Pilgrims from all backgrounds, driven by a single faith, participated in the opening Mass Tuesday for World Youth Day.
Rio de Janeiro
World Youth Day: The pope's pilgrimage to Aparecida today captures Francis' vision for the church.
On the plane en route to Brazil on Monday, Pope Francis suggested World Youth Day should include outreach for the elderly, too, bringing together the energy of youth with the wisdom of old age. In a way, that's hard to miss once you start thinking about it; however, that's clearly already part of the program.
Q and A: Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia bluntly tackled three questions about Pope Francis, his early record, and his current trip to Brazil.
Q and A: Roughly 10 of the 65 current seminarians in Brooklyn found the roots of their calling at World Youth Day, according to Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio.
World Youth Day: It's a happy ending for the youth of Alaska, whose World Youth Day plans looked grim in June.
World Youth Day: The wild enthusiasm demonstrated on Francis' first day in Rio created headaches in addition to impressive scenes.
World Youth Day: Saying he wanted to "knock gently" at Brazil's door, Pope Francis began his Rio trip with: "I ask permission to come in and spend this week with you."
In 2011, Luis Martinez, 29, traveled to Madrid, almost by accident. He said it was destiny that took him from his home in Fresnillo, Mexico, as a pilgrim to World Youth Day. Someone could not go at the last minute, and he ended up taking the spot.
James Kelliher, 27, was also there, visiting from London. He said his country can be "aggressively secular," something that challenges him to think about what he believes and ultimately landed him in Madrid among millions of young Catholics from all over the world.