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Rome Reports

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Workers prepare Amman Stadium for Saturday Mass with Pope Francis

Last minute rehearsal under the baking desert sun, and the finishing touches at Amman International Stadium kept organizers busy, less than 24 hours before the Pope's arrival in Jordan. Banners welcoming Pope Francis, and the endless rows of seats mark the spot where the Pope will celebrate the largest, most populous event in his three-day trip to the Holy Land. On Saturday, just three hours after his arrival, the Pope will celebrate Mass at the Stadium, with a capacity for nearly 30,000 people.  Workers were busy lining up rows of chairs, or mounting the stage, a make-shift altar for the Mass.  Hundreds of Christian refugees from nearby Palestine, Syria and Iraq are expected to attend the Mass at the stadium. "The refugees, which we are helping, they are focusing in the areas where they can live, economically and socially.â? During the ceremony, 1,400 children will receive their First Communion, including a number of refugee children. The liturgy will be in Italian and Arabic. Pope Francis will be the second Pope to preside Mass at the Stadium. The first was Benedict XVI during his trip in 2009. RCA MG JM -PR Up:RCA