News / Americas

Pope to Visit to Shrine of Brazil's Patron Saint

Pope Francis greets journalists as he leaves Assumption Residence in Sumare neighborhood in the north of Rio de Janeiro July 24, 2013.
Pope Francis greets journalists as he leaves Assumption Residence in Sumare neighborhood in the north of Rio de Janeiro July 24, 2013.
VOA News
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.

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by: Matthew Dunnyveg from: Texas
July 24, 2013 10:55 AM
Since Pope Francis is just another liberal, I'm very disappointed. Instead of consoling the predators, a real Christian would also spend some time consoling the predator's victims. This isn't the first time Francis has done this since he washed the feet of Italian criminals, rather than their victims, during lent.

Coddling criminals has a long history for leftists. Stalin let the real criminals rule over "politicals" in his gulags. Apparently, this pope is no better, since he places the needs of criminals over those of the innocent and law-abiding.

In Response

by: Kay
July 24, 2013 6:40 PM
If Jesus were alive today, I'm sure you'd call him a liberal. Christianity, particularly Catholicism is about compassion and forgiveness. It's not about judgement and hate. Pope Francis may bring some of these addicts back to God. That's a good thing, in my book.

In Response

by: cogito ergo sum
July 24, 2013 6:26 PM
Dan Turissini- You're very right. I was raised Catholic and was definitely taught what you have described. It sickens me, as a conservative, that my fellow conservative is turning Pope Francis' compassion for drug addicts into a political thing. Pope Francis is not a "liberal". He is the pope for crying out loud. He is not concerned with the pettiness that is American politics. Jesus befriended thieves and prostitutes and helped lead them away from a life of sin. He didn't disregard them, he brought them into the fold. That is was being Catholic is all about, bringing people to God. Catholic comes from the Greek word for "universal". It's for everyone, not just the innocent.

In Response

by: Mister H from: USA
July 24, 2013 5:53 PM
" Instead of consoling the predators, a real Christian would also spend some time consoling the predator's victims. "

=========================

Why can't a Christian minister to both?

God loves all people, including criminals.

Jesus Himself asked us to minister to those in prison:

"Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35h For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, 36naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ " - MT 25 (34-36)

In Response

by: de from: indiana
July 24, 2013 4:15 PM
not to get all preachy but read the parable of the lost sheep Luke 15:4-7

In Response

by: Scott from: St. Louis
July 24, 2013 3:55 PM
Matthew, you are correct from the point of view of government. If the pope were a political, government position, I would agree with you. However, he is a religious leader. Religion is about compassion. Much like Andrew Carnegie donating out of the good of his own heart versus being forced to through taxation, the Pope does this of his own volition and does not seek to create government influence.

In Response

by: Dan Turissini from: Missouri
July 24, 2013 1:57 PM
Matthew, from what you're saying, you and I are probably closely aligned politically. I don't believe that you understand us Catholics religiously, however. The Church ministers not only to those who are innocent, but, to possibly a greater extent, it ministers to the most sinful and broken of us. This is not because he is a 'liberal' but because it is the longstanding practice and tradition of the Church.


by: margie from: philadelphia
July 24, 2013 10:47 AM
This pope is amazing.


by: King John IV
July 24, 2013 10:38 AM
Pope Francis is as simple as they come. What a wonderful man.

In Response

by: cogito ergo sum
July 24, 2013 6:29 PM
It's nice to see a pope who has disregarded the pomp and circumstance of his office. A man who is TRULY Catholic and compassionate. His simplicity reminds me of Saint Francis of Assisi, the saint whom is his namesake (and my confirmation patron saint). He is a special man. Drug addicts are deserving of compassion too. Hopefully, his visit with them will help them find the right path.

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