PHOTOS: Francis begins first trip home as pope

The Associated Press
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Pope Francis visits with journalists during the papal flight direct to Rio de Janeiro, Monday, July 22, 2013.  Francis, the 76-year-old Argentine who became the church's first pontiff from the Americas in March, returns to the embrace of Latin America to preside over the Roman Catholic Church's World Youth Day festival.  During his flight from Rome, Francis warned about youth unemployment in some countries in the double digits, telling about 70 journalists aboard the papal plane that there is a "risk of having a generation that hasn't worked." He said, "Young people at this moment are in crisis." (AP Photo/Luca Zennaro, Pool)

Pope Francis visits with journalists during the papal flight direct to Rio de Janeiro, Monday, July 22, 2013. Francis, the 76-year-old Argentine who became the church’s first pontiff from the Americas in March, returns to the embrace of Latin America to preside over the Roman Catholic Church’s World Youth Day festival. During his flight from Rome, Francis warned about youth unemployment in some countries in the double digits, telling about 70 journalists aboard the papal plane that there is a “risk of having a generation that hasn’t worked.” He said, “Young people at this moment are in crisis.” (AP Photo/Luca Zennaro, Pool)

Pope Francis arrived in Rio de Janeiro to begin a weeklong visit to participate in the World Youth Day festival.

After making a no-frills flight on a charter jet from Italy on Monday, the pontiff got a rousing, and sometimes alarming, welcome on his first trip back to his home continent since becoming the leader of the Roman Catholic Church.

Throngs of people surrounded the pope’s car several times as he made his way into the city from the airport, and outnumbered security officers struggled to push the surging crowds back.

While others worried about his security, Francis was all smiles, even rolling down his window in the car to wave and shake hands. He later transferred to an open vehicle for a spin through downtown on his way to an official welcoming ceremony.

Here’s a gallery of images from the pope’s arrival.

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