After waiting all day to hear Pope Benedict XVI address them on the evening of March 24, thousands of Mexicans felt moved and inspired by the Pope's call to change the world through God's love.
“We are happy, and support him wholeheartedly because we love him. His words give hope to this country that needs it so much,” said Yolet, a girl from Guadalajara who spoke to CNA after the Pope's appearance at the Plaza de Paz in León.
Yolet said it was a “marvelous” and “once-in-a-lifetime” experience to see the Pope, and hear his words – which she said “will not leave hearts indifferent.”
Alondra Johana Márquez Granados, age 7, was one of the thousands of children who heard the Pope's message about a better future, free from division and strife.
“It’s a miracle that the Pope came here to Guanajuato,” she said.
Chants of support for the Pope were heard in the run-up to his appearance in the evening. One joyous slogan announced: “Brother Benedict, now you're Mexican!”
Also heard amid the Mariachi music, was the chant coined at World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid: “We are the Pope's children!”
Mariela Ramírez, 21, told CNA that the Pope meets with young people “because he has a great message for them, that they are the seeds of Mexico and the future of the Church.”
“I’m very excited because I love the Holy Father. He’s the Vicar of Christ, the most important person on the planet.” She said Mexicans “should put our hearts” into his visit to their country.
Bells rang out in the evening, to announce the Pope's arrival in the Plaza de Paz. Throughout the encounter, the multitude broke into applause to express their excitement, especially when the children who accompanied the Pope released doves as symbols of peace.
Excitement grew when event organizers released balloons along with white and yellow confetti.
After hearing his message about God's love and Mexico's future, the thousands of cheering faithful accompanied the Holy Father along his route back to Miraflores School in the city of León.
Roque Aria, a 58-year-old Guanajuato native, summed up the Pope's coming as “the best thing that could have happened in my life.”