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The Lasting Legacy of Pope Francis in Philadelphia

The goal of the Mercy and Justice Initiative, set up before Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia, was to generate action and awareness about hunger and homelessness in the area. A fundraising component of the initiative, the Francis Fund, raised $1.4 million, which will be distributed to 50 organizations that serve the most vulnerable in the Philadelphia area. Another aspect of the initiative was the “Knotted Grotto,” (pictured above) which held some 150,000 white prayer intention ribbons for healing, peace and more. Pope Francis’ presence in Philadelphia will live on in another way at the dedication of the Francis House of Peace in November.

The Francis House is a nine-story building providing affordable housing for formerly homeless men and women, and at-risk young adults. It honors Pope Francis’ dedication to improving conditions of those in poverty.

Speaking of the Gospel story of Jesus telling the disciples he would make them “fishers of men.” Pope Francis said:

"A new kind of net is needed for this. Today, families are the most im-portant net for the mission of Peter and the church."


"With my heartfelt thanks. May the love of Christ always guide the American people! #GodBlessAmerica" - September 28, 2015

"Our life is not a pointless wandering. We have a sure goal: the house of the Father." - October 1, 2015