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Monday, February 22, 2016

Angelus: the Pope recounts his apostolic trip to Mexico

Vatican City, 21 February 2016 (VIS) – Pope Francis described his trip to Mexico as "an experience of transfiguration" in his reflection before this Sunday's Angelus. Starting from the Gospel reading of this second Sunday of Lent, dedicated to the Transfiguration of Jesus on Mount Tabor, the Holy Father spoke about his visit to the land of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

In Mexico, he said "the Lord has shown us the light of His glory through the Body of the Church, of His holy people that live in this land — a body so often wounded, a people so often oppressed and despised, whose dignity is violated. In fact, the various encounters experienced in Mexico were truly full of light: the light of a faith that transfigures faces and illumines our path".

"The spiritual 'centre of gravity' of my pilgrimage was the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe", he added. "To remain in silence before the image of the Mother was what suggested the trip to me. I thank God for giving me this opportunity. I contemplated and let myself to be gazed upon by She whose eyes hold the gaze of all of her children, the sorrows of violence, kidnapping and murders, the violence against so many poor people, against so many women. Guadalupe is the most visited Marian sanctuary in the world. From all of America, people go to pray there where the ‘Virgin Morenita’ appeared to the Indian St. Juan Diego, giving rise to the evangelisation of the continent and its new civilization, a fruit of encounter between diverse cultures".

"It is precisely this inheritance that the Lord has entrusted to Mexico: to protect the wealth of diversity, and at the same time, to manifest the harmony of a common faith: a simple and robust faith, accompanied by a great force of vitality and humanity", explained the Pope. "Like my predecessors, I also went to confirm the Mexican people in their faith, but at the same time to be confirmed. I have gathered fully this gift so that it may be of benefit to the universal Church".

"A shining example of what I am saying was given by families: Mexican families welcomed me with joy as a messenger of Christ and pastor of the Church. But at the same time, they gave me clear and strong witness of lived faith, of faith that transfigures life, for the edification of all Christian families in the world. The same may be said about the young, consecrated persons, priests, workers and the imprisoned".

After giving thanks to the Virgin of Guadalupe for this pilgrimage and acknowledging the contribution of the civil and ecclesiastical authorities of Mexico and all those who made the trip possible, Francis gave special praise to the Holy Trinity for the encounter in Cuba with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, a meeting that was greatly desired by previous popes.

"This event too is a prophetic light of the Resurrection, which the world today needs more than ever. May the Holy Mother of God continue to guide us in the path of friendship and unity. Let us pray to the Virgin of Kazan, an icon of whom was given to me by Patriarch Kirill".

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