People on the road to Rio to see 'slum pope' during convention

By Nicole Elliott,

Pope Francis will travel to Rio de Janeiro on Monday to celebrate World Youth Day with thousands of young Catholics.

The pope stopped at St. Mary Major basilica earlier today to pray in preparation for next week’s convention. This is the same church that he visited shortly after being elected. This will be the pope’s first international trip.

Thousands of Catholics are traveling from all over the Americas to Rio for the special convention. Approximately 9,500 Americans are going as well. Officials expect to see one million attendees.

Some of the attendees are coming from as far away as Buenos Aires. The Buenos Aires diocese contributed money to subsidize some of the travelers.

“We've received a lot of help from the community, many donations. It has generated an incredible wave of solidarity," Reverend Marcelo Miceli told the Associated Press.

People are excited to see the new pope. Many young people have high expectations. They hope that the new pope will be open to change.

“The pope will certainly have words about the issues the young people have raised, their dissatisfaction or searches but also their great desire to participate in change,” Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer told the New York Times.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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