Pope Addresses Congress

Pope Francis becomes the first pontiff to address a Joint Session of Congress

Pope Francis becomes the first pontiff to address a Joint Session of Congress

Pope Francis prays with Congressional leaders before his address

Pope Francis prays with Congressional leaders before his address

Pope Francis enters the House chamber

Pope Francis enters the House chamber

Pope Francis and Congressional leaders greet the crowd from the Speaker's Balcony

Pope Francis and Congressional leaders greet the crowd from the Speaker's Balcony

House Chaplain Rev. Patrick Conroy blesses Pope Francis upon his arrival to the Capitol

House Chaplain Rev. Patrick Conroy blesses Pope Francis upon his arrival to the Capitol

Pope Francis visits the statue of St. Junipero Serra in Statuary Hall

Pope Francis visits the statue of St. Junipero Serra in Statuary Hall

Pope Francis arrives at the Capitol

Pope Francis arrives at the Capitol

Crowds outside the Capitol await Pope Francis' blessing

Crowds outside the Capitol await Pope Francis' blessing

Screens were set up outside the Capitol so crowds could see the Pope's speech

Screens were set up outside the Capitol so crowds could see the Pope's speech

Three generations came from Indianapolis to see Pope Francis

Three generations came from Indianapolis to see Pope Francis

Students from St. James School in Falls Church, Va., await the Pope

Students from St. James School in Falls Church, Va., await the Pope

Blesses crowd outside the Capitol

Pope Francis addressed a Joint Session of Congress on Thursday, Sept. 24.

The Pope, who became the first pontiff to address Congress, thanked lawmakers for their warm welcome.

"I am most grateful for your invitation to address this Joint Session of Congress," he said.

"Each son or daughter of a given country has a mission, a personal and social responsibility. Your own responsibility as members of Congress is to enable this country, by your legislative activity, to grow as a nation. You are the face of its people, their representatives."

Before the speech, House Speaker John Boehner met with Pope Francis in a room outside the House chamber, where the Pope complimented the Speaker's green tie, saying it was the "color of hope."

After his remarks, Pope Francis stopped in Statuary Hall, where he blessed a statue of Junipero Serra, an 18th century Spanish missionary, whom the Pope had canonized the previous evening. Serra is the first saint to be canonized on U.S. soil and his statue is one of two California has in the Capitol collection.

Pope Francis, Speaker Boehner, Vice President Joe Biden, and other Congressional leaders then stepped out onto the Speaker's balcony, where the Pope blessed a crowd who cheered "papa, papa."

Speaking in Spanish, he greeted the crowd with "Buenos Dias."

"I am so grateful for your presence," he told the crowd via a translator.

Speaker Boehner's has behind-the-scenes photos and video on his website of the Pope's visit.