On Tuesday, September 22, 2015, Pope Francis arrived in Washington D.C., the capitol of the United States at the Joint Base Andrews military facility, his first stop for his visit to the United States before he travels on to New York and Philadelphia. There, he was greeted by President Barack Obama and family as well as numerous religious and military officials.
Past Papal Visits to White House
Historically, Pope Francis’ predecessors, both Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II, also visited Washington D.C. in their trips to the United States. In October of 1979, at the end of his visit to the United States, Pope John Paul II became the first Pope to visit the White House, meeting with President Jimmy Carter. On April 15, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI arrived in the U.S., landing at the Andrews Air Force Base in Washington D.C.. There he was met with warm welcome from President Bush, Laura Bush, their daughter Jenna, an honor guard of military servicemen and a crowd of 5,000 military family members.
Numbers for attendance are expected to be high for Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to the United States.