Washington (AFP) - Thousands of people cheered Thursday as Pope Francis appeared on a balcony of the US Capitol following his historic speech to Congress and blessed the crowd, especially children.
"Buenos dias," Francis said, eliciting a roar from the crowd. He was flanked by Vice President Joe Biden, Republican House Speaker John Boehner and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell.
"I'm so grateful for your presence here. The most important ones here -- the children. I'll ask God to bless them. Father of all, bless these. Bless each of them. Bless the families. Bless them all," the pope said in Spanish.
He also asked the crowd to send prayers his way, or good wishes from those "who do not believe or cannot pray," before ending his brief message in English: "Thank you very much and God Bless America!"