From Rome to Rio: two million expected to welcome Pope Francis to Brazil

As Pope Francis arrives for a five-day visit to the most populous Catholic country on Earth, Janet Tappin Coelho in Uberlandia, Brazil, reports on the scale of the greeting awaiting him

12: Pope Francis lands in Rio on Monday night after a 12-hour flight from Rome, where the Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff welcomed him with a ceremony at the Guanabara Palace. He will rest today before travelling by helicopter to the Aparecida shrine in São Paulo to celebrate mass and have lunch with theological students. He will also visit the San Francisco de Assisi hospital, where patients with Aids-related illnesses are treated.

2 million pilgrims are expected to visit Rio this week for the first international trip by the new Pontiff, and the first visit by a South American Pope to the continent.

50,000 The number of  residents in the Manguinhos favela in the south of the country, which the Pope will visit on Thursday afternoon. Also on Thursday he will receive the “golden keys” to the city, before saying mass on Copacabana beach.

£102m  Estimated cost for the five-day visit, 70 per cent of which will come from sponsorship and pilgrims, and 30 per cent from the government; estimates claim World Youth Day alone will boost Brazil’s economy by $1.2bn (£780 million).

£192m will be spent on lodging and meals, with the average tourist expected to spent around £90 a day on accommodation, transportation and food.

0 The Pope will not be using the bulletproof Popemobile during his visit, preferring instead an open-topped car, despite his itinerary taking in some of Rio’s most violent favelas.

15,200 The number of military personnel who will protect the Pope, with 40 elite bodyguards shadowing his every move. Breaking down the numbers, 10,200 will be deployed in Rio for the Pope’s meeting with the President; the mass on Copacabana beach on Thursday, and on Friday when he drives through what are expected to be huge crowds in Rio in an open-topped car. More than 5,000 troops will be stationed in São Paulo on Wednesday to guard the Aparecida shrine.

10,000 police and civil defence officers, including firefighters and paramedics, will be on hand to provide assistance to the public, while plainclothes  officers will mingle with the crowds.

84,000 people volunteered for the festival, of which 60,500 have been picked – 52,500 are Brazilians and 8,000 are international helpers. They will be positioned at 45 information points and in designated areas for the festival.

7,000 troops will lock down the area for the final two events; the prayer vigil on Saturday evening and the open air mass on Sunday in Campus Fidei in Guaratiba. Pope Francis will be protected at the altar by 400  soldiers, dressed not in uniform but in suits. A total of 13,700 security personnel including the armed  forces and the police will be  stationed on both nights.

1 million The Pope has chosen to meet with a group of young Rio prison inmates on Friday and the day will be rounded off with a “Way of the Cross” ceremony which he will lead along the streets of Rio. On Saturday, the Catholic leader will attend a meeting with politicians and  entrepreneurs at Rio’s Municipal Theatre. In the evening, he will hold a prayer vigil with more than one million youths in Guaratiba. Finally, on Sunday, Pope Francis will end  the World Youth Day 2013 with an open-air mass.

10 The Brazilian Air Force  will employ 10 aircraft for logistical support to the event; eight helicopters and two aeroplanes. Pope Francis and the papal entourage will be transported to locations by helicopter. Supersonic Tucano fighter jets, two helicopters and two unmanned drones will supervise and monitor ground movements and remain in the air during the entirety of the Pontiff’s visit.

60 During public celebrations in Guaratiba and Copacabana there will be a no flyover zone of up to a 60-mile radius.

45 Pope Francis had the option of occupying a 77sq metres room, but he has said he would prefer to sleep in a suite that is just 45sq metres, with a single bed, a small desk, a rocking chair, a bedside table, a fridge and a small bathroom.

10,000 The Brazilian Mint will launch a  commemorative coin in honour of the Pope’s visit. The medal is made of bronze, silver and gold, and is 50mm in diameter. 10,000 will  be made; 7,000 in bronze, 2,950 in silver and 50 in gold. The bronze medal will cost R$45 (£13), the  silver, R$230 (£68). The gold coin will be produced only on demand after the initial 50 are made.

123.3 million Brazil has the largest Catholic population in the world, but Pope Francis arrives at a time when the numbers of faithful are steadily falling and the Catholic Church is facing growing competition from evangelicals. According to the Pew Research Centre Analysis, based on census data, Brazil’s Catholic population fell from 125 million in 2000 to 123 million in 2010, dropping from 74 per cent to 65 per cent of the  country’s total population. The gain went to the Protestants, which rose from 26 million (15 per cent) in 2000 to 42 million (22 per cent) in 2010.

600 More than 600 free activities will take place in Rio during the five days of the festival, including 45 exhibitions in different locations; 158 bands performing 362 shows in 19 areas and guided tours around 34 churches.

59 Around 59 groups from 15 nationalities will perform theatre and dance shows, and there will be 200 cinema activities with 150 screenings and three international premieres. Opportunities will be available to go on hikes, bike rides and sight-seeing tours with Sugar Loaf Mountain and the Statue of Christ the Redeemer staying open until midnight for the first time, in a move to ensure everyone gets a chance to visit  the sites.

250+ The number of international  bishops who will hold the catechises at which the themes of World Youth Day will be developed and explained. The  sessions will take place from today until Friday. 133 of the events will be conducted in Portuguese and 50 in Spanish, with a further 25 in English; 15 in Italian and French; eight in German; and five in Polish. In total, the catechises will be held in 20  different languages, including Arabic, Croatian, Danish, Slovenian, Greek, Czech and Russian.

2 different types of accommodation will be on offer to pilgrims; the “Simple” and the “Alternative”. Groups choosing the Simple option have to bring sleeping bags and a mat. They will be given accommodation with Brazilian families, in parish centres, public and private schools, universities, gymnasiums and community centres. All facilities will be equipped with water, showers and toilets. The Alternative option is for those pilgrims who want to book their own accommodation. Once travellers have registered for the event everybody receives a pilgrim kit that includes a cap, a T-shirt, a pre-paid meal card; a transportation card; a pilgrim ID; a crucifix and a pilgrim guide to the events and  activities on offer.

110 countries have  representatives at the event. More than 7,000 are expected from America; 7,000 will also attend from Italy, while Spain has registered 3,000, 2,000 are coming from Germany and a further 1,700 from Poland. In total, organisers expect to welcome representatives from all 45 European countries.

1.36million  The evening vigil and final mass on 27 and 28 July will be held at Campus Fidei in Guaratiba, where a 1.36 million sq metre complex has been built to receive the pilgrims. The site contains 4,673 toilets, 615 washbasins, 4,920 water fountains, 2,016 urinals and 33 LED video screens for the  audience to watch proceedings.

22 plots will make up the site, each of which is equivalent in size to seven Maracana Stadium football pitches. The  pilgrims will also be able to buy products at the WYD Rio2013  Official Store. Everything is designed so that the pilgrims do not need to move between areas to find the desired services.

75 The stage where Pope Francis will lead the ceremonies will be 75 metres wide and 68 metres deep. A platform lift will provide access to the altar and the sacristy, while a 33-metre high cross, two iron structures that resemble praying hands pointing  towards the sky and columns with the words “friendship”, “love” and “marriage” will form the backdrop  to the stage.

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