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Awaiting the Pope at shrine in Brazil

Sunday, July 21, 2013 - 00:46

July 21 - The National Shrine of Our Lady, located in the Brazilian city of Aparecida, is set to receive Pope Francis. Rough cut. (No reporter narration)

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: The Pope, who has a public devotion to the Virgin Mary, personally requested a visit to Aparecida, which is home to the world's largest Marian shrine. The Basilica houses a statue of Our Lady of Aparecida, thought to have been found in the Paraiba River in 1717. It is made of clay and measures about 14 inches in height. The main purpose of the pope's trip is to Brazil is to conduct the Catholic Church's World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, an international gathering sometimes dubbed a "Catholic Woodstock" that takes place in a different city every two to three years. The National Shrine's rector, Father Domingos Savio, explained the game plan as soon as the pope arrives to Aparecida. "He (the pope) will take a lap through this chapel immediately where he will conduct his first prayer in the shrine. One of the pope's wishes was to come here to Aparecida and pray here with the image of the Virgin Mary. We offered and the pope accepted to come to this chapel for this very personal moment of his with the Virgin Mary," Savio said. While visiting, the pope plans to venerate an image of Mary in the basilica before celebrating Mass. Father Savio has spent a lot of time preparing for the pope's arrival - something he said was well worth the effort. "He (the pope) will really be here at the shrine for just a short time, but for us I am certain that it is worth it, all the effort we went through to host the pope well and host pilgrims as well, because without pilgrims the shrine doesn't exist. Because of this, we would like to have many pilgrims here to join Pope Francis," Savio said. World Youth Day celebrations in Brazil, the world's most populous Catholic country, begin July 23 and go until July 28. Estimates are that over a million people could flock to Rio for the series of religious events capitulated by large outdoor masses.

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Awaiting the Pope at shrine in Brazil

Sunday, July 21, 2013 - 00:46