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Pope Francis Embraced on Arrival in Brazil

Pope Francis resumes a hectic schedule in Brazil Wednesday, with a visit to a shrine in Sao Paulo state to venerate the Roman Catholic country's patron saint.

Nearly 2,000 police are set to provide security for the pontiff as he prays at the shrine of the Virgin of Aparecida along with about 200,000 faithful.

As the pope rested on Tuesday, there was widespread finger-pointing in Brazilian media over security lapses that exposed the 76-year-old Francis to mobs of wellwishers who greeted him Monday on his arrival in Rio de Janeiro.

Analysts acknowledged serious security lapses, but they said the wishes of the pope to be out among the public made it difficult to ensure full protection. Throughout the ordeal, the pope himself appeared upbeat and kept his car window open to greet the crowds that swarmed his motorcade.

The Rio visit and the return to Francis' home continent was planned to coincide with Thursday's international celebration of World Youth Day.



More than 1 million young Catholics are expected to participate, and hundreds of thousands of young people are already in the city, awaiting the opportunity to greet the new pope.

In addition to his visit to the Sao Paulo shrine, the pontiff also will meet with young inmates at a Rio prison, visit shantytowns largely cleared of drug gangs earlier this year, and inaugurate a Rio hospital wing for the treatment of drug addicts.

Francis' visit -- his first foreign trip since becoming pope in March -- comes at a time of social upheaval in Brazil that began last month with protests against a bus fare increase in Sao Paulo. Those demonstrations quickly grew into massive street protests against government expenditures for hosting the 2014 Word Cup soccer tournament, and spread to include protests against official corruption.

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