WASHINGTON - On the final day of his visit in the nation’s capital, Pope Francis took time to meet with the homeless on Thursday.
After addressing Congress, the pontiff skipped lunch with the politicians to break bread with hundreds in Northwest D.C. during his visit to St. Patrick’s Church and the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington.
The Holy Father walked down the steps of Catholic Charities to a crowd who gathered into a tent on G Street who were eager for his blessing.
Through a translator, he told them, “Buon appetite and enjoy your meals.” And with that, Pope Francis began greeting people who had been waiting hours to see him.
"I never felt that good before,” one man said. “I just felt like something came through me. I think he put a good blessing in my hand.”
It is a description repeated over and over again by people who have been struggling -- losing jobs and homes -- with Catholic Charities helping them out.
They are the kind of people Pope Francis urged all Americans to reach out and touch in some way.
"It was a great experience,” another person told us. “I got to feel some of that energy rub off on me so I'm happy.”
"I was standing just right there and he brushed against my hand while he kissed my daughter on the head,” said this mother of a newborn baby.
Some people like Mary Bridget Klinkenbergh, who works for Catholic Charities, successfully grabbed a selfie with the Holy Father on a day that left her so thankful.
“I see so much and I see so much struggle and so much pain,” she said. “And to be here today with him, it's just a loss for words, and for the people who I got to bring from my programs, just the sense of faith and just how they moved mountains to come here.”