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1,000 Worshippers Welcome Pope Francis With A Living Portrait

They also used their bodies to spell out "Welcome to Morelia" in Spanish.

More than a thousand people swarmed together to form a massive live portrait of Pope Francis, as they welcomed the Catholic leader to central Mexico.

"Welcome to Morelia," the crowd spelled out in Spanish with their bodies, beneath a human portrait of the pontiff, in the  Michoacan state capital.

Pope Francis reportedly flew over a courtyard in Mexico where more than 1,000 people had gathered to welcome him with a live
Pope Francis reportedly flew over a courtyard in Mexico where more than 1,000 people had gathered to welcome him with a live portrait.

In drugs-plagued Michoacan, Pope Francis called on young people to resist the urge for power and money that lures many into participating in the narcotics trade, Reuters reports.

"What temptation can come to us from places often dominated by violence, corruption, drug trafficking, disregard for human dignity, and indifference in the face of suffering and vulnerability?" Francis said during a service in the city.

The pope has spoken strongly on the issues during his six-day visit to Mexico -- his first to the Central American nation. He has also criticized authorities for failing to address corruption and highlighted the plight of indigenous people. 

“Many of us have suffered extortion, and many have suffered the loss of loved ones due to drug violence,” Karla Martinez, 25, told The New York Times at the Mass in Morelia. “For [Pope Francis] to come here, it’s like saying that we’re not alone.” 

The production and trade of narcotics in Michoacan has led to rampant gang violence and extortion. The city is the birthplace of La Familia Michoacana, one of Mexico's most notorious drug cartels, known for its brutal violence and kidnappings. 

The pontiff was due to leave for Rome on Wednesday, after visiting a prison in the border town of Ciudad Juárez, mere days after a prison riot left 52 dead in Monterrey. 

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