Regardless of fears that Pope Francis might discover a lukewarm greeting in Poland this week, the pageant bringing him to the conservative Catholic country kicked off on Tuesday with nice fanfare.

The pontiff is because of arrive in Krakow on Wednesday for a five-day go to in celebration of World Youth Day. Initiated by Pope John Paul II in 1985, the event takes place roughly each three years and provides younger Catholics a chance to have a good time their religion within the firm of their pontiff.

The festival formally started on Tuesday with a gap Mass led by Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz, the archbishop of Krakow. Tons of of hundreds attended the opening occasion, in response to the pageant’s U.S. branch, recalling the throngs of pilgrims who made their technique to the 2013 World Youth Day in Brazil.

JANEK SKARZYNSKI through Getty Pictures

Pilgrims from all around the world have a good time after the Opening Mass on the primary day of the World Youth Days, on the Blonia Meadows in Krakow, on July 26, 2016.

“World Youth Day is a singular technique to deepen your religion and develop nearer to Christ, by way of prayer and the sacraments, along with hundreds of different younger individuals who share your pursuits and ambitions,” the festival’s website says.

Throughout his trip, Pope Francis will hear confessions, break bread and lead a prayer vigil with a number of chosen teams of younger Catholics. The pontiff can even go to the previous Nazi camps at Auschwitz and Birkenau, the place he has requested that these in attendance offer prayers and tears somewhat than speeches.

“I wish to go to that place of horror with out speeches, with out crowds – solely the few individuals essential,” Francis told reporters in June. “Alone, enter, pray. And should the Lord give me the grace to cry.”

Kacper Pempel / Reuters

A person walks on the railway tracks within the former Nazi demise camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Poland’s Catholic Church is thought to be politically and socially conservative, which can give rise to tensions if the pope preaches on subjects near his coronary heart just like the setting and the plight of migrants.

“I’m completely satisfied the assembly between Francis and the Polish Church might be difficult for each side,” Jaroslaw Makowski, a liberal Polish theologian, told Reuters.

For the youth gathered on the pageant, although, it might be a distinct story. As one younger pilgrim touring from Zimbabwe told Catholic News Agency on Monday: “It’s going to be out of this world.”

See pictures from World Youth Day’s celebratory kick off beneath:

  • Agencja Gazeta / Reuters

  • Pilgrims collect for the opening ceremony of World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland July 26, 2016.

  • Agencja Gazeta / Reuters

  • Pilgrims lined in rain coats collect earlier than the opening mass of World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland July 26, 2016.

  • Agencja Gazeta / Reuters

  • Pilgrims maintain a cross throughout the opening mass of World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland July 26, 2016.

  • David W Cerny / Reuters

  • A pilgrim poses subsequent to an image of Pope Francis on the important sq. throughout World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, July 26, 2016.

  • David W Cerny / Reuters

  • A nun walks previous a poster on the primary stage earlier than the opening ceremony of World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, July 26, 2016.

  • Agencja Gazeta / Reuters

  • Pilgrims lined in rain coats stroll throughout heavy rain on World Youth Day on the Most important Sq. in Krakow, Poland July 26, 2016.

  • David W Cerny / Reuters

  • Nuns maintain flags close to the primary sq. throughout World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, July 26, 2016.

  • Agencja Gazeta / Reuters

  • Pilgrims confess throughout World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland July 26, 2016.

  • David W Cerny / Reuters

  • Pilgrims sing songs on the important sq. throughout World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, July 26, 2016.

  • David W Cerny / Reuters

  • A pilgrim prays earlier than the opening ceremony of World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, July 26, 2016.

  • David W Cerny / Reuters

  • A pilgrim waits for the opening ceremony of World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, July 26, 2016.

  • David W Cerny / Reuters

  • Pilgrims relaxation on a bus cease throughout World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, July 26, 2016.

  • David W Cerny / Reuters

  • Pilgrims sing songs on the important sq. throughout World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, July 26, 2016.