Pope Francis met with President Cristina Fernandez and other South American leaders following the closing ceremony of the XXVIII World Youth Day in Rio do Janeiro and presented the Argentine head of state with a gift of socks and shoes for her recently born first grandson Nestor Ivan Kirchner.
Pope Francis on the last day of his week long pilgrimage to Brazil urged Catholics to reject selfishness, hatred and intolerance to help build a new world.
Paraguayan president-elect Horacio Cartes declined a personal invitation from his peer Dilma Rousseff to attend Francis mass on Sunday in Rio do Janeiro, the closing event of the pope’s visit to Brazil, according to one of his top foreign policy advisors.
A huge crowd estimated in 1.5 million people defied rain and chilly weather to greet Pope Francis on Rio do Janeiro’s Copacabana beach on Thursday. With his captivating charisma Francis repeated a theme of his visit to Brazil urging young Catholics to shun the trappings of materialism and put Jesus Christ at the center of their lives.
Pope Francis on Wednesday warned Latin America against legalizing narcotics and urged courage in the face of deadly drug violence as he met addicts in a Brazilian hospital.
Pope Francis held his first mass as a pontiff at the Basilica of Our Lady of Aparecida in Sao Paulo before thousands of faithful who gathered despite de cold and the rain. During the Wednesday mass, Pope Francis urged young people to shun the ephemeral idols of money and pleasure and cherish traditional values to help build a better world.
Around 400,000 Roman Catholics have joined a Tuesday evening ceremony on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro to mark the opening of World Youth Day. The highlight of the festival will be a visit on Thursday by Pope Francis.
Pope Francis warned Monday that the world risks having an entire generation of jobless young people as he arrived to Brazil. The 76-year-old Argentine, speaking to journalists aboard the papal plane heading to the Catholic youth event in Rio de Janeiro, said his trip aimed in part “to encourage young people to integrate into society” and convince the world not to abandon them.
Pope Francis is due in Brazil Monday on his first foreign trip as pontiff to attend an international youth festival in the world's biggest Catholic country.
Despite the pope is Argentine and on Monday he will be making his first pastoral trip overseas to Brazil, Argentine government strict currency controls are making it difficult for prospective pilgrims to travel. An estimated 60.000 Argentines are expected to travel to Rio do Janeiro for the grand event.