APARECIDA, Brazil (CNS) — Comfortable in the presence of Mary and at a shrine that symbolizes one of his most important experiences as a member of the Latin American bishops’ council, Pope Francis kicked off five days of intense activity with an act of devotion.

Visiting the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida July 24, the pope entrusted World Youth Day to Mary’s maternal protection, but also challenged parents, priests and other adult Catholics to give the young people things that the world, with all its wealth, cannot: faith and values.

The pope began his homily during Mass at the world’s largest Marian shrine by recalling the month he spent in Aparecida in 2007 as part of the Latin American bishops’ council, CELAM, and his role as head of the committee that drafted the gathering’s final document on evangelizing the continent anew.

Read: Pope returns to Marian shrine, entrusts WYD to Mary’s care