Pope Francis' weeklong trip to Brazil ends

NICOLE WINFIELD and JENNY BARCHFIELD
Pope Francis' weeklong trip to Brazil ends

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Pope Francis has taken off from Rio de Janeiro's international airport, ending a weeklong visit to Brazil that drew an estimated 3 million people onto the sands of Copacabana beach on his final day.

The trip marked the first international foray for the Argentine-born pontiff and his first voyage back to his home continent since becoming pope in March.

The visit was hailed as a success by church officials, pilgrims and the faithful in the world's largest Catholic country, although it was marked by major organizational snags.

Francis' schedule Sunday included a Mass attended by millions and meetings with regional clergy and thousands of volunteers.

The pope's return to Italy marked the end of the World Youth Day, a gathering that will next take place in Krakow, Poland, in 2016.