Pope Francis to Use Lincoln's Gettysburg Address Lectern During Independence Hall Speech | NBC 10 Philadelphia
Pope Francis in Philly

Pope Francis in Philly

Look Back at the Pontiff's Historic Visit

Pope Francis to Use Lincoln's Gettysburg Address Lectern During Independence Hall Speech

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A piece of Presidential history will be a part of the Pope's visit to Philadelphia. (Published Friday, Aug. 7, 2015)

    When Pope Francis speaks outside Philadelphia's Independence Hall in September, he will stand at the same lectern that President Abraham Lincoln used to deliver the Gettysburg Address.

    Later this month, conservators will remove the lectern from its display space at The Union League of Philadelphia to prepare it for the pontiff's speech.

    Its loan for the pope's use Sept. 26 was announced Friday by the Vatican-sponsored World Meeting of Families, which the pope will be attending.

    Lincoln used the lectern on Nov. 19, 1863, to dedicate part of the Civil War battlefield at Gettysburg as a cemetery.

    His two-minute address became one of the most famous speeches in American history. It ended with Lincoln's resolution that "this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

    The pope is expected to talk about immigration and religious freedom during his remarks outside Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776.

    The lectern's "simple beauty and humble role in one of American history's most important moments reflects, in many ways, Pope Francis' own world view," said Robert Ciaruffoli, president of the World Meeting of Families.

    The pope's appearance outside Independence Hall is expected to be a ticketed event. Exact arrangements have not been announced.

    His two big public events in Philadelphia will be an appearance at the closing of the World Meeting of Families on Sept. 26 and his celebration of Mass on Sept. 27, both on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

    The pontiff's first stops on his U.S. visit will be in Washington and New York.