10,000 tickets for pope's Philadelphia mass gone in 30 seconds

Pope Francis waving to the crowd at Saint Peter's Square on Sept 9.
Pope Francis waving to the crowd at Saint Peter's Square on Sept 9. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - In just 30 seconds, 10,000 tickets to see Pope Francis preside over a mass in Philadelphia later this month were gone, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia said on Wednesday (Sept 9).

The mad scramble was no surprise, as every event during the pontiff's Sept 22-27 visit to the United States has generated frenzied excitement among US Catholics.

The day before, it took all of two minutes for the 10,000 tickets to see Pope Francis' outdoor speech at Philadelphia's Independence Mall to be snatched up.

The mass will be the day after that event and will take place outdoors on Benjamin Franklin Parkway, outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art, as part of the World Meeting of Families conference.

Tickets to both events were free and available online.

The pope will arrive in Washington on Sept 22, meeting with President Barack Obama and addressing a joint session of Congress over the next several days.

He will then move on to New York where he will address the UN General Assembly and say mass in Madison Square Garden.

The pope's last stop will be Philadelphia, from Sept 26 to 27.