Saturday, July 11, 2015

Papal Mass in Paraguay Becomes Makeshift Argentine Welcome

Pope Francis received a very Argentine welcome Saturday at Paraguay's most important pilgrimage site, with thousands of his countrymen joining hundreds of thousands of Paraguayan faithful for a Mass that served as a makeshift homecoming for the Argentine pope. But Francis had Paraguay on his mind, dedicating his Mass to Paraguay's women and designating the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Caacupe here as the world's newest basilica. Argentina's blue and white flag and its national team soccer jersey were ubiquitous among the mate tea-sipping faithful who packed the main square and nearby streets at Caacupe, which houses a little wooden statue of the Virgin Mary that is close to Francis' heart.

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