Pope Benedict XVI has celebrated Holy Communion in Paris in front of 200,000 people before heading to Lourdes.
The Catholic faithful in Paris were up early for this rare opportunity to pray with the Pope.
In fact many had camped outdoors for the opportunity to see him.
It's the Pontiff's first official visit to France.
And the chance to celebrate mass with him was an occasion many Catholics simply couldn't miss.
(SOUNDBITE) (French) ALEXANDRINE, FRENCH CATHOLIC, SAYING:
"It's important for us to be here in order to show him that we love him and it's important that he sees it. He's the shepherd who is visiting his sheep - it's natural that he visits them, he doesn't want to leave them alone."
200,000 people gathered at the Invalides for the celebration - the Pontiff arriving in his bullet-proof popemobile
The 81-year-old is trying to inject spiritual and religious values into modern French society.
Despite its strong Catholic roots France maintains a strict tradition of secularism.
The French church struggles to recruit priests and less than 10 per cent of the population attends Sunday mass.
But religion has re-emerged in public life recently, partly because of the growth of Islam.
As a result French Catholics are now choosing to speak out on social issues.
(SOUNDBITE) (French) ANNE RIQUIN, FRENCH CATHOLIC, SAYING:
"It's a great satisfaction for everyone, we're all very happy to be here and I think it will be a great benefit to Catholicism."
The turn-out was certainly impressive.
And the Pope's visit isn't over yet - it's only day two of a four-day trip.
Sonia Legg, Reuters.
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