A Brazilian slum welcomes Pope Francis
The leader of the Catholic Church defies security concerns to walk through an area known locally as the "Gaza Strip"
In the highly documented first foreign trip of his papacy, Pope Francis has been touring Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this week in honor of World Youth Day. The fourth day of his trip brought him to Varginha, a notorious slum that is colloquially referred to as the "Gaza Strip," in reference to its high levels of violence. Despite Varginha's extreme poverty and unrest — not to mention the day's heavy rain — its residents arrived in droves to greet the Catholic Church's highest leader.
An enormous crowd gathers at Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana beach to hear Pope Francis celebrate Mass. (Buda Mendes/Getty Images)
Shielded from the rain by a large umbrella, Pope Francis is greeted by residents of Rio's Varginha slum. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)
A woman holds a poster of Pope Francis as she stands in the doorway of her home in Varginha. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)
Pope Francis shakes hands and greets residents. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)
Members of the crowd hold posters with Pope Francis' face as they await his arrival in Varginha. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)
Pope Francis greets the awaiting crowd. (REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini)