Pope Francis is headed home, leaving the United States after a five-day trip with “a heart full of gratitude and hope.”
He lands in Rome early Monday.
The Pope packed a lot of hugs, handshakes, blessings and political admonitions into six days that took him to the halls of Washington power, the U.N. General Assembly and drew throngs of admirers to hear him celebrate Mass.
He started with a greeting perhaps unprecedented for a foreign dignitary when he arrived from Cuba. President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and their families all went to meet him on the tarmac of Joint Base Andrews outside Washington.
Then Francis became the first Pope to address Congress.
“Legislative activity is always based on care for the people,” he told lawmakers in a speech that brought House Speaker John Boehner to tears. In the wake of his meeting with Francis, Boehner, who had talked of laying down the speaker’s gavel in coming months, quit his job posthaste.
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