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Pope Francis arrives in New York's JFK International Airport

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The pontiff laughed when a crowd member showed him a toy plush in the pope's image

Pope Francis arrived in New York at John F. Kennedy International Airport located in the diocese of Brooklyn from Joint Base Andrews near Washington D.C. He was greeted by state officials, several bishops and a crowd of excited faithfuls.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (Catholic Online) - A large crowd was gathered at JFK International to greet Pope Francis as he arrived in New York Thursday evening.

The first person to greet the pope was bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, who enthusiastically shook the pontiff's hand as other bishops crowded around and joined in the greeting.

Pope Francis was surrounded by bishops, members of the media, state officials and children who offered a bouquet of flowers. The pontiff took a moment to greet each child individually and blessed them while New York New York played in the background.

Cries of "Welcome to New York" and "Holy Father!" could be heard from the waiting crowd as the pontiff made his way to them with a broad smile.

One member of the crowd held out a Pope Francis plush toy, which elicited a laugh from the pontiff as members of his entourage handed out prayer cards.

After greeting the crowd, Pope Francis was ushered toward a waiting helicopter similar to Marine I, the presidential helicopters used for the President and Vice President of the United States.

From JFK International, the pontiff was escorted to the Wallstreet heliport where he will then be chauffeured by motorcade to the newly restored St. Patrick's Cathedral.

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