At Guanajuato Airport, Catholics overjoyed by Pope's Mexico visit


Catholics at Guanajuato Airport were joyful, proud, and thankful for the chance to welcome Pope Benedict XVI on his first visit to a Spanish-speaking Latin American country on March 23.

Many of them told CNA that it was “a marvelous experience.”

Benita Espinoza, who arrived from Mazatlán in the state of Sinaloa, didn't expect to feel the way she did when Pope John Paul II visited to the country. But when she saw Pope Benedict XVI, she said, “I felt something incomparable. That’s why I give thanks to God for allowing me to be here.”

Father Julio Salcedo, of the Missionaries of St. Joseph, noted that the Pope arrived “with great joy.”

“His happiness is immediately apparent,” the priest said. “He’s wanted to come to Mexico for some time. I do think he will offer us a message of peace.”

The experience of welcoming the Pope was “unforgettable” and is “something we will always have in our memories,” according to 21-year-old Victor Martin.

“The words and the speech he gave to the Mexican people were very beautiful – that we may work for our society, the youth and our people,” Martin said.

Celia Elías later said that she felt “great satisfaction to have seen the Pope, who will give us hope for the country. Having seen him is without a doubt something divine.”

Roberto Antonio Velásquez Nieto, a Mexican expert on the Vatican archives, is grateful for the Pope's “message of faith, hope, love, and reconciliation for all Mexican people,” amid the “ravaging effects of the organized crime and violence that plague Mexico.”

“I think this is the most transcendent visit of his entire pontificate,” said Nieto, who also observed that Pope Benedict “comes to put an end to the dictatorship of relativism that currently reigns.”

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