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AP PHOTOS: Francis begins first trip home as pope

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The Associated Press | July 22, 2013 11:32 PM EST | AP

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Pope Francis arrived in Rio de Janeiro on Monday 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, 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 past week of protests.

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AP photographers and photo editors on Twitter: http://apne.ws/15Oo6jo