2013 in Review: World Page

Pope Francis presided over Mass before an estimated 3 million pilgrims at World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro in July, capping his first visit to his home continent since his election as pope.

Other top world stories include two natural disasters in the Philippines, the beatification of 522 martyrs of the Spanish Civil War, an increased persecution of Christians by Muslim militants in the Middle East, the National Eucharistic Congress in Germany and rulings on marriage in France (where same-sex "marriage" was legalized, despite heavy popular support for marriage of one man and one woman) and Croatia (where traditional marriage was affirmed by popular vote).