Pope greets cheering crowds in Central Park

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 25: Pope Francis rides through Central Park in the popemobile on September 25, 2015 in New York City. The pope is in New York on a two-day visit, speaking earlier at the United Nations General-Assembly and celebrating Mass in Madison Square Garden tonight. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 25: Pope Francis rides through Central Park in the popemobile on September 25, 2015 in New York City. The pope is in New York on a two-day visit, speaking earlier at the United Nations General-Assembly and celebrating Mass in Madison Square Garden tonight. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images) (9/25/15)

NEW YORK - More than 80,000 people lined up in Central Park Friday to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis as he made his way through the park before he celebrated Mass at Madison Square Garden.

The pope waved to the cheering crowds from the iconic popemobile.

Faithful fans arrived hours in advance, with some arriving as early as 10 p.m. Thursday.

Tickets to the event were awarded via lottery. Getting into the park required time and patience as authorities performed security checks, but attendees who spoke with News 12 said it was all worth it.

Sarah Ryan, of Oceanside, said simply being in the presence of Pope Francis is a moment she'll treasure forever. "He's just so wonderful, humble and holy. If just a little bit of that can rub off, well, I'll be happy," she said.

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