Globe Insiders

Pope John Paul II visits Boston

On October 1, 1979, Pope John Paul II visited Boston at the start of his first US trip. The popular pontiff greeted the enthusiastic, large Catholic community by parading the streets of Boston in a motorcade and holding a Mass on Boston Common. People lined the streets along the route from the airport to the Cathedral of Holy Cross and 400,000 came out to attend the Mass despite pouring rain. The amount of planning and security for this historic event was astounding. It was intriguing to see the images of Pope John Paul II waving from the sunroof of the limo-strikingly different from how we have seen the pope greet his followers since the 1980s, using a glass-covered vehicle. - Leanne Burden Seidel and Lisa Tuite More From the Archives features.