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Pope Francis towers over New York

NEW YORK (CNS) – New Yorkers and tourists in Midtown Manhattan have been gazing up at a smiling Pope Francis at one of New York’s busiest intersections.

A 225-foot tall hand-painted billboard welcomes the pope, who will be in New York, Sept. 24-26.

 The welcoming message is located at the corner of Eighth Avenue and 34th Street, near Madison Square Garden, where the pope will celebrate Mass Sept. 25.

The mural was commissioned by DeSales Media Group, the communications and technology arm of the Diocese of Brooklyn and parent company of The Tablet and NET-TV.

The mural has been attracting the attention of workers and passersby.

“It is impressive ... I think the pope is going to like it,” Chilean Lorena Quezada told The Tablet, newspaper of the Brooklyn Diocese.

Designed by Israel Ochoa of DeSales Media, the mural showcases a photo of Pope Francis waving to a crowd taken by photographer Giulio Napolitano. 

“This is our way to say ‘welcome’ and evangelize in the heart of this culturally diverse city,” said Msgr. Kieran Harrington, chairman of DeSales Media Group. “I am convinced that Pope Francis’ apostolic visit will impact everyone, touching hearts across different backgrounds and beliefs.”

The mural is expected to be seen by 700,000 people each week and will remain in place throughout September.

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