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As Pope Francis boarded a helicopter to meet World Youth Day volunteers in Rio, he made the sign of the Cross and then a heart to the delight of the watching crowd

A choir sings as pilgrims prepare for the World Youth Day closing Mass  (Photo: CNS)

Putting down my camera phone allowed me to share a truly special moment with Pope Francis and my fellow volunteers

A Polish group celebrates the announcement in Rio today (AP)

Polish city is Blessed John Paul II’s former episcopal see

Pope Francis celebrates Mass on Copacabana Beach (AP)

‘We are sent together,’ Pontiff tells three million young people on Copacabana Beach

Pilgrims pack Copacabana beach for World Youth Day's closing Mass (AP)

More than three million pilgrims attend papal Mass

Pope Francis arrives for the vigil at Copacabana Beach (AP)

Holy Father stresses need for ‘prayer, sacraments and helping others’

Francis speaks to Brazilian leaders in Rio's Municipal Theatre (AP)

Pontiff says when leaders ask his advice he replies: ‘Dialogue, dialogue, dialogue’

Pope Francis celebrates Mass in Rio cathedral (CNS)

‘Have the courage to go against the tide,’ Pontiff urges priests, religious and seminarians

Francis arrives at  Quinta da Boa Vista park to hear Confessions (CNS)

Holy Father also hears young pilgrims’ Confessions on busy Friday

Pilgrims carry the cross during last night's Via Crucis (AP)

Pontiff asks young people to reflect on three questions about the Cross