Pope Francis in the US: pontiff spotted seemingly asleep during first mass

It's been a busy week for the Pope

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The Independent Online

Spare a thought for Pope Francis, who seemed to be struggling to keep his eyes open during his first official visit to the US.

On Wednesday, Francis was spotted either deep in thought or nodding off as he attended his first mass to celebrate the canonisation of the 18th century Spanish friar Junipero Serra at the Basilica at Catholic University.

His first mass of the landmark visit was broadcast across major networks including CNN and MSNBC. Whether he was napping or in thought/ prayer remains unclear, but eagle-eyed viewers seemed convinced it was the first.

An accidental nap would be excusable considering his increasingly hectic schedule over the next six days.

The Pope arrived in Washington on Tuesday after a flight from Cuba, where he launched straight into a press conference and took questions from journalists for half an hour. 

The pontiff has met with President Obama, greeted 15,000 guests eagerly awaiting his arrival on the South Lawn of the White House, delivered an address in front of Congress and tackled contentious issues such as climate change and immigration. 

On Wednesday, he also stopped his papal parade to speak with a young girl who broke through the barriers and asked him to urge President Obama to legalise all immigrants for fear her parents could be deported. 

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