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Philadelphia Releases Website to Prepare for Pope’s Visit

PHILADELPHIA – To prepare for one of the largest faith-based gatherings in the United States in 2015, Visit Philadelphia has released information on the special exhibits, tours and online tools that will be available for the Pope’s upcoming visit. Pope Francis will visit the city during the World Meeting of Families event on September 22 through 25.

Some of the special events occurring during the visit include the Penn Museum’s “Sacred Writings: Extraordinary Texts of the Biblical World.” The exhibit features one of the world’s oldest papyrus fragments of the Gospel of Saint Matthew, a Sumerian clay tablet and other ancient artifacts. Groups can tour the exhibit August 15 through September 27.

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University will showcase “The Clergy and the Academy’s Collections” exhibit from August 31 to October 31. The exhibit gives groups a look at the plant and animal specimens, books and other materials contributed by clergy from the Catholic, Lutheran, Presbyterian and other religious communities.

From September 20-24, groups can see an inmate’s paintings of Father Edwin Gallagher’s offices at Eastern State Penitentiary. The colorful paintings have been restored and serve as a testament to the inmate’s change of faith.

Religious art hangs in the Philadelphia Museum of Art year-round, with special Christian art tours available. Tours will focus on van der Weyden’s “Crucifixion, van Eyck’s “Saint Francis Receiving the Stigmata” and Tanner’s “The Annunciation.” The museum will also emphasize works on Saint Francis of Assisi. Tours will run September 22 through 27.

“Religious Liberty” will appear this fall at the National Constitution Center. The exhibit will explore the roots of religious liberty in America with historic documents and other information.

The Philadelphia Trolley Works will offer a “Compline Lantern Light Tour” past historic churches, synagogues, graveyards and other sites by the glow of candlelight on September 13 through 15 and September 28. The service will also offer a new “Catholic Shrine Tour” for visits to some of the city’s shrines, such as the National Shrine of Saint John Neumann.

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