Uncharacteristically exuberant New Yorkers greeted Pope Francis on Thursday evening when he finally touched down in Manhattan. The pope arrived in New York City to cheering fans, with "New York, New York" playing in the background. 

The pope wrapped up his visit in Washington, D.C., Thursday afternoon before flying into the Big Apple, touching down at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens. His Holiness then boarded a helicopter to Manhattan, where throngs of New Yorkers were eagerly awaiting his arrival. Crowds of smiling admirers lined the streets along Fifth Avenue, hoping to catch a glimpse of the progressive and popular pope as he made his way to St. Patrick's Cathedral for an evening prayer service. Below are some of the tweets and photos that capture the excitement that was in the air Thursday evening.





GettyImages-489856100 Pope Francis makes his way down Fifth Avenue toward St. Patrick's Cathedral during his first visit to New York City, Sept. 24, 2015. Pictured: The pope is seen from a window of the St. Regis Hotel in New York. Photo: Getty Images




GettyImages-489857224 Pope Francis acknowledges well wishers outside St. Patrick's Cathedral as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., enjoy the event, Sept. 24, 2015, in New York City. Photo: Getty Images





Pope Francis arrived in New York City, the second of three U.S. cities he's scheduled to visit from Sept. 22 to Sept. 27,  with an entourage of about 100 people. His first stop in New York City was St. Patrick's Cathedral, where an evening prayer service began at 6:45 p.m. The pope sprinkled holy water over applauding crowds, expressed his sympathies to the Muslims affected by the horrific stampede during the hajj in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and ended telling the New York crowd, "I love you."

Pope Francis' itinerary is packed for his time in New York City. It includes celebrating Mass at Madison Square Garden, leading a multireligious service at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, addressing the United Nations General Assembly and visting a Catholic school in East Harlem. Francis is scheduled to depart from New York City on Sept. 26, and visit Philadelphia before returning to the Vatican.