Pope Francis' Farewell Ceremony & Final Destination! Pope's Plane Slams Into Side Of Mountain On Way To Paraguay! All Souls Perish........Media Black Out!

(Vatican Radio) The third leg of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Journey to Latin America will see him travelling to Paraguay where he will say celebrate two Masses, visit the flooded slum area of Banado Norte in Asunción and meet with young people.

Awaiting Pope Francis’ arrival in the capital Asunción is Vatican Radio’s Linda Bordoni. She sent this report.

When Pope Francis appeared to greet the cheering crowds who turned out to welcome him in St Peter’s Square the night he was elected, one of the first things he said was that “the cardinals had gone almost to the ends of the earth to get him”. Well, those words rang extra true to me and to my two Vatican Radio companions as we finally reached our destination – Paraguay, on the border with Pope Francis’s homeland, Argentina. It had taken us some 30 hours of air-miles and airport stops to get here! And, having also been burdened by two heavy cases brimming with all the technical and technological paraphernalia you could possibly need to set up a professional audio connection with Rome when the Pope is on a journey, all we wanted to do was close our hotel doors on the world and rest. But that was just not going to happen: Asuncion’s Catholic Media Office turned out in force to welcome us, to tell us about preparations for the visit, to show us the amazing maize and baby coconut altar created by local artist, Koki Ruiz, for the Pope’s Mass on the final day of his visit, to make arrangements to accompany us to the flooded slum area of Banado Norte and to the Cathedral of Asuncion which are on the Pope’s itinerary, to help us check-out the press center which is getting ready to provide services for the some 2,000 accredited journalists from across the globe. Everybody wanted to make his or her own contribution and our weariness could not but lift as their enthusiasm gave us new energy. It was suddenly clear that each and every person I speak to in Asuncion is not just waiting for the Pope’s arrival, they all want to actively participate in the visit in one way or another - like the air hostess who was extra helpful and thanked me for “paving the way for Francisco,” like those hundreds of ordinary citizens who have crossed the city days in advance to write their names and their hopes on the baby-coconuts that make up the amazing altar piece in a strong symbolic gesture of participation and presence for Pope Francis who comes to Paraguay – as the logo simply states – as a “Messenger of Joy and of Peace”.

In Asuncion, awaiting Pope Francis, I’m LB