On Saturday, the pope inaugurated a bronze statue of the patron saint of Brazil, Our Lady of Aparecida, in the heart of the Vatican Gardens.
The sculpture is a gift from the Embassy of Brasil to the Holy See and the Archdiocese of Aparecida.
Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno Assis and a small group of people joined Pope Francis who, in a very grave tone, asked them to pray for Brazil:
"I invite you to pray so that Our Lady continues to protect Brazil, and the Brazilian people, in this sad moment.”
The unstable political status quo in Brazil worries the pope. He even sent a personal letter to ex-president Dilma Rousseff, who was undergoing impeachment at the time.
The pope also raised doubts about the trip to Brazil he had promised back in the 2013 WYD in Rio.
"In 2013 I said I would come back in 2017: I don't know if that's possible, but at least I will have her close to me, here.”
The Pope finished this short ceremony by saying a Hail Mary, and he also asked the participants to sing the traditional song that is always sung in the Shrine of Aparecida.