The U.S. reacts


“I’m Catholic and I hold the pope in high esteem. He speaks to the common man.”

JoAnne Jones, who flew in from St. Louis


“Francis is the man. It’s weird that he’s so chill, I mean he’s the pope. But he seems like he wouldn’t judge you and knows everyone is human.”

Matt Ruiz, 18, who came from Dallas


“I still think I’m dreaming, I can’t believe we are actually seeing Francisco in person.”

Ana Ruis, 34, who came from Alexandria, Va., and was joined by her mother visiting from Cartagena, Colombia


“I wanted to come see this pope because he is so Christ-like, because of his compassion for the poor and downtrodden. Today after his address he is going to eat with the homeless instead of rubbing elbows with the powerful, this is the reason why I wanted to come see him.”

Charlie Burnett, 56, a Catholic schoolteacher from Sparta, Wis.


“Next time I see the pope, it will be in heaven.”

Connie Angiolillo, 92


“I was not expecting him to address the bipartisan divide. It’s as if he was trying to heal Congress. He gave them a homily, trying to broaden their view. He didn’t use divisive words. It was so hopeful.”

Emily Warn, 62, a writer from Seattle


“Everybody is so excited here because he strikes a chord with everyone. He makes you feel that you could be a better person and make a change in the world.”

Gail Randon, 66, of Haymarket, Va.