Accessibility links

Breaking News

Pope Concludes Brazil Visit With Beach Mass

Pope Francis celebrates his final Mass of his week-long visit to Brazil, on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, July 28, 2013.
Pope Frances ended his trip to Brazil with a mass on the world famous Copacabana beach.

An estimated three million people gathered for Sunday's oceanfront service to mark the end of the Catholic Church's World Youth Day festivities.

The Argentine-born pope urged Catholics to go to the 'fringes of society" and continue to spread the message of the Catholic faith.

The mass, which included Bible readings and a concert, had a festival-like atmosphere with the pope receiving an enthusiastic welcome from people waving flags, singing and dancing.

The service was attended by presidents Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, Christina Kirchner of Argentina and Bolivia's Evo Morales.

Pope Francis was due to leave for Rome later Sunday after meeting with Latin American bishops.

During his week-long trip to Brazil the pope urged bishops, priests and other clergy to get out of their churches to spread the gospel. On Thursday, he personally reached out to the poor with a visit to one of Rio's notorious slums, or favelas.

The pope announced that the next World Youth Day would be held in Krakow, Poland, the home of the late Pope John Paul II.