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The people and the stories making the news in what was a momentous year for the Church

A pilgrim with a rosary wrapped around her hand prays during the World Youth Day closing Mass on Copacabana beach (Photo: CNS)

WYD 2013 has inspired youngsters from around the world

Three million people attend World Youth Day closing Mass on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro (CNS)

Pilgrims descended on Copacabana Beach to hear the Pope urge them to reach out to those on “the fringes of society”

Pope Francis listens to a question from a journalist on his flight heading back to Rome from Rio on Monday (CNS)

Pope Francis holds surprise press conference on flight home from World Youth Day in Rio

Pope Francis steps off a plane after returning to Rome on Monday (CNS)

Pope back in Rome after Brazil visit

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

Pope Francis celebrates Mass on Copacabana Beach during WYD (AP)

Pope Francis tells the youth that he is counting on them to ‘make disciples of all nations.’