July 24th , 2013 9:21 am Leave a comment

Pope travels to first public Mass in Brazil

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APARECIDA, Brazil (AP) — Pope Francis is traveling toward the city of Aparecida for his first major event in Brazil.

Francis is on his first international trip as pontiff. He arrived in Rio de Janeiro on Monday.

The pope is spending the first part of Wednesday in Aparecida, where he will celebrate a Mass with local bishops and seminarians.

They’ll gather in the huge basilica that holds up to 40,000 people and was built around the original statue of Brazil’s patron saint and city’s namesake, the dark-skinned Virgin of Aparecida.

There were no problems Francis’ motorcade took him from a church residence in Rio to the airport for the flight.

A frenzied crowd of faithful had mobbed the pope’s motorcade when he first arrived in Rio.

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