Pope Francis in Philadelphia: It's Hard Out Here for a Pope

It's Hard Out Here for a Pope sticker in Philadelphia
It's Hard Out Here for a Pope sticker in Philadelphia

For the third and final leg of his visit to America, Pope Francis hit Philadelphia for a two-day stop – September 26 and 27 – and an itinerary that includes a mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul, a prayer stop at Independence Hall, a concert in his name at the Festival of Families event at Eakins Oval and, on the 27th, a large outdoor mass that begins at 4 PM on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. For all the deserved holy pomp and circumstance, there are many humorous elements on display during Papa Franciso's visit.

It's funny to see how Pope Francis' trek to Philly has inspired a host of imitators: at every non-Pope related concert that A.D. covered this week (including alt-J, Jesus & Mary Chain and R. Kelly), there were dudes dressed in Papal robes blessing anyone who asked.

All around the area there we've seen life-sized Pope Francis cut outs standing in doorways of shops and bars, establishments public and private hosting "Popapalooza" events (and people using the #Popapalooza hashtag on social media), and souvenir vendors setting up sidewalk shops with t-shirts, buttons, plaques, Argentinian flags and more.

Three of our personal favorites were found in South Philly – an area densely populated by Italian and Mexican Catholics – between the Italian Market and East Passyunk Avenue area. First, folks stopping by Capogiro for gelato will notice their window has the Pope on a pizza box; the second illustrates how we are all God's creatures: a papal costume for canines available at Doggie Style (a shop with pet food and merchandise). Finally, on the hip hop tip, we noticed a sticker on the side of a PGN newspaper honor box across the street from Philly's dueling steak shops – Geno's and Pat's – that reads, "It's hard out here for a Pope."

A selection Pope Francis offerings in Philadelphia
A selection Pope Francis offerings in South Philadelphia
Photos ©Reese Amorosi 2015

Posted on Saturday, September 26, 2015