Pope Francis to lead first U.S. Mass - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Pope Francis to lead first U.S. Mass

The pope will celebrate a Mass outside the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, where he will elevate an 18th-century Franciscan friar to sainthood. The pope will celebrate a Mass outside the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, where he will elevate an 18th-century Franciscan friar to sainthood.
Pope Francis talks with President Barack Obama, accompanied by first lady Michelle Obama, after arriving at Andrews Air Force Base in Md., Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015. (Source: AP) Pope Francis talks with President Barack Obama, accompanied by first lady Michelle Obama, after arriving at Andrews Air Force Base in Md., Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015. (Source: AP)
(KFVS) -

Pope Francis travels to the Basilica of the National Shrine Wednesday afternoon.

More than 2,000 men and women who are studying to become Roman Catholic priests and nuns are gathered inside the nation's largest Catholic church, where they will be greeted by Pope Francis.

The pope will then celebrate a Mass outside the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, where he will elevate an 18th-century Franciscan friar to sainthood. The canonization Mass is the first in the United States.

He spoke to a crowd on the White House Lawn Wednesday morning.

Then, the Pope met privately with President Obama.

People hoping to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis during a late morning parade lined up for a coveted spot along the route.

Police and the Secret Service are enforcing road closures in the area and directing foot traffic.

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Copyright 2015 KFVS. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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