News / Americas

Pope Celebrates World Youth Day in Rio

People greet the Pope as he visits the Varginha slum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 25, 2013.
People greet the Pope as he visits the Varginha slum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 25, 2013.
VOA News
Pope Francis encouraged young people to honor their grandparents Friday, as he addressed a crowd in Rio de Janeiro during the Catholic Church's World Youth Day celebrations.
 
The pope noted that Friday marks Grandparent's Day in Brazil and many other countries. He said young people should thank their grandparents for the wisdom they share.
 
"On this World Youth Day, young people wish to acknowledge and honor their grandparents," he said. "They salute them with great affection and they thank them for the ongoing witness of their wisdom."
 
Bridging the gap between younger and older generations has been a major message for the pope during his trip to Brazil.
 
Thursday night, hundreds of thousands of young people from around the world gathered on the sprawling sands of Rio's famous Copacabana Beach to hear the 76-year-old pontiff speak.
 
The World Youth Day ceremony is the highlight event of the pontiff's week-long trip to Brazil.
 
Earlier Friday, Pope Francis heard confessions from a handful of young people at a park in Rio.

Story continues below photo gallery
  • 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.

On Thursday, Francis, who was born in Argentina, celebrated Mass at Metropolitan Cathedral for scores of native Argentines in Rio. He also met with Brazilian athletes, including football (soccer) legend Zico, and blessed the Olympic flag. Rio will host football's World Cup next year and the Olympic Games in 2016.
 
The pontiff also visited one of Rio's notorious slums, or favelas, continuing his mission to call attention to the poor and marginalized.
 
A full transcript of the Pope's address can be read here.
 
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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