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Pope says he'll be back to Brazil in 2017

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July 24, 2013 03:11 PM EST | AP

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APARECIDA, Brazil — Pope Francis says he'll be coming back to Brazil in 2017.

The pope spoke to Catholic pilgrims moments after saying Mass at the shrine of the country's patron saint in the city of Aparecida on Wednesday. It was the first public Mass of his initial trip abroad as pontiff.

The pope asked the crowd to pray for him. Then he added in Spanish: "I'll return in 2017."

That would be the 300th anniversary of the appearance of the Virgin of Aparecida.

It's only the second announced trip beyond Italy for Francis, though he is also widely expected to make a visit to his native Argentina at some point.