Pope to Brazilians: Don’t Ignore the Periphery

Photo courtesy RNS.

People attending the opening Mass held on Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro. Photo courtesy RNS.

It’s not every day that the pope drops in for a visit to your home. But Maria da Penha dos Santos lucked out when Pope Francis chose to enter her small yellow two-story house in the rundown slum of Varginha.

The Thursday morning visit came on the fourth day of the pontiff’s weeklong World Youth Day tour. Santos’ house was one of seven earmarked for a visit.

She was waiting outside with her husband, daughter, and granddaughter when the pope stopped in front and told her “we have a beautiful family and he had loved us even before we had met.”