An estimated three million people gathered on Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana beach for a Mass by Pope Francis.
The huge event rounded off a landmark trip to Brazil, home to the world’s largest Roman Catholic population. Francis chose the Latin American country for his first official foreign trip.
His visit was timed to coincide with World Youth Day events, which attracted young people from all over the world.
During his Mass sermon, Francis told the visitors to return to their home countries energised and ready to work for social change.
The pope told the rapturous crowd: “The Church needs you. Your enthusiasm, your creativity, and the happiness that characterises you. Just three words: go without fear!”
In keeping with what Vatican experts have called Pope Francis’ ‘collegiate approach’, Roman Catholic cardinals took the unprecedented step of dancing alongside the pontiff.