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How Pope Francis is changing minds in America on his U.S. tour

Whether or not you’re a Catholic, you’re probably aware that Pope Francis is currently visiting the U.S. Keeping in line with his down-to-earth personality, the pope’s trip so far has been filled with moments of levity.

With his progressive comments about abortion and his decision to forgo the papal apartment for a more modest living arrangement, it’s obvious that the current pope is very unlike his predecessors. His realistic viewpoints and humble actions give the distinct impression that behind the robes lies a pretty cool dude — and that’s been made more clear then ever with his latest visit to the United States. Although his schedule is packed with important meetings and appearances, he has continued to find ways to let his unique personality shine. Here are some of the highlights of Pope Francis’ U.S. tour so far.

More: The man behind the robes: Who is Pope Francis?

1. He’s a definite dog lover. Not many people can upstage the President of the United States. The First Dogs, however, are a different story. During his meeting with President Obama yesterday, Pope Francis took the time to meet and greet Bo and Sunny, the presidential dogs. No word on whether or not the dogs were polite enough to “shake” with Pope Francis, but he didn’t seem to mind either way.

2. He’s represented on D.C. metro cards. In honor of the pope’s visit, the D.C. metro office has been issuing free Pope Francis SmarTrip card protective sleeves with any purchase. Additionally, the people of D.C. have launched a petition, asking the pope to bless the metro system while he’s here, in hopes that it will improve delays in service. The petition currently has over 2,600 signatures.

More: How Pope Francis’ abortion comments could save the Catholic Church

3. He’s a fan of kids. While riding in his popemobile through the streets of Los Angeles, a 5-year-old girl in the crowd caught the eye of the Holy Father. In a move that proves he’s more down-to-earth than most movie stars, the pope didn’t ignore his fan. In spite of his busy schedule, he called for a halt and had security escort the little girl to him for a quick embrace. He even accepted a T-shirt and letter from the child, which implored him to speak to U.S. officials about immigration reform.

4. He likes babies. He may not have children of his own, but even Pope Francis isn’t immune to baby fever. While traveling through D.C., he paused his motorcade to give a smooch to a very young admirer in the crowd.

5. He takes an excellent selfie. During a visit to a school on Wednesday, the pope posed for pictures with several young students who were thrilled to have the chance to meet him. Judging from these snaps, everyone seems to be enjoying themselves, and there’s definitely #nofilter needed in these selfies.

More: 7 Quotes from Time‘s Person of the Year: Pope Francis

6. He doesn’t need a fancy car. Just like he does at home in Vatican City, Pope Francis has continued to shun limos and special SUVs. After landing in the U.S, his Holiness was greeted at his plane by a Fiat, a car he’s preferred to use over fancier cars in the past.

7. He dined with the homeless. Rather then rub elbows with the high and mighty, after addressing Congress this morning Pope Francis chose to skip lunch with the politicians to visit a Catholic meal program for the homeless. There the pope blessed the meal and spoke out about the importance of housing and caring for the homeless.

Pope Francis is scheduled to continue his tour of the U.S. through Sunday. And if the past couple of days are any indication, this awesome pope is just getting started.

Pope Francis' historic visit to the U.S. chronicled in amazing photos
Image: Craig Ruttle/GEtty Images

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