ROME, ITALY (CBS) — At the Vatican, a delegation of Philadelphia leaders was greeted by Pope Francis himself.

Hands outstretched, smiles and even a few tears came from the Philadelphia delegation as Pope Francis greeted them on Wednesday.

Independence Blue Cross CEO Dan Hilferty was there for what he called an “emotional experience.”

“He is so charismatic. He goes out among the people, including our delegation, so it was a very special moment for my wife, for me and for my family.”

The delegation sat at the front of the crowd for the Pope’s address, excited for the chance to meet His Holiness.

Mayor Michael Nutter says Pope Francis greeted them in a unique way.

“When he came over to greet our delegation he put up three fingers, just acknowledging he is going to be in Philadelphia in three months.”

From St. Peter’s Square the delegation came to Villa Malta, where they talked a lot about Philadelphia to the international press.

Still excited from their morning, the delegation told international journalists about the benefits of Philadelphia, seeing it as an international travel destination.

“We have something very special in Philadelphia and we need to promote it. We need to talk to anybody who will listen,” says Hilferty.