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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/24/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

The world is gathered, ready to hear tomorrow's message.

Nearly half a million Catholics have gathered onĀ  Copacabana Beach to celebrate the opening of World Youth Day. The gathered throngs of people are looking forward intently to the arrival of Pope Francis on Thursday where he will lead Mass and address the world.

Visitors to the Marian shrine wait excitedly for Pope Francis to begin Mass.

Visitors to the Marian shrine wait excitedly for Pope Francis to begin Mass.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

7/24/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Pope Francis, shrine, Mass, World Youth Day, security

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis spent part of Wednesday saying Mass at the Marian shrine at Aparecida, after arriving by helicopter. The rural town was packed with thousands of pilgrims who came just to hear the first Latin American pope say Mass.

During his homily, Pope Francis talked about idolatry and the need to eschew modern idols. "It is true that nowadays, to some extent, everyone, including our young people, feels attracted by the many idols which take the place of God and appear to offer hope - money, success, power, pleasure," Pope Francis said.

At this time, Francis is returning to Rio where he will visit a hospital. During that visit, he plans to meet with kids in a drug rehabilitation program. Tomorrow he will finally arrive on Copacabana Beach where he will receive a rock star's welcome before at least 1.5 million people.

Yesterday, the opening Mass was conducted on the Beach, led by regional Church leaders.

Security has also been a concern for officials, but apparently not the Holy Father himself. At least 30,000 military and police personnel are on duty, according to government sources, working alongside Vatican services to ensure the Pope's safety.

On Monday, an improvised explosive device was found in a public restroom near the Marian shrine at Aparecida, but they say the device was small and crude, and didn't appear to be targeted at the Pope or pilgrims.

Meanwhile, Pope Francis remains unafraid. Although his secretary admitted to being scared on Monday, when their car took a wrong turn down a Rio street, and people began reaching in to touch the Pope, Francis appeared delighted and unafraid.

Of course, Pope Francis knows something his security forces may be paid to ignore - that is the protection of the Holy Spirit, which is undoubtedly present.


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

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Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


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