RI pilgrims emotional after seeing Pope Francis

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APTOPIX US Pope Francis_213159

Pope Francis makes his way to the World Meeting of Families festival along Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015. (Jewel Samad/Pool Photo via AP)

PHILADELPHIA, P.A. (WPRI) — The pilgrimage to Philadelphia on Saturday was long and emotional for more than 400 Rhode Islanders.

They were among the hundreds of thousands of people who lined the streets hoping to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis as his motorcade wound through the city ahead of the World Meeting of Families.

“The emotions I am feeling right now — I am still shaking,” Andrea Silva of West Warwick told Eyewitness News. “It was unbelievable to be that close to him.”

Another Rhode Islander said she waited nine hours to see the Pope pass by. She told Eyewitness News anchor Mike Montecalvo she had recently beaten cancer, and simply had to be in Philadelphia.

“I came to say thank you because I just went through colon cancer. I am cancer free, and God was on my other side to help me get through it. He was my companion. I am very blessed.”

Pope Francis will wrap up his visit to the United States with an open-air mass Sunday afternoon. More than a million people are expected to attend.

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