Pope Francis brings message of brotherly love - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Pope Francis brings message of brotherly love

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Pope Francis (AP photo) Pope Francis (AP photo)
PHILADELPHIA, PA (WFSB) -

There were deafening cheers, thunderous applause, and standing ovations for Pope Francis in Philadelphia.

The Holy Father enjoyed a beautiful concert on Saturday night along with thousands at the Festival of Families.

A two-mile square area of downtown Philadelphia was placed in secure isolation all weekend.

The half million or so people attending the Festival of Families walked everywhere, like the Hedberg family of Southington who stood outside for hours to get a glimpse of Pope Francis.

Karen and Fred Hedberg traveled to Philadelphia in hopes of being close to the Pope during his Mass, and that he might see their 11-year-old son Andrew who has battled cancer and has faith beyond belief.

"Means the world to me to have Andrew experience it, to feel the Lord. And to be in the presence of this Pope,” said Karen Hedberg.

"Our family is very religious. We pray a lot. It means a lot,” said Andrew.

There was a huge concert for Pope Francis on Saturday night, featuring major recording artists like Andrea Bocelli and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

"I'm just so excited to be around so many people that are of like-minded,” said Michelle Dickey.

"He doesn't really say anything necessarily. He kisses the child and looks deeply at the parents. There is no more that needs to be said than his compassionate gesture,” said Bishop Cote.

On Saturday, Pope Francis was seen at Independence Hall where he spoke to tens of thousands about religious freedom.

Anxiously awaiting the Holy Father’s word were students from Fairfield Prep.

"We are the future not only of this country but the world and it’s up to us to take these Jesuit teachings we have so far and apply them to our life every day,” said J.D. Shannon of Wilton.

Archbishop Leonard Blair of the Archdiocese of Hartford led a retreat in Drexel Hill as part of the Festival of Families.

On Sunday, one million people gathered for a huge celebratory Mass before the Holy Father headed back home.

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