Pope Benedict XVI announced his next pastoral visit to Latin America during the “Misa Criolla” celebrated the afternoon of December 12, in St. Peter’s for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Bicentenary of the independence of many Countries in the region.
“Before Easter I intend to undertake an apostolic trip to Mexico and Cuba to proclaim the Word of Christ in a time that is precious to evangelize with authentic faith, lively hope and burning charity” the Pope said at the end of the homily.
While the Pope was in St. Peter’s, in Mexico 5 million 852 thousand faithful gathered at the Shrine of Mexico City for the celebration of the 480th anniversary of the Apparition of Our Lady of Tepeyac (the “morenita”), according to information provided by the delegation responsible for the feast in Mexico City. The authorities have said that this year there were no victims because of overcrowding. The health services rescued 3,340 people but only for small problems (fainting, fatigue, minor injuries to the feet, etc..). According to information sent to Fides, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is celebrated throughout Mexico for more than 24 hours, with vigils, rosaries, Masses.
The “Patroness of the Americas” was also celebrated in the main capital of Latin American countries where this year in particular the figure of Juan Diego (who now belongs to the Church’s sanctoral) was recalled thanks to many messages of solidarity. Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, Archbishop of Mexico, appealed from Rome: “Now more than ever, we must build a society that loves and protects life, which rejects violence, which is opposed to corruption, that opens the heart to solidarity with the poor, tending the hand of tolerance and respect”. Then he continued: “It is very emotional that all the faithful of Latin American Countries today are represented around the Successor of Peter to bear witness of true communion and fellowship, to pray together for harmony and peace in our troubled continent, but also to pray and take the path of true independence, which reaches the heart, when you remove all of the bondage of sin and live in the freedom of the sons of God”.