Pope Francis to visit Brazil on his first international trip as Pontiff

Tuesday 07 May 2013 23.15
The trip is expected to be the only one abroad for the Pope this year
The trip is expected to be the only one abroad for the Pope this year

Pope Francis will visit the poor and meet young prisoners when he travels to Brazil on his first international trip as Pontiff in July.

The Pope has said he wants to make concern for the poor a hallmark of his papacy.

He will visit the Rio de Janeiro slum of Manguinhos, home to about 35,000 people, on the fourth day of his trip to the world's largest Catholic country.

Manguinhos is one of Rio's most visible shanty towns, wedged between a busy highway and a former oil refinery and near the main airport and large military bases.

The shanty town, which the Pope will visit on 25 July, had a long history of drug-related violence, but a police occupation late last year kicked out many of the drug and gun traffickers.

The Pope will also meet young prisoners who will be brought to the archbishop's residence for the occasion.

The main purpose of the trip is for the Pope to preside at the Catholic Church's World Day of Youth, an international gathering that takes place in a different city every two years.

During the trip, he will also address Brazil's political and business leaders.

The trip is expected to be the only one abroad for the Pope this year.

The former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Buenos Aires is expected to visit his homeland early next year.

In the future, he is also expected to travel to the central Italian city of Assisi, birthplace of St Francis, whose name he adopted when elected Pope.