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AP PHOTOS: Francis begins first trip home as pope

Tuesday - 7/23/2013, 2:38pm  ET

Pope Francis greets people after a welcome ceremony at Guanabara Palace in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, July 22, 2013. Pope Francis returned to his home continent for the first time as pontiff, embarking on a seven-day visit meant to fan the fervor of the faithful around the globe. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

The Associated Press

Pope Francis arrived in Rio de Janeiro to begin a weeklong visit to participate in the World Youth Day festival.

After making a no-frills flight on a charter jet from Italy on Monday, the pontiff got a rousing, and sometimes alarming, welcome on his first trip back to his home continent since becoming the leader of the Roman Catholic Church.

Throngs of people surrounded the pope's car several times as he made his way into the city from the airport, and outnumbered security officers struggled to push the surging crowds back.

While others worried about his security, Francis was all smiles, even rolling down his window in the car to wave and shake hands. He later transferred to an open vehicle for a spin through downtown on his way to an official welcoming ceremony.

Here's a gallery of images from the pope's arrival.


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