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Schedule set for Pope's July trip to Rio de Janeiro

Catholic World News - May 07, 2013

The Vatican has released the schedule for a July trip by Pope Francis to Rio de Janeiro to participate in World Youth Day (WYD) observances.

Contrary to the expectations of many Vatican-watchers, the Pope will not use his trip to Brazil as the occasion for a side trip to his native Argentina. He will travel directly from Rome to Rio, and return to the Vatican after WYD.

The Pope will leave Rome on Monday afternoon, July 22, arriving in Rio that afternoon. He will be received by President Dilma Rouseff at a formal reception that same afternoon.

After a full day without public appearances in Rio, on Wednesday morning the Pontiff will travel by helicopter to the Marian shrine at Aparecida, celebrating Mass and meeting with bishops and seminarians. He will return to Rio in the evening for a visit to a hospital there.

On Thursday, July 25, Pope Francis will visit the Manguinhos shanty town on the outskirts of Rio. Manguihnos, with a population estimated at 35,000, is one of Rio’s most notorious slums. Police have cracked down on crime and drug trafficking in anticipation of the papal visit. That evening he will be formally welcomed to World Youth Day with a ceremony at Copacabana beach.

On Friday the Pope will hear confessions of some WYD participants in the morning. After lunch with organizers of the events, he will lead the Stations of the Cross, again at Copacabana beach. On Saturday, after the Mass for the official opening of WYD, the Pope will meet with Brazilian political leaders and with the country’s bishops, he will join an evening prayer vigil.

On Sunday, July 28, Pope Francis will celebrate Mass for WYD participants. He will meet in the afternoon with bishops from Latin America, then with WYD organizers. Early in the evening he will board his return flight to Rome, arriving there late on Monday morning.

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