The Ultimate Guide to Papal Fun

From art history to cookies to beer, here are 14 ways Philadelphia and the Main Line are welcoming Pope Francis.

Pope Francis will make his U.S. debut in the City of Brotherly Love on Sept. 26 and 27. In addition to trying to sneak a peek at the pope when he visits Wynnewood, check out a local artist’s work in honor of His Holiness at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. We’ve also collected the best pope-themed events in Greater Philadelphia so you can have a wonderful, and surely papal, weekend.

Moshulu’s Three-Course Dinner

Wine has long been a central theme in Catholicism, and Moshulu can toast to that. Through Sept. 28, enjoy wine from Pope Francis’ home country, Argentina, alongside a three-course meal, while taking in the beautiful sights of Penn’s Landing.

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$55 per person. Moshulu, Penn’s Landing, 401 S. Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia, (215) 923-2500.

Pose with the Pope at b. good

Can’t get a good sighting of His Holiness? How about a selfie with a great likeness of him—in cardboard—in exchange for a free shake at b. good in Wynnewood until Sept. 30?

b. good, 280 E. Lancaster Ave., Wynnewood, (484) 417-6345.

Behold, I Will Send You Elijah, 1973, by Jacob Landau (Woodmere Art Museum: Gift of Rosa Giletti, 2015)// Photo by Rick Echelmeyer. 

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Biblical Art at Woodmere Art Museum

Through Oct. 18, history buffs can celebrate this historic visit by admiring works inspired by diverse religious figures. From the permanent collection, art by the likes of Paul Gorka and Benton Spruance will be on view. Catch one of the exhibit tours, which run every Wednesday from Sept. 23 to Oct. 14.

Free with admission. Woodmere Art Museum, 9201 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia, (215) 247-0476.

The Clergy and the Academy’s Collections//Photo courtesy of G.W. Cowper/Academy of Natural Sciences.

The Clergy and the Academy’s Collections at the Academy of Natural Sciences

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In an exhibit that features everything from a Lutheran minister’s discovery of the bog turtle to the gorilla skull found by a Presbyterian minister, the academy reflects on the deep roots of religious figures’ connection with the natural sciences. Plant and animal books, objects and specimens will be on display through Oct. 23.

Free with admission. Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, (215) 299-1000.

Sacred Writings: Extraordinary Texts of the Biblical World at Penn Museum

Bibliophiles will appreciate Penn Libraries’ latest collaboration with the museum, which features ancient and rare scriptures. Running through Nov. 8, the display includes the first Bible printed in the Americas and a 3,500-year-old story of the Mesopotamia flood printed on clay.

Free with admission. Penn Museum, 3620 South St., Philadelphia, (215) 898-4000.

Installment by Robert Indiana//Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Art Museum.

Philadelphia Museum of Art’s AMOR

Visit Philadelphia’s latest art installment, a statue of the word ‘amor,’ which is a twin for the similarly styled original in Love Park. The word translates, appropriately, to love in Pope Francis’ native language of Spanish, as well as the Vatican City’s language of Italian, making it a truly perfect fit his visit to the City of Brotherly Love. The statue will overlook the Pope’s mass on Sunday, Sept. 27 and will be on display until Jan. 29, 2016

Philadelphia Museum of Art. 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia. (215) 763-8100.

Catholics in the New World: A Selection of 16th-18th Century Texts at Rosenbach Museum & Library

Through January 2016, the Rosenbach features modern works for perusal that reflect the Americans’ changing relationship with Catholicism. Those visiting the exhibit Sept. 22-25 will be pleased to find admission is free.

Rosenbach Museum & Library, 2008 Delancey St., Philadelphia, (215) 732-1600.

The Lego replica of the Vatican built by Father Bob Simon//Photo courtesy of the Franklin Institute.

Vatican Splendors at the Franklin Institute

The Franklin Institute has more than 200 Catholic artifacts on view through Feb. 15, 2016. The exhibit includes everything from Vatican City artifacts to a cast of St. John Paul II’s hand. Children will also enjoy a toy replica of the Vatican, which ties together Vatican Splendors and the Institute’s Lego exhibit, The Art of the Brick.

$11-$34.95. Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th St., Philadelphia, (215) 448-1200.

The Pope’s Favorite Films at PFS Roxy Theater

Pope Francis’ three favorite flicks—Babette’s Feast, Rome, Open City and La Strada—will be shown at the Philadelphia Film Society’s theater on three consecutive nights leading up to his arrival.

Babette’s Feast: Sept. 22, 7-9 p.m. Rome, Open City: Sept. 23, 7-9 p.m. La Strada: Sept. 24, 7-9 p.m. PFS Roxy Theater, 2023 Sansom St., Philadelphia, (267) 239-2491.

City Food Tours’ “Divine Dining: A Meal Fit for a Pope

Spend an evening dining on heavenly dishes. On Sept. 24, enjoy some of the favorite recipes of past popes with plenty of wine.

6-8:30 p.m. Philadelphia, (800) 979-3370.

Pope Crawl

On Sept. 26, 20 Philadelphia bars will participate in welcoming the pope—with a cold one. Join five neighborhood communities for a spirited time.

$10 per person. Noon-8 p.m. Various locations.

Papal Ale//Photos courtesy of Manayunk Brewery.

Manayunk Brewery’s Papal Ale

West Philadelphia’s Local 44 will officially debut Manayunk Brewery’s Papal Pleasure Ale to craft-beer lovers on Sept. 22 at 6-8 p.m. For those who can’t make it, find this new brew at more than 30 other locations.

Peaceful Pope Cookies

Photo courtesy of Night Kitchen Bakery.

Night Kitchen Bakery’s Peaceful Pope Cookies

Chestnut Hill’s prized bakery, which is home to Main Line Today’s Best Pastry Chef, has whipped up some Peaceful Pope cookies for shortbread fanatics.

Night Kitchen Bakery, 7725 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia, (215) 248-9235.

Di Bruno Bros.’ Pope Hat Cookie and Epiphany Sandwich

Have a religious eating experience with Di Bruno Bros.’ Epiphany Sandwich—beef tenderloin with mozzarella, roasted tomatoes, grilled romaine and chimichurri sauce on focaccia. Finish the meal with a Pope Hat Cookie—so good-looking, you just might want to wear it.

Various locations.

What will you be doing when Pope Francis visits the Main Line? Share in the comments.

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