Jubilant Welcome -- Pope Francis climbs the steps among a crowd of cheering seminarians after his arrival at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Wynnewood.  Craig Pittelli photo for The Monitor

Jubilant Welcome -- Pope Francis climbs the steps among a crowd of cheering seminarians after his arrival at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Wynnewood.  Craig Pittelli photo for The Monitor

Pope Francis stepped out of his black Fiat amid cheers of “vive Papa” by seminarians in St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Wynnewood.

About 150 seminarians, including six from the Diocese of Trenton, gathered in rows on the seminary’s front steps and greeted the windblown Pope with applause. The cheers and clapping were so enthusiastic, that the seminarians had to be quieted as the Holy Father climbed the stairs. The men then broke into song, singing the hymn “Salve Regina.”

With Pope Francis’ urging, the chorus broke into a rendition of “Happy Birthday” in honor of Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, who celebrates his 71st birthday today.  As the Holy Father climbed the rest of the stairs to enter the seminary, he was greeted by even more applause by the enraptured seminarians and others gathered for the occasion.

While inside, Pope Francis was to meet and bless nine persons with cognitive disabilities. The blessing was not open to the public.

The visit to St. Charles Borromeo Seminary is Pope Francis’ second stop since he arrived in Philadelphia shortly after 9 a.m.

Earlier in the day, he celebrated Mass in the Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul, close to the place on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway where he is expected to say Mass for millions of pilgrims tomorrow.