Pope Francis has landed in New York City to begin a visit that will take him from the United Nations to a school that sits amid public housing in East Harlem. His chartered American Airlines plane has touched down at John F. Kennedy Airport, bringing the pontiff to the United States' largest city. The 200-person welcoming party includes Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, and five Catholic schoolchildren. It's the first papal trip to New York since Pope Benedict XVI visited in April 2008. Francis is headed first to St. Patrick's Cathedral for Thursday evening prayers, following a motorcade along Fifth Avenue.
The pontiff will be visiting New York City and Philadelphia from this evening through Sunday. Francis' stops include the United Nations, where he'll speak to the General Assembly tomorrow; a mass for thousands of people at Madison Square Garden in New York; as well as a somber visit to the September 11 Memorial. And there's a processional through the famed Central Park. In Philadelphia on Saturday, he will visit Independence Hall, the birthplace of American democracy. Click for the latest on his visit. (Read more Pope Francis stories.)