Pope Francis Leaves For Brazil, Carries His Own Bag In Fiumicino Airport In Rome

By @PReyMallen on
Pope Francis Brazil July 2013

Pope Francis boards a plane at Fiumicino airport in Rome July 22, 2013. Pope Francis left Rome for Brazil on Monday, making his first trip abroad since he was elected in March as the first non-European pontiff in 13 centuries.


Pope Francis is going back to South America. The Holy Father's first international trip will take him to Brazil, where he will be received by more than 1 million expected attendees to the Youth World Day 2013. 

As the Pope left Rome on Sunday, photos of the Pontifice walking up to the plane went viral -- in an unprecedented move, Francis was carrying his own bag, a gesture never seen on a previous Pope. Catholics the world over praised Francis for his modesty, which furthers his image as a down-to-earth, approachable "Pope of the people."

"Francis has captivated me; he's absolutely won me over," said Rafaela Bastos, a 23-year-old Brazilian pilgrim, to the Denver Post. "He's brought the church close to the people and especially to young Catholics. He's creative, he's modern, he's not changing doctrine, but he seems far more flexible and open to discussion."

The media is following Francis' every step in Brazil, the world's biggest Catholic community. It is expected that he will show a much gentler touch than former Pope Benedict, who visited Brazil in 2007.

The Holy Father will arrive to a restless Brazil, after two months of on-and-off social protests demanding the government improve social benefits. Nevertheless, authorities assured safety for the days of the Pope's visit.

Pope Francis leaves for Brazil V In a much commented event, Pope Francis carried his own bag when walking to the plane in Rome's Fiumicino airport.  Reuters

Pope Francis leaves for Brazil VI Pope Francis carried his own bag when walking towards the plane at Rome's Fiumicino airport.  Reuters

Pope Francis leaves for Brazil Pope Francis arrived in his private helicopter to Rome's Fiumicino airport.  Reuters

Pope Francis leaves for Brazil II Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta walked Pope Francis to the plane.  Reuters

Pope Francis leaves for Brazil IV A flight attendant watched over Pope Francis as he walked up the stairs carrying his own bag at Rome's Fiumicino airport.  Reuters

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