Pope Francis in Brazil

A team of journalists from The Associated Press will be with Pope Francis as he travels to Rio de Janeiro for his first foreign trip as pontiff. The AP will have behind-the-scenes analysis, play-by-play coverage of the pope's public schedule, including masses and visits to smaller communities as well as commentary from our in-house experts.

  • Pope Benedict also visited Brazil

    25 July 12:35 p.m. EDT

    Pope Benedict XVI took his first trip to Latin America in 2007, visiting the city of São Paulo. In this video, people wave flags of South American nations as he blesses them at the Sao Bento monastery, where he stayed during his visit. 

    by nsen on Jul 24, 2013 at 6:05 PM

  • Flashback: A look at Pope John Paul's visit

    25 July 12:47 p.m. EDT

    Pope John Paul II blesses Rio de Janeiro in front of Christ the Redeemer statue on Corcovado Mountain, Brazil, in July, 1980. (AP Photo)
    by Jaime Holguin on Jul 23, 2013 at 11:05 AM
    Pope John Paul II meets a Brazilian Indian in Manaus, Brazil, in July, 1980. AP Photo)
    by Jaime Holguin on Jul 23, 2013 at 11:17 AM
    Pope John Paul II talks with Brazilian President Jose Baptista Figuereido after delivering his first speech in the country in June, 1980.
    by Jaime Holguin on Jul 23, 2013 at 11:09 AM
    Pope John Paul II waves to crowds of people as he is driven through downtown Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, in July, 1980. (AP Photo)
    by Jaime Holguin on Jul 23, 2013 at 11:11 AM
    A child looks up at Pope John Paul II, during a visit to Belem, Brazil, in July, 1980. (AP Photo)
    by Jaime Holguin on Jul 23, 2013 at 11:16 AM
    Pope John Paul II talks with an indian, wearing his native dress, during a meeting in Manus, Brazil, in July, 1980. (AP Photo)
    by Jaime Holguin on Jul 23, 2013 at 11:13 AM
    Pope John Paul II waves at a family living in the Vidigal favela, or hillside shantytown, of Rio during his visit in July, 1980. (AP Photo)
    by Jaime Holguin on Jul 23, 2013 at 11:01 AM
    Pope John Paul II visits the Vidigal favela in Rio in July, 1980. The photo shows the
    pope taking off the ring and giving it to priest Italo Coelho,
    (AP Photo)
    by Jaime Holguin on Jul 23, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    1 of 8

  • Blessing of the Olympic flags

    25 July 12:51 p.m. EDT

    Pope Francis blesses the Olympic and Paralympic flags in Rio, which
    will host the 2016 Olympics. 

    by nsen on Jul 25, 2013 at 12:29 PM

  • Scenes from the slum

    25 July 12:53 p.m. EDT

    After blessing the Olympic flag, Francis visited impoverished residents of the Varginha slum.
    Jenny Barchfield, AP reporter based in Rio de Janeiro, was there and snapped a few photos with her phone.

    Here are some of the images she captured. Stay tuned for another slideshow showcasing photos taken by AP photographers.

    by jbarchfield on Jul 25, 2013 at 11:40 AM via email
    by jbarchfield on Jul 25, 2013 at 11:37 AM via email
    by jbarchfield on Jul 25, 2013 at 11:37 AM via email
    by jbarchfield on Jul 25, 2013 at 11:38 AM via email

    1 of 4

  • A key moment for Francis

    25 July 12:59 p.m. EDT

    Pope Francis received keys to Rio this morning as he greeted people at the City Palace. 

    by nsen on Jul 25, 2013 at 12:35 PM

  • Lo vi de espalda

    25 July 1:01 p.m. EDT

    "I saw his back".

    --Victoria Chochen, a 16-year-old Argentine student, outside Rio de Janeiro cathedral where pope Francis met with Argentines.

    Hundreds could not get in.

    --Vivian Sequera, AP reporter based in Bogota

  • By the numbers

    by Kellen Henry on Jul 24, 2013 at 4:38 PM
    25 July 1:08 p.m. EDT

    The pope is in Brazil for World Youth Day, an event held roughly every three years that brings together young pilgrims from across the globe.

    Here are some facts and figures about the event:

    Organizers have 4 million communion wafers on hand.

    • There are 355,000 pilgrims from 175 nations in Brazil. The vast majority -- 220,000 -- are from Brazil; 23,000 are from Argentina; 10,800 are from the United States; and China came in at No. 4 with 9,200 faithful.

    Catechesis, or religious instructions, is being held in 25 languages.

    • There are 60,000 volunteers helping out with the event.

    • The stage on Copacabana beach is 40,900 square feet and the area of the altar sits 26 feet above the white sands. A cross at the rear of the stage is nearly 56 feet tall.

    • There are screens measuring 200 feet by 49 feet on the sands of the crescent-shaped beach and 26 speaker towers.

    -- Bradley Brooks, AP bureau chief based in Rio de Janeiro

  • A little piece of the pope

    25 July 1:13 p.m. EDT

    The pope's visit to Brazil has generated an ad hoc industry manufacturing trinkets and other memorabilia, including thousands of rubber face masks.

    by nsen on Jul 24, 2013 at 4:41 PM

  • Quotable Pope

    25 July 1:19 p.m. EDT

    by Kellen Henry on Jul 24, 2013 at 4:38 PM
    Pope Francis has been pontiff for little more than four months, but he already has some signature phrases.

    Here are a few of his most quoted:

    "Oh, how I would like a church which is poor and for the poor!"
    -- remarks to reporters just after his election, March 16.

    Priests should be "shepherds living with the smell of the sheep.’’
    -- on urging priests to go out among everyday people, in his Holy Thursday sermon on March 28 to the world’s priests. (Read full text)

    "The culture of comfort, which makes us think only of ourselves, makes us insensitive to the cries of other people. ... It even leads to the globalization of indifference.’’
    -- sermon on July 8 at Lampedusa, a tiny Sicilian island where African migrants have been making a treacherous, sometimes deadly, crossing to enter Europe. (Read full text)

    -- Rachel Zoll, AP Religion Writer

  • Nuns go wild

    25 July 1:21 p.m. EDT

    About 40 nuns lost their composure when they greeted Francis after he celebrated a Mass in the Brazilian town of Aparecida. 
    The Vatican spokesman called it one "one of the most remarkable things." Read more: apne.ws/18FemwJ

    Nuns wave at and takes pictures of Pope Francis as he drives by in his
    popemobile while leaving Aparecida, Brazil. 
     (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)
    by ccarlson on Jul 25, 2013 at 5:12 PM

  • Baby Francisco

    Photo courtesy of Bahia Military Police
    by LHenao on Jul 25, 2013 at 1:26 PM
    25 July 1:30 pm. EDT

    Brazilian military police agents rescued a baby found in a shoe box in the northern city of Salvador, Bahia on Tuesday night.

    They took him to a local hospital where doctors and police have suggested naming him Francisco after the popular pope.

    --Luis Andres Henao
    AP reporter in Santiago, Chile

  • Pope ditches bulletproof popemobile

    25 July 1:36 p.m. EDT

    Pope Francis left the bulletproof popemobile at home.
    Instead, he's zooming around in the same open-topped car he uses at St. Peter's Square. Popes have traditionally used the protected popemobile, with its raised seat and panoramic, bulletproof windows, for travels outside Rome. But Francis likes to break Vatican protocol to connect with ordinary people. 

    --Luis Andres 
    HenaoAP reporter in Santiago, Chile

    by nsen on Jul 24, 2013 at 5:00 PM

  • The pope and his cars

    25 July 1:39 p.m. EDT

    Some interesting popemobile facts from our Vatican correspondent Nicole Winfield:

    • Mercedes currently provides both the bulletproof popemobile and the open car he is using on this trip (seen on the video in the previous atom)
    • To get around the Vatican he uses a Ford Focus.
    • Francis recently blasted priests who drive fancy cars and visited the Vatican garage to check out the fleet of Vatican vehicles to see if they were humble enough.
    • Francis is a big environmentalist like his predecessor, but perhaps he’s ahead of his time: car manufacturers have yet to come up with an electric popemobile.

  • Still waiting at Copacabana ...

    25 July 1:43 p.m. EDT

    People wait for Pope Francis at Copacabana beach in Rio. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
    by Fdana on Jul 25, 2013 at 1:25 PM

  • Popes and sport: JPII on skis

    (AP Photo)
    by Kellen Henry on Jul 25, 2013 at 2:05 PM
    25 July 1:46 p.m. EDT

    Pope Francis, who's blessed the Olympic flag and met some Olympians during his visit to Brazil, isn't the first pontiff to show his admiration for the games -- or sports in general.

    Pope John Paul II spoke out frequently about the benefit that sports can bring to society. And he was an avid skier himself -- this is a shot of the pontiff on a mountain in Northern Italy, making the sign of the cross with fellow skiers on July 17, 1984. That's him on the far left.

    -- Nicole Winfield, AP’s Vatican City correspondent

  • Close to home

    25 July 1:54 p.m. EDT

    by Kellen Henry on Jul 23, 2013 at 8:41 PM

    A native of Argentina, Pope Francis is the first pope from Latin America, making his Brazil visit akin to a homecoming.
    Argentina is sending one of the biggest groups of pilgrims to the event.

    Back home in Buenos Aires -- where Pope Francis was born, raised and rose to lead the Argentine church -- huge screens have been put up in several plazas for people to follow along.

    -- Mike Warren, AP's bureau chief in Buenos Aires, and Rachel Zoll, AP Religion Writer

  • Popes in Brazil

    25 July 1:58 p.m. EDT

    by Kellen Henry on Jul 22, 2013 at 5:11 PM
    • Pope John Paul II: John Paul was the first pope to visit Brazil, arriving in the summer of 1980 and returning once more during his pontificate, in 1997.On both trips, he visited Rio slums, or favelas. 

    • Pope Benedict XVI: Benedict was 80 years old when he visited Brazil in 2007. He emphasized Catholic moral values as the answer to Latin America's social and economic problems, and canonized Brazil’s first native-born saint, Friar Antonio de Sant'Anna Galvao. 

    • Pope Francis: Brazil is the first international trip for Pope Francis.

    -- Rachel Zoll, AP Religion Writer

  • Popes and sport: Emphasizing the positive

    25 July 2:03 p.m. EDT

    Last year, the Vatican's culture office opened a new Culture and Sport department, saying the sporting
    world was in need of a "cathartic" change to keep from spiraling into a profession dominated by money and drugs.
    A tweet from the @Pontifex Twitter account today extended the theme of sports as a positive force.


    -- Nicole Winfield, AP’s Vatican City correspondent

  • Time magazine cover controversy

    Cover of Time's international edition

    by LHenao on Jul 24, 2013 at 4:02 PM
    25 July 2:07 p.m. EDT

    A photo of Francis in
    Time's international edition for July 29 is stirring controversy even before it goes to print.

    Many are venting anger on social media saying the Pope is being shown like the devil because the 'M' in the magazine's name  cuts his image and two red horns or spikes seem to poke up from the Pope's head. 

    The headline is also catchy: 'The People’s Pope: Francis is redefining the papacy with humility and candor. Can he restore the Church’s fortunes in Latin America?' 

    It's the million-dollar question during Francis' first trip to the region's biggest nation and the home of the largest population of Catholics in the world.

    --Luis Andres HenaoAP reporter in Santiago, Chile 

  • Popes and sport: 75 pushups

    25 July 2:12 p.m. EDT

    Much like Francis' trip to Brazil, a visit by Pope Benedict XVI to Britain in 2010 was influenced by the country's then-upcoming Summer Games. He launched the London-based John Paul II Foundation for Sport, creating a charity that aims to "build spiritual character through excellence in sporting skills and fitness."

    When the CEO of the charity, Monsignor Vladimir Felzman, formally introduced it a year later, he put his muscles where his mouth was. He delivered a speech on the interconnectedness of physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual growth while doing 75 pushups.

    -- Nicole Winfield, AP’s Vatican City correspondent

  • The kissing pope

    25 July 2:16 p.m. EDT

    Pope Francis kisses a girl while visiting the Varginha favela in Rio.
    by ccarlson on Jul 25, 2013 at 6:07 PM
    Pope Francis kisses a child as he arrives at the Aparecida Basilica in Aparecida, Brazil, on Wednesday.  (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)
    by Jaime Holguin on Jul 24, 2013 at 6:30 PM
    He was also on the receiving end of a kiss from a child as he made his way inside. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)
    by Jaime Holguin on Jul 24, 2013 at 6:30 PM
    Once inside the basilica, Pope Francis kissed the statue of the Virgin of Aparecida, Brazil's patron saint, during Mass. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
    by Jaime Holguin on Jul 24, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    1 of 4

  • Foul weather can't keep pilgrims from Copa beach

    25 July 2:24 p.m. EDT

    Thousands of people are braving both cold and rain at 
    Rio's famous Copacabana beach as they wait for the welcoming ceremony of the World Youth Day festivities to see Pope Francis. Some were chanting "This is the youth of the Pope!"

    by nsen on Jul 25, 2013 at 2:08 PM

  • Quotable

    25 July 2:30 p.m. EDT

    On waiting in the rain for Pope Francis

    "It doesn't matter, we will starve."

    -- Peruvian pilgrim Isabel Pugo on the wait for Pope Francis

    "It will stop when Francis arrives."

    -- Argentine pilgrim Diego Palacios of the rain in Copacabana.

    Coming soon: A video of pilgrims waiting at Copacabana.

  • The `slum pope'

    25 July 2:35 p.m. EDT

    In this April, 2000 photo, Buenos Aires' Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio poses for photo with Angela Espinola, 12, left, and her sister Eliza, 9, during an Easter procession in the Villa 21-24 slum in Buenos Aires, Argentina. For Argentina's poorest citizens, he's proudly known as one of their own, a true “slum pope.” (AP Photo/Courtesy of the Espinola family)
    by Kellen Henry on Jul 25, 2013 at 5:51 PM
    Francis brought his personal history to today's visit of
    one of Rio de Janeiro’s shantytowns, once controlled by drug lords.

    As archbishop of Buenos Aires, then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio
    frequently preached in the poorest "misery villages" in Argentina’s capital.

    He sponsored carpentry classes, consoled single mothers and washed the feet of recovering drug addicts.

    Read the full story here.

    --Luis Andres Henao, AP reporter in Santiago, Chile
  • Good business

    25 July 2:39 p.m. EDT

    The pope’s presence was more than a blessing for residents of the slum the pontiff visited this morning. It was good business, too.

    Residents with humble hillside homes near the church the pope visited or along the path he walked were charging up to $500 for people to get a bird’s-eye view of his holiness.

    -- Bradley Brooks, AP bureau chief based in Rio de Janeiro

  • More flock to Copacabana

    25 July 2:44 p.m. EDT

    Organizers expect up to 2 million people to welcome the pontiff for a 5 p.m. event t
    hat will include a prayer service and musical acts.

    by nsen on Jul 25, 2013 at 2:36 PM

  • A washout?

    25 July 2:49 p.m. EDT
    Even the Virgin needs a rain slicker.

    -- Jenny Barchfield, AP reporter based in Rio de Janeiro
    by jbarchfield on Jul 25, 2013 at 11:37 AM via email

    Will the final Mass be a washout?

    Rumors are flying fast and furious in the Brazilian press, as we noted previously, that the Sunday Mass that’s supposed to be celebrated by the pope in a remote field about 30 miles west of Copacabana will be moved to the beach because of all the rain that’s fallen on Rio.

    The pope is scheduled to visit the area known as Guaratiba on Saturday night for a prayer vigil and then celebrate a Sunday morning Mass. But knee-deep mud around the stage is raising doubts about how wise it would be to have more than 1 million faithful head out there.

    -- Bradley Brooks, AP bureau chief based in Rio de Janeiro

  • Quotable

    25 July 2:54 p.m. EDT

    "There's a clear surge in faith in the South. ... Devotion is very strong."

    Mike Mims, a 36-year-old deacon from Houston, Texas, sees religion on the rise in the southern United States. His archdiocese, which covers the Houston and Galveston areas, claims well more than 1 million members. (Deacons are ordained in the church and assist priests in various functions.)

    Marco Sibaja, AP reporter based in Brasilia, caught up with Mims as he got coffee in Copacabana while on his way to Pope Francis' encounter with pilgrims attending World Youth Day.

  • BREAKING: Francis' Sunday Mass moved

    25 July 2:56 p.m. EDT

    A top Brazilian newspaper says that a Sunday Mass that Pope Francis will celebrate has been moved from a rural countryside location 30 miles west of Rio de Janeiro to Copacabana beach.

    That's because non-stop rain the last few days turned the rural site into a giant pit of knee-deep mud.

    The O Globo newspaper says it confirmed information of the move with the archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, Orani Tempesta.

    Organizers of the World Youth Day event say they have no information on the change.

  • UPDATE: Mass moved

    25 July 3:03 p.m. EDT

    Vatican spokesman Rev.
    Federico Lombardi confirms that a Mass Pope Francis will celebrate on Sunday has been moved from a rural countryside outside Rio to Copacabana beach.

  • No more work at Guaratiba

    25 July 3:10 p.m. EDT

    An area equivalent to seven football fields was cleared to accommodate the venue where the pontiff was scheduled to hold his largest Mass Sunday. The Mass has been moved to Copacabana beach.

    The area was so large that organizers had to manufacture the 4,673 portable toilets to accommodate the hundreds of thousands that would have attended. There were not enough portable toilets in the country available.

    by nsen on Jul 25, 2013 at 3:03 PM

  • En route

    25 July 3:15 p.m.EDT

    With roads to Copacabana closed to traffic, thousands of people streamed to the beach on foot.
    -- Jenny Barchfield, AP reporter based in Rio de Janeiro
    by jbarchfield on Jul 25, 2013 at 3:07 PM via email

  • Gridlock

    by Kellen Henry on Jul 22, 2013 at 5:09 PM
    25 July 3:20 p.m. EDT

    Despite the public holiday, recently decreed by the Rio city council to ease the city's chronic gridlock during Francis' visit, traffic stands at a near standstill in several parts of the metropolis.

    Authorities' closure of Copacabana, a 2.8 mile-long stretch of
    beach that's also a key thoroughfare, snarled traffic in the neighborhoods of Botafogo and Flamengo, where hundreds of backed-up buses clogged the roads.

    --Jenny Barchfield, AP reporter based in Rio de Janeiro

  • The crowd grows at Copacabana...

    25 July 3:26 p.m. EDT

    A huge crowd awaits the pope on Copacabana beach. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
    by ccarlson on Jul 25, 2013 at 7:20 PM
  • Carnivalesque atmosphere

    25 July 3:37 p.m. EDT

    Brazilians love crowds -- and most gatherings that bring out hordes of people end up taking on an almost Carnivalesque atmosphere.

    Thursday's mass migration to Copacabana beach was no different.

    Musicians tapped out samba rhythms on tambourines, and vendors offered popcorn, biscuits and umbrellas. Groups of young people from countries including Chile, Britain and Puerto Rico also sang little jingles in a bid to compete with the chant "I'm Brazilian, with much pride, with much love" -- a frequent refrain during both Carnival and the protests.

    -- Jenny Barchfield, AP reporter based in Rio de Janeiro

  • Tunnel sounds

    25 July 3:41 p.m. EDT

    Jenny Barchfield
    , AP reporter based in Rio de Janeiro, captured some sounds from one of the tunnels linking the Botafogo neighborhood with Copacabana, where the Pope is due to arrive in about an hour.

    by jbarchfield on Jul 25, 2013 at 3:07 PM via email
  • Time lapse: A stage in the making

    25 July 3:46 p.m. EDT

    Watch this time lapse of the Copacabana stage in the making a couple of weeks ago. 

    Pope Francis will stand 8 meters above the crowd of about 2 million people expected to attend. And he'll have plenty of room as the stage is 33,530 square feet (3, 115 square meters). 

    --Renata Brito, AP videojournalist based in Rio
    by nsen on Jul 25, 2013 at 3:13 PM

  • Rained out

    25 July 3:47 p.m. EDT

    Nonstop rain forced church officials to move the pope's Sunday Mass from
    Guaratiba to Copacabana beach. Here are some images of the muddy site.

    A soldier, reflected in the truck mirror, waits to leave the area where the pope
    was scheduled to visit in Guaratiba, on the outskirts of Rio.
    (AP Photo/Nicolas Tanner)
    by ccarlson on Jul 25, 2013 at 7:24 PM
    Soldiers leave the area where the pope was scheduled to visit in Guaratiba. (AP Photo/Nicolas Tanner) 
    by ccarlson on Jul 25, 2013 at 7:25 PM
    On Sunday, workers prepared a cross on the stage where the pope was scheduled to celebrate Mass in Guaratiba. The location was changed due to rain. (AP Photo/Enric Marti)
    by ccarlson on Jul 25, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    1 of 3

  • Selling sunshine

    25 July 3:51 p.m. EDT

    On this drizzly winter day, enterprising street vendors sold umbrellas printed with pictures of sun-drenched Rio landmarks like Sugarloaf mountain and Christ the Redeemer statue to the people flooding Copacabana beach.
    Jenny Barchfield, AP reporter based in Rio de Janeiro

    by jbarchfield on Jul 25, 2013 at 3:40 PM via email
  • Languages aplenty at the beach

    25 July 3:55 p.m. EDT
    by Kellen Henry on Jul 24, 2013 at 4:17 PM
    Vivian Sequera
    , AP reporter based in Bogota, notes that whole sectors of Copacabana beach have become like hallways in which you can hear all types of languages: Portuguese, French, Spanish, German...

  • The pope's travels: Good luck catching JPII

    25 July 4:00 p.m. EDT

    Pope Francis
    didn't wait long to take his first international trip. But if he wants to catch up to the famously globe-trotting John Paul II, he has his work cut out for him.
    Pope John Paul II greets a crowd in Mogila, Poland, on June 9, 1979. (AP Photo)
    by Eric Carvin on Jul 25, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    Here, by the numbers, are some details of JPII's travels during his 26 years as pope:

    3: Number of times he traveled the distance from the Earth to the moon

    10: The percentage of his
    time that he spent outside the Vatican

    : Overseas trips by John Paul II

    120: Countries that he visited during his papacy

    Trips he took within Italy

  • From Twitter

    25 July 4:05 p.m. EDT

  • More sounds from the tunnel

    25 July 4:10 p.m. EDT

    by jbarchfield on Jul 25, 2013 at 3:33 PM via email
    In an earlier post we heard from Jenny Barchfield, AP reporter based in Rio de Janeiro, who was standing inside one of the tunnels linking the Botafogo neighborhood with Copacabana.

    Barchfield has worked her way to the tunnel exit and has sent in another audio dispatch in which she describes the festive atmosphere.

  • Views from abroad

    25 July 4:16 p.m. EDT

    The pope's visit is drawing praise from the Caribbean, where newspapers in the Dominican Republic say he gives hope to the faithful. Here are excerpts from editorials:

    El Caribe:

    “He’s a human pope who is close to the faithful, who at times see’s himself more like a manager than ‘a holy father’ and it will probably give hope to the youth. His presence might also help Brazilians find a light in the way towards the building of a society that is more just, more humane.” 
    Read morebit.ly

    La Informacion:
    “He’s an unusual man, capable of surprising the devout and also the security agents in charge of his safety during his visit.”
    Read more: bit.ly

    “The pope has made simplicity his favorite ally and he despises all the barriers that keep him far from his followers.” And: “His sermon gives the faithful hope at time when the Church is weakened.” 
    Read more from Hoy: bit.ly

    --Compiled by Ezequiel Blanco, AP reporter based in Santo Domingo

  • Pope touches down

    25 July 4:18 p.m. EDT

    Francis is on the move again: His helicopter is touching down now at a military fort on the edge of Copacabana.
    The crowd is bursting with energy, waving flags, jumping and chanting -- knowing that the pontiff is just minutes away from parading down the main avenue lining the beach in his open-air vehicle. The big World Youth Day welcoming party is set to explode.
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