Pope prays for World Youth Day

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has thanked pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square for their good wishes for his impending journey to Brazil for World Youth Day.

The pope departed from his prepared text during the traditional Sunday Angelus blessing to point to a large banner with “Buon Viaggio,” or “Good Trip,” written across it.

“I ask you to join me spiritually through prayer on the journey I will be begin tomorrow,” Francis said.

More than a million young Catholics are expected to celebrate their new pope during World Youth Day in Rio.

The 76-year-old Argentine became the church’s first pontiff from the Americas in March, and the trip to Brazil is his first international journey since becoming pope.

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