July 24th, 2013
11:59 AM ET

Pope to Hold First Public Mass in Brazil Today

Excitement is coursing through Brazil today as Pope Francis prepares to visit what many Brazilians consider the country's holiest site, the national shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, CNN's Miguel Marquez reports.

However, today's festivities are raising more security concerns after his chaotic drive through Rio's streets on Monday.

Somehow his car ended up in the wrong lane, exposing him to hundreds of adoring followers, but also possible harm. The Pope himself remained calm through the incident, even at one point kissing a baby.

At Rio's Operation Center, officials say there are typically three routes for getting the Pope from point A to B but that can be changed in an instant. Some officials blamed poor communication between federal and local officials for the mishap, others have suggested a lone public servant failed to properly direct the Pope's motorcade.

"Officially, no answers for now," says Marquez.

Instead officials are focused on security on not just the Pope, but hundreds of thousands of pilgrims as World Youth Day finally gets going.

"This is the opening ceremony and the opening Mass," says Marquez in video from Tuesday evening. "... and despite a pretty miserable evening here in Rio. Tens of Thousands have showed up. And the main stage is more than a half a mile from where I'm standing."

The crowds will only grow, and by week's end, there will be millions in attendance looking to Pope Francis for leadership.

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