Vatican City, Feb 21, 2016 / 08:24 am
Pope Francis on Sunday said the visit to Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe was the “central point” of his spiritual pilgrimage to Mexico. He praised the witness of the Mexican faithful and suggested that Guadalupe is part of their “special inheritance” that launched the evangelization of the Americas.
Before the Angelus on Sunday, with thousands of people gathered in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope reflected on his visit to Mexico.
“To remain in silence before the image of the Mother was what I intended first of all,” he said Feb. 21. He suggested that Our Lady of Guadalupe has “etched in her eyes the eyes of all her children.” She “gathers the pains of violence, kidnappings, killings and abuses that harm so many poor people, so many women.”
Pope Francis said the encounter between Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Juan Diego began the evangelization of the Americas. It also began the continent’s “new civilization, the fruit of the encounter between different cultures.”
“This is the special inheritance that the Lord has consigned to Mexico: to guard the riches of diversity, and, at the same time, to manifest the harmony of the common faith.”
The Pope noted the witness of those he had spoken with: Mexican families, young people, priests and religious, workers and prisoners. He said these people gave “a testimony of a clear and strong faith, the testimony of a lived faith, of a faith that transfigures life.”