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South Floridians make pilgrimage to D.C. in hopes of catching glimpse of pope

Pope Francis to hold mass at Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

A group of people from South Florida are making the 22-hour pilgrimage to Washington, D.C., in hopes of catching a glimpse of Pope Francis on his first American tour.
A group of people from South Florida are making the 22-hour pilgrimage to Washington, D.C., in hopes of catching a glimpse of Pope Francis on his first American tour.

MIAMI SHORES, Fla. – A group of people from South Florida are making the 22-hour pilgrimage to Washington in hopes of catching a glimpse of Pope Francis on his first American tour.

"Oh, I'm very excited," one passenger, Carmen Roman, said.  "I couldn't even sleep that good last night because it's like a dream come true."

The Archdiocese of Miami is sponsoring the two-day trip to the nation's capital.

"I always wanted to see the Holy Father, and the main thing is that I don't even have to go to Rome," Roman said. "I have the opportunity thanks to the Archdiocese of Miami."

The worshipers are hoping to see Pope Francis make his way to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, which will mark the pope's first mass and canonization on U.S. soil.

Wednesday's Mass is a ticketed affair, and more than $25,000 people are expected to attend.

"If we can get there and see that, that would be amazing to me," another pilgrim, Marie, said.

While the South Florida worshipers don't have tickets, they are still hoping to catch a peek of the pope, and if all else fails, they are still happy just to be a part of it all.

"I said, 'I could probably see him better on TV,' but this is just special. I have to be there," Marie said.

"This is an opportunity you have once in a lifetime," another pilgrim, Judith, added.

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