Pope made one more stop on his way to the outdoor Mass on the Parkway, stopping at the 'knot grotto' at cathedral and hugging Sister Mary Scullion.
Here's the AP report:
Pope Francis has exited his popemobile to visit a "knot grotto" that is based on one of his favorite paintings and lets visitors acknowledge the challenges in their daily lives.
The installation built next to Philadelphia's Roman Catholic cathedral is inspired by a painting called "Mary, Undoer of Knots" that holds special meaning for the pope.
The artwork shows Mary untangling a long ribbon — a symbol for smoothing life's difficulties.
The painting hangs in a church in Augsburg, Germany, where then-Rev. Jorge Mario Bergoglio saw it while studying in the mid-1980s.
He brought back copies to Argentina, where it became a major source of devotion.
People were invited to write down their own problems on ribbons tied to the grotto. They were also encouraged to help others by loosening and removing a knot already in place.
: Pope Francis stopped on the campus of St. Joe's University to bless a new statue honoring the relationship between Jews and Catholics.
Here's the AP report:
Pope Francis has blessed a new statue honoring the relationship between Catholics and Jews.
Francis stopped at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia on his way back to the city before celebrating Mass in front of a massive crowd Sunday afternoon.
The sculpture was unveiled Friday and commemorates the 50th anniversary of a document that urged stronger relations between the two religions. Francis was joined by his longtime friend, Argentinian Rabbi Abraham Skorka.
Francis is traveling downtown and will transfer to the popemobile for a procession along the parkway to the altar in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Up to a million people or more are expected to crowd into the area for the Mass, and many reported waiting for hours to pass through security checkpoints.
Photographer Pete Bannan with evidence of five-block line to get through security on 21st street as huge throng shows up in Center City Philadelphia for papal Mass.
Here is what AP is saying about the long lines at security checkpoints to get into papal Mass in Philly:
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Tens of thousands of people are enduring hourslong waits to pass through security checkpoints for the papal Mass in downtown Philadelphia.
Lines stretch for several blocks to enter the secure zone on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Most pilgrims took the wait in stride, though some who grew impatient jumped over concrete barriers to get out of line and try their luck at other checkpoints.
Organizers expect 1 million people for the 4 p.m. Mass.
Officials have said the parkway itself can hold only about 250,000. But they say hundreds of thousands more will be able to watch the Mass on gigantic video screens set up on side streets and in other parts of the city.
Organizers have begun making adjustments to security checkpoints to ease wait times for people waiting in lines that stretch for several blocks.
One security checkpoint that had been reserved for pilgrims with tickets to the best seats for the papal Mass in downtown Philadelphia has been opened to the general public.
But wait times varied greatly, with some attendees reporting long waits behind thousands of people, while others sailed through different checkpoints.
A family who took the bus from Baltimore Sunday morning said they expected to wait as long as 90 minutes. Fifteen-year-old Matthew Stambaugh shrugged it off, saying, "it's worth it."
The 4 p.m. Mass is expected to draw more than 1 million people.
The word of the day is lines. Reports indicate people are standing in security checkpoints for more than an hour to get through magnetometer. Looks like huge turnout and security struggling to keep up.
This just in: Pope Francis will be paying a visit to the campus of St. Joseph's University this afternoon before heading downtown for the outdoor Mass on the Parkway:
Pope Francis will visit a sculpture dedicated to the 50th anniversary of a document calling for a strong relationship between Catholics and Jews.
Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said Francis will see the sculpture commemorating the Nostra Aetate at Saint Joseph's University on his way back to the city before celebrating Mass in front of a massive crowd Sunday afternoon.
The sculpture was unveiled on Friday at a ceremony that included an address from Rabbi Abraham Skorka. Skorka is a longtime friend of the pope and Argentina's most famous rabbi.
Time for the biggest decision of the day. No, I'm not going downtown at the last second for the Mass. Stick with coverage of the pope or flip over to Eagles game on TV ... Bless me father, for I have sinned...
This is the big draw at the 69th Street Terminal. Taking a picture with the life-size cutout of Pope Francis. This is Marcella Kartiki, 43, with daughter Dede Kartiki, 4.
: Numbers continue to grow for ridership at Primos Station. Staff writer Alex Rose reports SEPTA's official count was at 740 at 11 a.m. That's still less than half of the total 2,000 expected for the day, according to Sgt. Milt Richardson with SEPTA Transit Police.
Richardson said the station saw a total 640 people Saturday, with a larger police presence. He reported no issues accommodating the pilgrims Sunday and described the morning’s departures as uneventful.
“They’re just looking forward to going downtown for a chance to see the pope,” he said.
Trains were leaving about every half hour, with the last due to depart at 12:18 p.m.
Thanks for Aldan Police Chief Ken Coppola for the photos.
Yesterday a total of 700 people boarded trains at Primos Station. Today they've already gone above that numbers. Indicative more people are headed downtown for the Mass on the Parkway. Weather is holding up as well. It's just gorgeous out right now.
Delco Council Chairman Mario Civera was on the executive board for the World Meeting of Families. It's paying off today with a prized seat for the papal Mass on the Parkway. Here's our story.
Just had my second visit of the day from Upper Darby Mayor Tom Micozzie and Police Superintendent Mike Chitwood. They report much heavier volume of travelers at 69th Street Station and that numbers are beginning to pick up at Primos Station as well. So who wants to take a guess on attendance at today's Mass. This photo shows what it looked like when Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass on the Parkway back in 1979. I'll put the over/under line at 1 million. I'm taking the under. What do you say?
Here's a report from 69th Street. Same restrictions in place as yesterday. Heavier traffic being reported than yesterday. Most "pope-ular" thing in the Terminal? People taking pictures with life-size cutout of the pope. Might be as close as they get to him today.
Something the pope said yesterday has stayed with me. He seemed to make a point that you can be spiritual, even religious outside trappings of a formal place of worship. As someone who struggles at times with his faith, this struck home to me. Anyone else feel the same way?
Looks like we have an answer to our earlier question about the V-22 Ospreys. Looks like they will transport Pope Francis to his next stop Curran Fromhold Correctional Facility. Pride of Delco, the V-22 is a Boeing product made in part right here in Ridley Township.
Word coming that Pope Francis met with five adult victims of child sexual abuse at 8 a.m. at St. Charles Borromeo. Archbishop Charles Chaput was at the meeting. The pontiff told the victims, and reiterated in his speech, that "the guilty shall be punished."
9:25 a.m.: Our live blog is up and running on DelcoTimes.com. Our team of reporters will be giving you live updates all day from Center City, including the outdoor Mass on the Parkway. And we want you to be part of our coverage. Tweet with the hashtag #popedfm and you will be included in the blog.
Pope Francis is addressing bishops at the chapel at St. Charles Borromeo. Used this spot to address issue of sexual abuse of children, something that has been at the foremost of the problems faced by the Philadelphia Archdiocese. You can hear a pin drop in the place.
Pope Francis is up and at 'em as he meets with international and U.S. bishops and guests at the chapel at St. Charles Borromeo Seminiary.
Facebook friend reports a group of 6 V-22 Ospreys just flew over her house out in Bethel. Wonder if that is part of pope security concerns.
These three ladies are headed downtown to see Pope Francis. They were among the very few riders getting on board trains at the Primos Station so far today. From left are Cathy Franklin of Clifton Heights; Janice Puggi of Springfield; and Marie Jeffers of Drexel Hill. All three said they were not sure how close they would actually be able to get to the pope, but were just "thrilled" to have the opportunity.
Still not much in the way of ridership at Primos Station. Here's an early look
at what it was like at Media Station. Pretty much the same story. Very few riders taking early trains.
Daylight has arrived at Primos Station. But not many train riders. The place is still pretty much deserted. Maybe it's going to be a late-arriving crowd. Of course, that's what I said yesterday as well.
It was the same refrain heard over and over again yesterday at the 18 train stations on SEPTA's regional rail lines on Saturday ferrying pilgrims into the city for Day One of Pope Francis' visit.
Where is everybody?
The turnout across the system was underwhelming.
Here in Primos, where they sold 1,750 Saturday passes, only about 700 people actually boarded trains.
SEPTA officials had set up a long cattle chute that basically went from Oak Avenue all the way back on Cottonwood Lane to the entrance of the Daily Times plant. The idea was to have people dropped off at Providence Road, walk up Mildred and then enter the cattle chute. It wasn't needed. I didn't see a line all day, let alone one that would stretch for a block. I felt bad for the people who got dropped off on Oak Avenue, who actually had to walk all the way back to the start of the chute to go through the SEPTA check and get in line to board the train.
Numbers were down across the system.
At Media Station, the only other station operating on the R3 Media-Elwyn line, slightly more than 1,300 people boarded, even though 3,428 passes had been sold.
In Marcus Hook on the Wilmington Line, a scant 146 people got on trains.
Out on the Main Line, where the biggest crunch was expected, the huge numbers never materialized. At Paoli Station, 3,500 boarded trains, about half the number of passes sold. In Radnor, another 3,300 people boarded trains.
SEPTA and police officials are expecting those numbers to grow today, as people look to go into the city for the outdoor Mass on the Parkway.
Of course the one thing everyone wants to know as we head into a historic Sunday in Philadelphiais: What about the weather? Actually, it looks like the million or so folks who will gather on the Ben Franklin Parkway for an outdoor Mass celebrated by Pope Francis might get a break. The heavy rain that's been deluging the South looks like it's going to stay south of us. It will be cloudy and cool, with a high of 73 and a chance of rain. Here's the full forecast.
Here's the schedule for Sunday leading up to the historic outdoor papal Mass on Eakins Oval, expected to draw as many as 1 million people.
• 9:15 a.m.: Meeting with international bishops at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.
• 11 a.m.: Visit prisoners and families at Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Holmesburg.
• Will take part in 2nd Papal Parade in the Afternoon on the Parkway, with exact time to be determined.
• 4 p.m.: Celebrates Mass at Eakins Oval. As many as a million expected to attend.
• 8 p.m.: Departs from Philadelphia International Airport.
Here they are, the first group of hearty pilgrims waiting for the first train out of Primos Station. They also were the first group to board Saturday. They told me they came out of the city last night about 9 p.m. and they confirmed something I noticed from watching TV. It was not that crowded downtown.
A SEPTA official put the official count of train riders from Primos yesterday at about 700.
They are expecting more than that today for the Papal Mass.
Here is our front page from today's historic coverage of the pope's visit to Philadelphia. We'll be back with live coverage all day. Make sure you take part by Tweeting us your photos, videos, and comments using the hashtag #popedfm.
Don't forget to pick up a copy of today's Sunday Times for a special glossy color keepsake photo commemorating Pope Francis' historic two-day visit to Philadelphia.