Hours ahead of pope's appearance, faithful line up on Parkway

Pope Francis isn't scheduled to appear before the masses on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway until Saturday evening.

But 12 hours in advance, crowds were already lining up on the Parkway, overcoming early wake-ups and security barriers for a chance to get a glimpse of the pope.

Others staked out spots near the Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul, where Pope Francis will celebrate Mass at 10:30 a.m.

Here are scenes from the Parkway hours before those events:

Maria Carmen Serrano (center), 56, of Peoria, Ill., drove to Philly with a group of 50 - eight carloads. "The pope. El papa. How could you not go wherever he would be?" she said. "Just to be in his presence, in his vicinity, is a blessing." She has no special tickets this weekend, but claimed a first row vantage point on the parkway at 2a.m. Saturday. Does she hope she is close enough to wave to Pope Francis? "Yes yes yes." #popeinphilly

A photo posted by @l_mccrystal on Sep 26, 2015 at 3:46am PDT