WASHINGTON - Pope Francis waved, gave blessings to the crowd, and even took the time to kiss babies as he made his way along the parade route Wednesday morning following an elaborate welcoming ceremony at the White House.
Those with prime spots along the parade route arrived hours earlier -- some as early as 9:30 p.m. the night before -- and passed through security checkpoints before waiting for hours until the Pope’s vehicle passed by.
The Popemobile used for the parade was a modified Jeep and was open on either side, allowing for unrestricted views of the pontiff.
On several occasions, the pope stopped the parade and allowed babies to be brought forward so he could give them a papal kiss. At one point during the parade, a young girl who got outside the police barricade was brought to meet Francis, and he gave her a kiss and a blessing.
Sophie Cruz, from Los Angeles, gave Pope Francis a t-shirt and was carrying a letter addressed to him.
The parade lasted about 20 minutes and traveled in a loop around the National Mall.
Prior to the parade, Pope Francis met with President Obama on the South Lawn of the White House. During the ceremony, he addressed the crowd before meeting privately with the president.
Following the parade, Francis held a midday prayer service with U.S. Bishops at St. Matthew’s Cathedral.
Later in the day, Pope Francis will celebrate the Junipero Serra Canonization Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
Find more coverage of Pope Francis' visit to D.C. here: http://www.fox5dc.com/pope-francis-in-dc