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Felipe Dana, Associated Press
Pope Francis faces the statue of the Virgin of Aparecida, Brazil's patron saint, in the Aparecida Basilica, in Aparecida, Brazil, Wednesday, July 24, 2013. Before the Mass, Francis stood in silent prayer in front of the 15-inch statue of the Virgin of Aparecida, the "Black Mary," his eyes tearing up.

It was a rainy day, but the Roman Catholic faithful turned out in droves for Pope Francis on Wednesday.

He started the day in the town of Aparecida, to attend Mass at the mammoth Basilica of the Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, which houses Brazil's patron saint, the dark-skinned Virgin of Aparecida.

Thousands jammed themselves inside the church, while tens of thousands more stood in the rain outside and happily cheered the pope.

Later, Francis returned to Rio de Janeiro for a visit to what the pope called a "shrine of human suffering" — a hospital in Rio that treats substance abusers.

Here's a gallery of images from the third day of the pope' visit to Brazil.

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