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July 24, 2013
Pope celebrates first mass of his foreign journey

APARECIDA, Brazil (AP) -- Pope Francis urged Catholics to resist the "ephemeral idols" of money, power and pleasure in celebrating the first public Mass of his initial international foreign journey as pontiff during an emotional visit to one of the most important shrines in Latin America.

Thousands packed into the huge Basilica of the Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, tucked into an agricultural region of verdant fields halfway between Rio and Sao Paulo, and tens of thousands more braved a cold rain outside to catch a glimpse of the first pope from the Americas returning to a shrine of great meaning to the continent and him personally.

Before the Mass, Francis stood in silent prayer in front of the 15-inch-tall image of the Virgin of Aparecida, the "Black Mary," his eyes tearing up as he breathed heavily. It was a deeply personal moment for this pontiff, who has entrusted his papacy to the Virgin Mary and, like many Catholics in Latin America, places great importance in devotion to Mary.

(37 images)




Pope Francis kisses a child as he arrives in his popemobile to the Aparecida Basilica in Aparecida, Brazil, Wednesday, July 24, 2013. AP / Victor R. Caivano
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A woman prays during a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis outside the Aparecida Basilica in Aparecida, Brazil, Wednesday, July 24, 2013. AP / Andre Penner
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Pope Francis carries the statue of the Virgin of Aparecida, Brazil's patron saint, at the Aparecida Basilica where he celebrated Mass in Aparecida, Brazil, Wednesday, July 24, 2013. Reverence for the figure of the Virgin Mary runs particularly deep in Latin America. The Vatican says that Pope Francis personally insisted that a trip to the Aparecida Basilica be added to his Brazilian visit agenda. AP / Felipe Dana
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Members of the clergy listen to Pope Francis, center right, as he gives Mass inside Aparecida Basilica in Aparecida, Brazil, Wednesday, July 24, 2013. AP / Felipe Dana
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Pope Francis greets pilgrims as he arrives to the Aparecida Basilica in Aparecida, Brazil, Wednesday, July 24, 2013. AP / Victor R. Caivano
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People reach out to wave to Pope Francis leaving on his popemobile in Aparecida, Brazil, Wednesday, July 24, 2013. AP / Victor R. Caivano
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Pilgrims wait for the arrival of Pope Francis outside the Aparecida Basilica in Aparecida, Brazil, Wednesday, July 24, 2013. AP / Victor R. Caivano
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Pilgrims wait under the rain for the arrival of Pope Francis outside the Aparecida basilica in Aparecida, Brazil, Wednesday July 24, 2013. Pope Francis, the first pontiff from the Americas, will fly over farmland and sugar cane fields to visit the mammoth basilica that holds the statue of this particular Brazilian Mary. AP / Victor R. Caivano
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Pilgrims line up as they wait under the rain to enter the Aparecida basilica area for the arrival of Pope Francis in Aparecida, Brazil, Wednesday July 24, 2013. On Wednesday, Pope Francis, the first pontiff from the Americas, will fly over farmland and sugar cane fields to visit the mammoth basilica that holds the statue of this particular Brazilian Mary. AP / Victor R. Caivano
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Clergy stand during a World Youth Day Mass at Copacabana beach, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, July 23, 2013. AP / Silvia Izquierdo
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Bishops wearing plastic rain hoods attend the World Youth Day inaugural Mass on Copacabana beach, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, July 23, 2013. A cold rain Tuesday night didn't stop upward of 500,000 faithful from gathering on Rio's Copacabana beach to mark the event. AP / Domenico Stinellis
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Pilgrims hold a cloth with an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe during the World Youth Day inaugural Mass on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Tuesday, July 23, 2013. AP / Luca Zennaro
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Pilgrims holding Paraguayan banners attend the World Youth Day inaugural Mass on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Tuesday, July 23, 2013. AP / Luca Zennaro
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Thousands of young pilgrims get revved up as they gather on Copacabana Beach for a World Youth Day Mass in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, July 23, 2013. AP / Jorge Saenz
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Pilgrims carry the World Youth Day Cross or Pilgrim Cross, given to the youth by the late Pope John Paul II, before a Mass at Copacabana beach, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, July 23, 2013. AP / Silvia Izquierdo
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Thousands of young pilgrims gather on Copacabana Beach for a World Youth Day Mass in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, July 23, 2013. AP / Jorge Saenz
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Youth from Australia participating in World Youth Day events pose for pictures under the Christ the Redeemer statue on Corcovado mountain in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, July 23, 2013. AP / Jorge Saenz
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Catholic youth gather in Quinta da Boa Vista park during World Youth Day events in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, July 23, 2013. AP / Silvia Izquierdo
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Priests listen to Catholics confessing in portable confessionals set up in Quinta da Boa Vista park during World Youth Day events in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, July 23, 2013. AP / Silvia Izquierdo
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Nuns hold up a Brazilian flag as they ride in a cart through Quinta da Boa Vista park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, July 23, 2013. AP / Silvia Izquierdo
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Pilgrims walk along Copacabana beach carrying a Nicaraguan flag in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, July 23, 2013. AP / Nicolas Tanner
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Pilgrims sleep on Copacabana beach in front of the stage where Pope Francis will speak in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, July 23, 2013. Pope Francis is expected to give a speech on Copacabana beach on Wednesday. AP / Nicolas Tanner
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Nuns from Brazil take pictures as they walk along Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, July 23, 2013. Pope Francis is expected to give a speech on Copacabana beach on Wednesday. AP / Nicolas Tanner
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People light candles at the Basilica of the Virgin of Aparecida, Brazil's patron saint, in the town of Aparecida, Brazil, Tuesday, July 23, 2013. Reverence for the figure of the Virgin Mary, known as Marian devotion, is common throughout the Christian world, popular in the Greek and Russian Orthodox churches as well as in Catholic southern Europe, where major shrines such as Lourdes in France and Fatima in Portugal are dedicated to the Virgin. AP / Andre Penner
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In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano on Tuesday, July 23, 2013, Pope Francis steps out of the plane, whose pilots are waving both the Vatican flag, left, and the Brazilian flag, upon landing in Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil, from Rome, Monday, July 22, 2013. AP /
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Pope Francis waves from inside a plane at Rome's Leonardo Da Vinci international airport, Monday, July 22, 2013. It's wheels up on Pope Francis' first trip abroad as pontiff. A special Alitalia flight carrying Francis, his entourage and journalists who will cover him on his week-long visit to Brazil took off 10 minutes behind schedule Monday from Rome's Leonardo da Vinci airport. AP / Riccardo De Luca
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Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff and Pope Francis visit upon his arrival at the international airport in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, July 22, 2013, in his first trip as pontiff to Latin America. Francis, the 76-year-old Argentine who became the church's first pontiff from the Americas in March, returns to the embrace of Latin America to preside over the Roman Catholic Church's World Youth Day festival. AP / Jorge Saenz
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A crowd of faithful cheer as Pope Francis rides in his popemobile in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, July 22, 2013. AP / Domenico Stinellis
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A member of the security detail holds up a baby to Pope Francis as he makes his way in the popemobile into central Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, July 22, 2013. AP / Felipe Dana
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People reach out to Pope Francis as he rides in a popemobile through Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, July 22, 2013. AP / Domenico Stinellis
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Pope Francis greets people after a welcome ceremony at Guanabara Palace in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, July 22, 2013. AP / Silvia Izquierdo
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A young monk takes pictures as he waits for the arrival of Pope Francis in front of the Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro, Monday, July 22, 2013. AP / Domenico Stinellis
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In this photo provided by Prefeitura do Rio, Pope Francis waves from his popemobile in Rio de Janeiro, Monday, July 22, 2013. AP / Raphael Lima
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A Venezuelan waves her country's flag as she waits for the arrival of Pope Francis in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, July 22, 2013. AP / Victor R. Caivano
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A masked protester holding a Brazilian flag marches with others to a police station in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Monday, July 22, 2013. AP / Victor R. Caivano
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In this image from video, a crowd mobs the silver Fiat carrying Pope Francis through Rio de Janeiro on Monday, July 22, 2013. Ecstatic believers forced the closed Fiat to stop several times as they swarmed around during the drive from the airport to an official opening ceremony in the center of the city. AP / APTN
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Nuns attend a Catholic Mass ahead of World Youth Day in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday, July 20, 2013. Pope Francis will travel to Brazil and participate in WYD events from July 22-28. AP / Andre Penner

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