The Holy See Press Office has released the Holy Father’s itinerary for the first international Apostolic visit of his papacy. Pope Francis will begin his journey to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the 28th World Youth Day on July 22nd.
Upon his arrival to Rio de Janeiro, the Holy Father will be received by President Dilma Rouseff during a welcoming ceremony in the gardens of the Guanabara Palace, the seat of the state’s government.
On Wednesday, July 24th, Pope Francis will travel by helicopter to the Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida where he will also celebrate Mass. The Basilica, which is dedicated to the Patroness of Brazil, is the second largest Basilica in the World. The Holy Father will then have lunch with bishops and seminarians at the Bom Jesus Missionary Seminary and in the evening, will visit the São Francisco de Assis na Providência (St. Francis of Assisi of the Providence) Hospital.
Pope Francis will hear confessions of several youth during a World Youth Day gathering at the Quinta da Boa Vista Park in the morning of July 26th. Later on he will meet with several juvenile detainees and will pray the Angelus from the balcony of the St. Joaquim Palace.
The highlight of the Apostolic trip will be the closing Mass for XXVIII World Youth Day at the Campus Fidei of Guaratiba on Sunday, July 28th. Millions of youth from around the world, as in past WYD events, are expected to attend. In the afternoon, the Holy Father will meet with the coordination committee of the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM) as well as with WYD volunteers. The Holy Father will depart from Brazil that same evening and will arrive in Rome on Monday, July 29th.