a front-row spot to catch a glimpse of the pope.
An Argentine on the first US visit of his life, Francis will be given a stage steeped in American history on Saturday.
As he has done in New York and Washington, he will give his attention to both the elite and the disadvantaged, this time visiting inmates in Philadelphia's largest jail.
A woman holds a Pope Francis doll as she and others await the arrival of the pontiff who will attend the Festival of Families on Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia