Pope Celebrates First Mass of his Foreign Journey as presented by: Sacramento Bee

Pope Francis urged Catholics to resist the "ephemeral idols" of money, power and pleasure in celebrating the first public Mass of his initial international foreign journey as pontiff during an emotional visit to one of the most important shrines in Latin America. Thousands packed into the huge Basilica of the Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, tucked into an agricultural region of verdant fields halfway between Rio and Sao Paulo, and tens of thousands more braved a cold rain outside to catch a glimpse of the first pope from the Americas returning to a shrine of great meaning to the continent and him personally. Before the Mass, Francis stood in silent prayer in front of the 15-inch-tall image of the Virgin of Aparecida, the "Black Mary," his eyes tearing up as he breathed heavily. It was a deeply personal moment for this pontiff, who has entrusted his papacy to the Virgin Mary and, like many Catholics in Latin America, places great importance in devotion to Mary.

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