Sunday, October 4, 2020

Something About the Pilgrim Pope

Paul VI and Lyndon Johnson

How many times did the pope cross the ocean?

It’s been 55 years since Pope Paul VI (1897-1978) began the first papal visit to the Americas. He became the first pope to visit six continents, was the most traveled pope in history to that time, and earned the nickname the Pilgrim Pope. On October 4, 1965, he visited New York City and met with President Lyndon Johnson, addressed the United Nations General Assembly, celebrated Mass at Yankee Stadium, and visited the New York World's Fair. Saint Fidgeta and Other Parodies, published in 1966, cites the notes found in the desk of a New York advertising executive as possible ways to add flair to the pope’s follow-up visits to the United States. I don’t think they notes were followed in 2008 when Pope Benedict XVI visited. And the unpublished blog post found on the laptop of a long-retired New York advertising executive commenting on Pope Francis’s visit back in 2015 is a lesser work, indeed.

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