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.
The pontiff will fly from Rio de Janeiro to Sao Paolo to celebrate Mass at the shrine of the Virgin of Aparecida, the country's symbol of Virgin Mary. About 200,000 people are expected to gather outside the shrine during Francis' visit, with nearly 2,000 police on hand to provide security.
After visiting the shrine, Pope Francis will return to Rio de Janeiro to meet with young prison inmates, visit shantytowns largely cleared of drug gangs earlier this year, and inaugurate a Rio hospital wing for the treatment of drug addicts.
The pontiff took part in a private prayer service Tuesday, while thousands of pilgrims gathered on Rio de Janeiro's famous Copacabana beach Tuesday for the opening mass of the World Youth Day Festival. More than one-million young Catholics are expected to descend on Rio to take part in Thursday's international celebration of World Youth Day.
The Pope 76, was greeted like a rock star upon his arrival Monday in Rio de Janeiro, cheered by thousands of people who lined the streets to view his passing motorcade. But the trip was marred by a major security lapse after his car took a wrong turn onto a busy street and was mobbed by well wishers.
Pope Francis arrives to a farewell ceremony at the Rio de Janeiro airport, July 28, 2013.
People pack Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro for Pope Francis' final mass for World Youth Day, July 28, 2013.
Clergy attend a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis on the Copacabana beachfront, in Rio de Janeiro, July 28, 2013.
A pilgrim wakes up after a night of vigil in Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, July 28, 2013.
Nuns and a priest take pictures as Pope Francis arrives at Sao Joaquim Palace in Rio de Janeiro, July 26, 2013.
Thousands of young people gather at Rio de Janeiro's iconic Copacabana beachfront on July 25, 2013 for the welcoming of Pope Francis to World Youth Day ceremonies.
Pope Francis delivers a speech during a visit to the Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro, July 25, 2013.
People greet Pope Francis as he visits the Varginha slum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 25, 2013.
A crowd waits for the Pope to arrive at the Varginha slum in Rio de Janeiro, July 25, 2013.
A patient kisses the hand of Pope Francis at the Hospital Sao Francisco in Rio de Janeiro, July 24, 2013.
Thousands of young pilgrims gather on Copacabana Beach for a World Youth Day Mass in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 23, 2013.
Pope Francis greets the crowd of faithful from his popemobile in downtown Rio de Janeiro, July 22, 2013.
Youth from France, Venezuela and Canada who are in Brazil for World Youth Day events sing songs as they ride in a train that travels to Corcovado mountain where the statue Christ the Redeemer stands over Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 23, 2013.
Pope Francis kisses a baby while greeting the crowd of faithful from his popemobile in downtown Rio de Janeiro, July 22, 2013.
Pope Francis shakes hands with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff after receiving a painting of Rio de Janeiro during a welcoming ceremony in Rio de Janeiro, July 22, 2013.
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 visit to Brazil, and his return to his home continent of South America, is the first foreign trip for the former Argentine-born Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was elected pope in March.