Pope John Paul II celebrates Mass at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe during his one day visit to the Diocese of Phoenix Sept. 14, 1987. The altar is now used for daily Mass at the Diocesan Pastoral Center.
Pope John Paul II celebrates Mass at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe during his one day visit to the Diocese of Phoenix Sept. 14, 1987. The altar is now used for daily Mass at the Diocesan Pastoral Center.

Today, the feast of the Triumph of the Cross, marks the 29th anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s one-day visit to Arizona. Local Catholics are remembering that moment and sharing related thoughts.

Here’s  breakdown of where the pope — now a saint — went that day:

  1. the airport, including greeting federal, state and city officials
  2. St. Joseph’s Hospital (due to the size of the crowd, made an impromptu five-minute meet-and-greet outside first)
  3. Motorcade in central Phoenix to St. Mary’s Basilica with an estimated 150,000 people lining the route. Prayed inside. Went to balcony to offer the crowd a reflection on Arizona’s Motto, “God Enriches.” In the pope’s own words.

4. Addressed Catholic health care leaders at Phoenix Civic Plaza. In the pope’s own words.

5. Visited Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral where priests, religious and parish representatives. That included Melissa Ashcraft from St. Mary’s in Chandler, who celebrated her eighth birthday that day and got a hug from the pope. In the pope’s own words.

6. Lunch with bishops of the region and rest time.

7. Met with roughly 14,000 Native Americans at Veterans Memorial Coliseum. In the pope’s own words.

8. Mass at ASU’s Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe with 78,000 people. In the pope’s own words.

 

Today, 29 years later, here is a quick look at what filled part of Pope Francis’s day:

Assassinated French priest joins procession of martyrs, pope says

Pastors who become princes are far from Jesus’ spirit, pope says

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