WASHINGTON DC (CBS) – The Pope wrapped up his first full day in the U.S with a packed schedule that included everything from a speech at the White House to a first-ever canonization on American soil.
Pope Francis made history again Wednesday, canonizing a saint for the first time on U.S. soil.
The Pope elevated missionary Junipero Serra to sainthood in a Mass celebrated in Spanish at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
25,000 people gathered for the Mass and the chance to see the Pope in person.
Sister Gertrude Gillette of Charlotte was thrilled “he’s all heart, and that’s what I love about him.”
The Pope delighted crowds all day, riding down Constitution Avenue while bodyguards lifted up children to be blessed.
One little girl, 5-year-old Sophie Cruz handed the Pope a message about immigration. She said “all immigrants just like my dad feeds this country.”
Earlier at the White House the Holy Father called on Catholics, and the country, to take care of the poor and the planet.
He said “climate change is a problem.”
The Pope also met with U.S. bishops, encouraging them to be close to the people and welcoming to immigrants.
Immigration is expected to be among the topics Francis addresses in a speech to Congress on Thursday.
President Obama and the Pope had a private conversation in the Oval Office. The Vatican says the U.S. embargo on Cuba was one of the main issues discussed by the U.S. and Holy See delegations on the sidelines of Pope Francis’ meeting with President Barack Obama.
The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, declined to provide details on the private meeting between Francis and Obama.
But he said the diplomatic delegations headed by Vice President Joseph Biden and the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, discussed the Cuban embargo and the Holy See’s longstanding opposition to it.
Lombardi said “there was a certain readiness to understand from the USA side how it is possible to go on to solve the different problems” about lifting the blockade.
Francis has said he would not mention the embargo in his speech Thursday to Congress, which has the power to lift the blockade.