Pope Francis will venerate Mary at Mexico shrine next year

IMAGE: CNS/Paul Haring

By Junno Arocho Esteves

CITY (CNS) –- On the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Pope Francis announced
that he would travel to the Marian shrine in Mexico City and pray to Mary so
that Christian communities “may become oases and rivers of mercy.”

ask her this, in a strong way, I will travel to venerate her at her shrine on
Feb.13. There, I will ask this for all of America, of whom she is
especially a mother,” the pope said.

pope made the announcement during a Dec. 12 Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica
honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe, who appeared to St. Juan Diego in 1531.

his homily, the pope said that God’s merciful love is his “most surprising
attribute” and is not only manifested through Mary but also directed toward
the church and every person. God, he said “loves us with a free love, without
limits, expecting nothing in return.”

pope said that no sin could cancel out God’s mercy but only shine forth his
love with greater strength. “No matter how great or serious the sins of the
world may be, the Spirit, who renews the face of the earth, makes possible the
miracle of a more human life, full of joy and hope,” he said. 

Mary’s words to St. Juan Diego, the pope said the presence of the
Lord and his mother is the source of peace and joy even
in the midst of suffering.

he continued, became the “mother of mercy” after having received in her womb
“the very source of that mercy: Jesus Christ.” Entrusting the sufferings and
joys of “the whole American continent” to her, Pope Francis prayed that Mary
may “sow merciful love in the hearts of people and families” during the jubilee

beseech her to guide the footsteps of the American people, a pilgrim people who
look for the mother of mercy, and I only ask her one thing: to show us her son Jesus,” the pope said. 

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Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju

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