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Pope ends historic Brazil tour

Pope Francis has left Brazil with Rio still pulsating with excitement after an historic beachfront Mass for more than 3 million people in which he challenged young people to build a new world based on tolerance and love.

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Pope blesses Olympic flags ahead of Rio 2016

Pope Francis has blessed the Olympic and Paralympic flags in a ceremony at Rio de Janeiro's City Palace ahead of the 2016 Summer Games.

Pope Francis blesses the Olympic flag in Rio de Janerio's City Palace. Credit: REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

From the balcony of the building, he blessed the Olympic and Paralympic flags with holy water and imparted a blessing on those who gathered to watch.

Pope Francis blesses the Rio 2016 Paralympics flag. Credit: REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

Welcomed by the Mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes, the Pope received the key to the City of Rio during the ceremony.

The Pope receives the symbolic key to the city from Rio de Janeiro's Mayor Eduardo Paes Credit: REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

He was also presented with a green Brazilian Olympic shirt with the words "Papa Francisco" by Brazilian Olympic Committee President Carlos Nuzman.

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