MASSAPEQUA - The pope's visit to the U.S., and specifically New York, has been boosting business for some Long Islanders.

The Advent Shop in Massapequa has been selling religious gifts such as medals, prayer cards and books at a high rate since Pope Francis' arrival. Owner Sarah Ryan says people are hoping the pope will bless the gifts during his New York City appearances on Thursday and Friday.

While some are purchasing special items, others are creating them. Catherine White, of Baldwin, started work on a watercolor painting after researching Pope Francis' life. The piece will be hanging next to the altar in St. Patrick's Cathedral while the pontiff celebrates Mass.

Danielle Larose says while Pope Francis is praying at St. Patrick's Cathedral Thursday night, she and 150 other parishioners from St. Rose of Lima in Massapequa will be praying at the same time at a church nearby.

"We will forever be changed on Long Island because of this encounter," says Larose.

Pope Francis will become the first pope to address a joint session of Congress Thursday morning before heading to New York.