Domenica, 23 Settembre 2018
RIO DE JANEIRO

One million greet pope in Copacabana, Via Crucis awaits

English
© ANSA

Rio de Janeiro, July 26 - Anticipation was high
Friday for Pope Francis's return to Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana
beach to take part in the Stations of the Cross, the day after
over one million youth greeted him during week-long celebrations
for World Youth Day (WYD).
In an area famous for skimpy bikinis and ideal surfing, the
Argentine pope is is poised to stand in stark contrast to the
things of this world by taking part in the Via Crucis and giving
a speech afterwards.
A day earlier he praised scores of cheering pilgrims upon
his arrival by pope-mobile on the beach.
"I want to thank you for this testament of faith that you
are showing to the world, I've always heard it say that the
Cariocas (natives of Rio de Janeiro) don't like the cold and the
rain," he said.
"Now you are showing that that your faith is stronger than
the cold and the rain!"
Amid his busy schedule Friday Francis found time to update
his Twitter account, commenting on the welcome ceremony on
Copacabana the day before.
"What an unforgettable welcome in Copacabana!" said Francis
using his @Pontifex Twitter account.
"May God bless you all!".
Francis has been in Brazil since Monday.
On his fifth day in the South American country, the pope
heard confessions in the Quinta de Boa Vista park.
Among them was an Italian woman who said that the pontiff
put her at ease with his warm attitude that has become his
trademark.
"For me it was a great thrill, a gift to my spiritual life
that comes at the right time," 27-year-old Claudia Giampietro
said.
"The words of the Holy Father with their simplicity and
sincerity help us to interpret God's plan for each of us".
Together with Giampietro, three Brazilians and one
Venezuelan pilgrim confessed to the world's first Latin American
pope on his native continent during his first international trip
since being elected in March.
He also met with young prisoners at the Archbishop's Palace
St. Joachim and had lunch with 12 young pilgrims from around the
world, representing all of continents.
On Saturday Francis is scheduled to celebrate Mass with the
bishops and with priests and seminarians in Rio de Janeiro's St.
Sebastian Cathedral.
Later in the morning he will meet Brazil's leaders at the
Municipal Theatre of Rio de Janeiro then lunch with the
cardinals of Brazil, the presidency of the national conference
of bishops of Brazil and bishops from the region in the
refectory of the Sumaré Study Centre.
To close the day, Francis will hold a prayer vigil with the
young people at the Campus Fidei field in Guaratiba.
On Sunday he will celebrate Mass for the 28th World Youth
Day at the Campus Fidei.
A farewell ceremony will take place at the Galeao-Antonio
Carlos Jobim International Airport before the his return to
Rome's Fiumicino Airport, with his flight set to land in the
Italian capital on Monday at around 11:30 local time.

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