Nation & World News

Millions Gather On Rio Beach To Hear Pope Deliver Sunday Mass

By Scott Neuman on July 29th, 2013

This post last updated at 11:30 a.m. EDT

Millions of faithful thronged Brazil’s Copacabana Beach to hear Pope Francis deliver Sunday Mass, the culmination of the Latin American pontiff’s first papal trip abroad.

Francis, speaking from a massive stage erected on the beach, urged those gathered for World Youth Day’s concluding Mass to spread the Gospel “to the fringes of society, even to those who seem farthest away, most indifferent.”

“The church needs you, your enthusiasm, your creativity and the joy that is so characteristic of you,” he said to applause.

The pope’s Mass followed an overnight vigil that drew a reported 3 million people — many waving flags and carrying rosary beads — to the famous wave-swept, white sandy stretch.

In the Saturday evening address, Francis made reference to massive anti-government street protests that have plagued Brazil in recent weeks.

“The young people in the street are the ones who want to be actors of change. Please don’t let others be actors of change,” he urged. “Keep overcoming apathy and offering a Christian response to the social and political concerns taking place in different parts of the world.”

At one point in the address, the pope drew cheers from the crowd in the soccer-mad country when he said: “Jesus offers us something bigger than the World Cup!”

The Associated Press reports that Francis’ first international trip as pope — to a country that boasts more Catholics than any place else on earth — has helped him ride a crest of popularity that eluded his predecessor:

“By the time his open-sided car reached the stage for the vigil service Saturday night, the back seat was piled high with soccer jerseys, flags and flowers tossed to him by adoring pilgrims lining the beachfront route.

“… The attendance figure, given by local media citing the mayor’s office, is higher than the 1 million at the last World Youth Day vigil in Madrid in 2011, and far more than the 650,000 at Toronto’s 2002 vigil.”

Earlier Saturday, in a speech to 1,000 bishops and clerics at the Cathedral of St. Sebastian of Rio de Janeiro, Francis repeated his challenge to them not to “keep ourselves shut up in parishes, in our communities, when so many people are waiting for the Gospel.”

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

Yemen's President Abdel Rabbo Mansour Hadi speaks during the opening meeting of the Arab Summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, south of Cairo, on Saturday.

Arab Airstrikes Against Yemen Reportedly Could Continue For Months

At a summit in Egypt, the embattled Yemeni President Abdel Raboo Mansour Hadi also described Houthi rebels as “puppet of Iran.”


Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan, left, and opposition candidate Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, right, prepare to sign a renewal of their pledge to hold peaceful "free, fair, and credible" elections, at a hotel in the capital Abuja, Nigeria, on Thursday.

Amid Violence, Nigerians Go To The Polls To Choose A President

Incumbent Goodluck Jonathan faces off against former military dictator Muhammadu Buhari in what is being described as the closest contest in the history of the West African country.


A German police investigator carries a box after searching an apartment believed to belong to the crashed Germanwings flight 4U 9524 co-pilot Andreas Lubitz in Duesseldorf, on Thursday.

Pilot Who Downed Airliner Vowed ‘To Do Something’ To Be Remembered

Andreas Lubitz is believed to have locked the pilot of the Germanwings Flight 4U 9524 out of the cockpit before deliberately putting the aircraft into a fatal descent.


Saturn has a rocky surface, but it's deep beneath the clouds. That makes it hard to tell exactly how long the day is.

A Day’s A Day The World Around — But Shorter On Saturn

Researchers have finally determined the length of a day on the ringed planet (gas shrouds any landmarks, so it was tough). Precision matters: A faster spin influences the speed of surface winds.


A stone memorial, surrounded by flowers, has been placed near the site in the French Alps where a Germanwings passenger jet crashed on Tuesday (March 24, 2015). Investigators believe the jet's co-pilot brought it down deliberately.

Germanwings Crash: ‘Suicide’ Doesn’t Seem To Tell The Story

Though investigators say it looks like the co-pilot deliberately brought down the jet, killing himself and 149 others, there are reasons not to use that word.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments