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Pope urges compassion as he wraps Slovakia pilgrimage

Pope Francis Slovakia
Posted at 5:52 AM, Sep 15, 2021

Pope Francis has urged Slovakians look out for the neediest among them as he wrapped up a four-day pilgrimage to the central European country.

Cheering, maskless crowds lined Francis' motorcade route to the national shrine at Sastin.

They were rewarded with a slow-moving popemobile jaunt and a smiling, waving Francis. Organizers said 60,000 people attended the Mass, the biggest crowd at any event during the pope's four-day pilgrimage to Slovakia.

Attendees showed proof of COVID-19 vaccination to receive a barcode that gave them entrance. A few thousand non-vaccinated pilgrims were allowed in with proof of a negative test or having been cured of the virus.

The Mass was Francis' only big event Wednesday before he returned to Rome after a four-day pilgrimage to Hungary and Slovakia.

The trip was Francis' first since undergoing intestinal surgery in July. During that procedure, doctors removed 13 inches of his colon.

The Associated Press reports that Francis has two more trips planned in 2021. He'll travel to Glasgow, Scotland, to participate in a U.N. climate conference in November, and the AP reports he'll travel to Greece, Cyprus and Malta in December.