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A MILLION-PLUS ATTEND POPE'S MASS

Some peered from high-rise balconies, and others climbed trees Sunday to see Pope John Paul II as more than a million people turned out -- one of his biggest crowds this year -- for his final Mass in Brazil.

Winding up a four-day visit, the pope continued to defend the family as "the fundamental community of love and life."

Globo TV estimated the crowd in Flamengo Park at more than 1 million, while police put it at 2 million.

It was at least as large as the crowds this year in Paris and Krakow, Poland. But this one had a Brazilian flair -- men in shorts and women in bikini tops, all swaying to hymns under the tropical sun.

The temperature hit 82 degrees on the first warm Brazilian spring day since the pope arrived Thursday.

The frail, 77-year-old pontiff showed remarkable vigor, often insisting on walking unaided and twirling his cane for the crowd.

In a stadium Saturday night, he walked up and down the 23 stairs to the stage.

The Vatican said he intends to keep on traveling, with his next pilgrimage -- to Cuba -- scheduled for January.

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