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People greet Pope Francis as he travels through a road tunnel in his popemobile in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, early Saturday, July 27, 2013. Pope Francis on Saturday challenged bishops from around the world to get out of their churches and preach, and to have the courage to go to the farthest margins of society to find the faithful.
RIO DE JANEIRO—It was perfect beach weather Saturday on Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro, and the white sands were jammed full of people.
But instead of beach balls and bikinis, the nearly 2 million people who packed the beach had brought Bibles, rosaries and crucifixes.
They were pilgrims from all over the world who had come to greet Pope Francis on the next-to-last day of his weeklong visit to Rio and neighboring Sao Paulo state.
Francis had spent Saturday morning in Rio's ornate Municipal Theater, where he urged city leaders to remember society's least fortunate. While onstage, he also met with members of Brazil's indigenous tribes, who gave him a feathered headdress.
Pope Francis wears an indigenous headdress given to him by Ubirai Matos from the Pataxo tribe, fourth from left, after the pontiff spoke at Rio's Municipal Theater to an audience mostly made up of Brazil's political, business and cultural elite in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, July 27, 2013. Pope Francis is on the sixth day of his trip to Brazil where he will attend the 2013 World Youth Day in Rio. ((AP Photo/Monica Imbuzeiro, Agencia O Globo))
Throughout his trip, Francis has embraced the unexpected, wading into crowds and urging Catholics to shake up the church. His flock appeared to take that message to heart Saturday, all along the giant curve of Copacabana.
Here's a gallery of images from the sixth day of the pope' visit to Brazil.
Pope Francis sits on stage during a meeting at the Rio de Janeiro Municipal Theater in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, July 27, 2013. Francis was at Rio's municipal theater to meet with Brazilian politicians, businessmen, intellectuals and the diplomatic community. ((AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis))
A bishop watches live video on his tablet of Pope Francis at an event as he waits for Francis to arrive for a meeting with Brazilian cardinals and bishops at St Joaquim Palace in Rio de Janeiro, Saturday, July 27, 2013. Pope Francis took his message to shake up the Catholic Church to bishops from around the world on Saturday, challenging them to get out of their churches and go to the farthest margins of society to find the faithful and preach. ((AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis))
Pilgrims and residents set up tents and sleeping bags on Copacabana beach in preparation for a night vigil service with Pope Francis for World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, July 27, 2013. Pope Francis on Saturday will preside over an evening vigil service on Copacabana beach that is expected to draw more than 1 million young people. ((AP Photo/Felipe Dana))
Pilgrims carrying a Brazilian flag sing on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, July 27, 2013. Pope Francis will preside over an evening vigil service on Copacabana beach that is expected to draw more than 1 million young people. ((AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano))