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Pope Francis

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Short Papal Visit to Strasbourg is full of Color

2014-11-25

It was a relatively short flight for Pope Francis. Upon his arrival to the French city of Strasbourg, crowds were waiting for him outside, ready to cheer him on.

After greeting a long list of European leaders, music quickly followed. The Vatican's white and yellow flag was raised and waved along with those of other European state members. The Pope stood next to the president of the Parliament, Martin Schulz, as Beethoven's  'Ode to Joy' was played

As part of his trademark style, he was transported in a simple gray car, for a short drive to his destination. Once there, even more greetings took place. 

Some were familiar faces for the Pope. Others he had already met before in the Vatican. One of the highlights was this woman: An unassuming elderly woman in her 90's, whose family he stayed with decades ago, when the Pope lived in Germany. They chatted for a bit and even exchanged some laughs while speaking in German. 

Then came the moment they had all been waiting. 

The Pope called on European leaders to leave a tired Europe behind and to re-energize itself through family values, employment, immigration, care for the environment and the most vulnerable.

Members of the European Parliament clapped many times during his speech. 

The roughly three hour visit to the French city, marks the shortest papal visit on record. The last Pope to address the European Parliament, was John Paul II back in October1988. 

Afterwards, the Pope held a private meeting with the President of the European Union, Matteo Renzi, as well as the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy and the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, before heading off. 


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