The month of July kicked off with the Pope's first international trip, all the way from Rome to Rio Brazil.
Right off the bat, the one thing that immediately caught people's attention was his transportation. Leaving classy cars behind, he made his way to his residence in a small gray car and massive crowds followed. Despite some security concerns, the Pope didn't seem to mind.
His visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, was one of the highlights. As one of the most popular shrines in Latin America, the Pope reminded everyone that Mary leads Christians towards Jesus. He also asked the youth, to leave false idols behind.
It's a message he echoed in Rio, as he urged his fellow Argentinians to live their faith beyond their parish.
"But I also want action in your dioceses. I want you to go beyond your comfort zone. I want the Church to go out to the street."
The Pope made it a point to visit one of the city's slums, with a history of violence and poverty. As he met with recuperating drug addicts, the Pope said, legalizing drugs is not the answer to the problem. He said the Church will help them, but first, they have to be willing to help themselves.
"You have to want to stand up; this is the one key condition!”
This image of the Pope outlining a heart in a helicopter's window, made it across the globe.
Out on the streets, on his popemobile, the Pope blessed children, and even drank some mate tea. But the image that caught the world's attention was Copacabana beach. Over three million people took part in the Vigil and closing Mass. The excitement was quite obvious, but the Pope made sure the focus of the celebration was on Jesus. He asked the youth to live a life that consistent with their faith.
"Jesus offers us something bigger than the World Cup! He offers us the possibility of a fulfilled and fruitful life; he also offers us a future with him, an endless future, eternal life.”
In another venue, the world's biggest flash-mob performed for the Pope. From youths, to adults and even the clergy, everyone joined in. Just moments later, the Pope announced that the next World Youth Day celebration will take place in Krakow, Poland in 2016, as a way to honor John Paul II.