Young Catholics carry a cross down a beach in Brazil

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Young Catholic pilgrims carry a large wooden cross along Ipanema Beach on July 21 in celebration of World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Pope Francis arrived in Brazil on July 22 to join the estimated 1.5 million Catholics in the week of festivities.

* * * 
 
Pope rides around in the Popemobile in Brazil

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Pope Francis waves to the crowd from his Popemobile on July 22 after departing the Metropolitan Cathedral in Rio de Janeiro.

First initiated in 1985, World Youth Day boasts Pope John Paul II and Mother Theresa as its patron saints.

* * * 
 
Young women prays during pope's visit to Brazil

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

A young woman prays during the live video broadcast of the World Youth Day opening ceremonies on July 23 at Copacabana Beach.

Video screens are set up along the length of the beach to accomodate the thousands of attendees.

* * * 
 
Young Cathlics walk past a sunbather in Brazil

Photo: Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images

Young pilgrims walk past a woman sunbathing on Ipanema beach on July 21 — the eve of Pope Francis' arrival.

* * * 
 
Young women have their photo taken next to a pope sand sculpture

Photo: Vanderlei Almeida/AFP/Getty Images

Tourists at Copacabana Beach pose for a photo next to a sand sculpture depicting Pope Francis on July 17.

* * * 
 
Youth carry a wooden cross in Brazil for the pope's visit

Photo: Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images

The iconic Christ the Redeemer statue is seen at the top of Rio de Janeiro's Corcovado mount on July 12 as a throng of young Catholics carry the cross "entrusted to the youth of the world" by Pope John Paul II in 1984.

* * * 
 
Young Catholics listen to the opening ceremonies of World Youth Day

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Young pilgrims try to get a better view of the broadcast for the World Youth Day opening ceremonies on Copacabana Beach.

* * * 
 
Catie Leary is a photo editor at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.