Pope Francis has announced that he is officially coming to Philadelphia, expecting to draw roughly two million visitors to the city. Vatican officials said Monday that he would be in town attending the World Meeting of Families next fall.
The World Meeting of Families taking place September 22nd to 27th, is the largest gathering of Catholic families on earth and is held every three years. 10,500 hotel rooms are nestled within Philadelphia’s Center and University City and a total of 30,000 rooms sit in the immediate surroundings.
An estimated audience of two million people could be flocking to the city of brotherly love for the Holy Father’s arrival. His visit will last three days and includes a mass scheduled for the general public on September 27th, 2015 on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Organizers may propose a “homestay” initiative, which would give homeowners in Philadelphia the chance to rent space out to incoming spectators for a small fee.
Mayor Nutter said that this will be the largest event in the city’s modern history. “We host big events well here in Philadelphia,” Nutter said. “This is slightly bigger, with a few more zeros at the end in terms of the number of folks coming, but we’ll be ready.”
John Paul II was the last pope to visit Philadelphia. He delivered a mass on the parkway in 1979.