by Mike Vulpo | Tue., Sep. 22, 2015 7:00 AM
Welcome to America, Pope Francis!
After much anticipation, the religious leader has arrived in the states where he will spend six days throughout Washington D.C., New York and Philadelphia.
While it's safe to say fellow Catholics like Josh Duhamel and Leah Remini are more than interested in the historic visit, more surprising stars like Bill Maher and Snooki haven't been shy about expressing their support for the 78-year-old. "Yay for Pope Bergoglio!!" the Jersey Shore alumna tweeted when he was first elected into the office. "He's adorable."
In fact, Pope Francis (born Jorge Mario Bergoglio) will reportedly be treated to performances from Jennifer Hudson, Gloria Estefan and Harry Connick Jr. when he delivers mass at Madison Square Garden later this week.
Before any star-studded shows begin, we're taking a look at six stars who have shown their support for the "People's Pope." Enjoy the United States, your holiness.
1. Oprah Winfrey: Before arriving to New York City, Francis received a warm welcome video from some familiar faces on the East Coast. Today show's Carson Daly and New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi were just some of the stars who sent their best wishes to the leader. "Your holiness, I wanted to take a moment to extend my warmest welcome to you," Oprah shared. "I hold your life and work in the highest esteem."
2. Stephen Colbert: According to the late-night host, the pope's assurance to not worry is "close to a commandment" and that it gives hope to people who had long abandoned their faith. As a result, Catholics are "given such hope by this pope, ‘Pope Hope,' because that's the church that I want. After being made pope in that papal audience room, where he said, ‘I want this to be a… church for the poor'…that made me so excited!"
3. Chris Rock: No jokes here. Shortly after Francis was officially elected into his position, the comedian sounded off on the new leader for Catholics. "This new pope is like the Floyd Mayweather of popes," he tweeted. "I might be crazy but I got this weird feeling that the new pope might be the greatest man alive."
AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, Pool
4. Angelina Jolie: Earlier this year, Mrs. Brad Pitt had the privilege of visiting the Vatican to screen her film Unbroken. During her stay, she also got to meet Francis. The meeting was short, but ended with the humanitarian kissing the pope's ring and receiving a rosary from him.
5. Russell Crowe: "Look I'm not Catholic," the actor once protested on Good Morning America. "I've never felt any connection with any previous pope, but I like this guy!" In fact, when he traveled to the Vatican in hopes of sharing his film Noah, Crowe was able to secure a few minutes with Francis. "He's changing the tone of the way you regard the pope," he shared. "And I think it is a magnificent thing. I was very privileged and humbled to be in that environment."
6. Maria Shriver: The author has not been shy about praising the pope for his support of the Special Olympics, equal pay and views on women. In fact, Patrick Schwarzenegger's mom often shares quotes from the leader on social media. "Today was the birthday of Pope Francis," she once shared with her followers. "A global voice for peace, compassion openness & acceptance."
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