United States

Stairway Stumble Doesn't Bother Pope Francis at JFK

Pope Francis' departure from New York City almost went off without a hitch.

Carrying a small briefcase, the pope took two small stumbles as he ascended the stairs to a waiting charter jet that would carry him to Philadelphia, for the last leg of his first-ever U.S. trip.

The wind also whipped his frock over his head. But the hiccups didn't seem to bug Francis, 78, who recovered without help and made it to the top of the stairs, where he grinned and waved to the crowd gathered to see him off.

His landing at Philadelphia International Airport went smoothly and he was just as cheery when he saw the crowd in Philly as when he bid adieu to New York.

Francis' Saturday schedule in Philadelphia includes a Mass at a cathedral visited before by Pope John Paul II and a speech in front of Independence Hall and a crowd of about 1 million people.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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