By Anna Kaiser, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Vatican has released the details of Pope Francis’ visit to Brazil for World Youth Day next week. Pope Francis’ official schedule begins with the welcome parade in Copacabana, a visit to Aparecida in São Paulo, a tour of the Varginha favela in Rio’s Zona Norte (North Zone) and a Vigil ceremony in Guaratiba in the Zona Oeste (West Zone).
Vatican spokesman, friar Federico Lombardi, confirmed the schedule, which will mark Pope Francis’ first international trip since becoming the head of the Holy See in March.
On Monday, July 22nd, the Pope will hold a press conference while on the plane, en-route to Brazil. Tuesday, July 23rd has no scheduled commitments.
On July 24th, Pope Francis will arrive in Aparecida in the heart of São Paulo state. He will travel to the capela do Santuário (Sanctuary Chapel) where there is a preserved holy image of the Virgin Mary. The Pope will then return to Rio de Janeiro.
The following day, Pope Francis will visit Rio’s city government building and bless the Olympic flags. After that, he will visit Varginha, part of the Manguinhos favela in Rio’s Zona Norte.
The second half of the day will be dedicated to the Pope’s welcome parade in Copacabana. Pope Francis will go down Copacabana’s beach side street, Avenida Atlântica, in the popemobile vehicle and greet the millions of pilgrims here for World Youth Day for the first time.
On Friday, July 26th, the Pope will hear confessions, travel to the archbishop residence and see the Via Sacra performance in Copacabana.
Pope Francis will meet the bishops, priests and seminaries at mass on Saturday. Next, the Pope will go to the Theatro Municipal (Municipal Theater) of Rio to meet various politicians, followed by a lunch with the cardinals and bishops of Brazil.
In the afternoon, the Pope will go to Guaratiba for the much anticipated Vigil at the Field of Faith, created especially for World Youth Day.
Sunday, Pope Francis will participate in the World Youth Day closing ceremony, which begins at 10AM. President Dilma Rousseff is expected to attend. The location of the next World Youth Day will be announced at the end of the ceremony.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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