Seven years since Pope Francis' first international trip
The pandemic has halted papal travel, but July marks the seventh anniversary of the first international papal trip. It was to Brazil, for WYD.
Expectations were high from the first moment and nobody forgot details like this: when the pope showed up in a simple gray Fiat Idea, without the usual surrounding armor for protection.
In Rio de Janeiro, Pope Francis' messages were full of energy and his gestures, full of affection.
“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.”
“Please don't see life from afar. Live it.”
The pope met with indigenous from the Amazon, on whom years later he would organize a Synod. He also visited the slums, a perfect place to denounce the throwaway culture.
“Never yield to discouragement, do not lose trust, do not allow your hope to be extinguished.”
One could see the pope as close to the people and dynamic, but also as a deep and pious man, who prayed with recollection and fervor in Aparecida.
It was a journey that established new dynamics and met the expectations Benedict XVI had for the trip. He had resigned from the papacy a few months earlier, so a person with more energy could take over the sweet, but heavy burden of the Church.
Translation: Melissa Butz