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Pope's vigorous pace in Brazil leaves his staff 'destroyed'

Pope Francis's visit to Brazil reveals the pope's tremendous vigor and energy. In his first international trip as pope, he is running his staff ragged, even adding last-minute events to his packed schedule.


Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff and Pope Francis visit upon his arrival at the international airport in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, July 22, in his first international trip as pope. Pope Francis returned to his native South America to preside over the Roman Catholic Church's World Youth Day festival.

Jorge Saenz/AP

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Pope Francis' killer pace is wearing out his aides.

The 76-year-old Argentine Jesuit, who lost most of one lung following an infection in his youth, has been acting like a man half his age during his first international trip as pope, adding in events at the last minute to his already full schedule and gamely going with the flow after heavy rains forced major changes in the World Youth Day agenda.

His spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, noted Thursday that such vigorous activity has been the norm at the Vatican ever since Francis came to town, saying the Vatican's usually staid bureaucrats were getting "stressed out" by his pace — and that that was a good thing.


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