PHILADELPHIA — Members of Encuentros Juveniles, a Catholic youth organization in Miami, traveled more than 1,000 miles to spend a week in Philadelphia, culminating in the arrival of Pope Francis. National Guard members cordoned off the streets for the ticketed event that was held within Philadelphia’s Independence Mall.

Pope Francis gave a statement on immigration in Spanish, his native language. The members of Encuentros said that the Holy Father’s Latin roots are especially important for them. Pope Francis is from Argentina, making him the first pope to hail from Latin America.

Published in conjunction with Miami Herald