Pope Francis blesses boy in wheelchair upon arrival in Philadelphia

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Pope Francis made an unexpected stop moments after arriving in Philadelphia. (Joseph Gidjunis/World Meeting of Families via AP)

Pope Francis made an unexpected stop as he was leaving the airport in Philadelphia Saturday morning to bless a boy in a wheelchair.

Although there was a welcome delegation and a small group of people on the tarmac, there was no formal welcome ceremony planned for the pope's arrival from New York. Pope Francis had already gotten into his Fiat to head into the city for Mass when he had the driver stop so he could walk over to the crowd.

Pope Francis approached 11-year-old Michael Keating and bent over the barricade to kiss his head. Michael's mother woman was visibly moved by the pope's blessing and thanked him through her tears.

Kristin Keating called the gesture "beautiful" and says she believes Michael felt the pope's blessing.

Michael's father is Bishop Shanahan Marching Band Director Chuck Keating. The band provided music for the pope's arrival, playing the theme from Rocky as Pope Francis got off the plane.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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