By Junno Arocho Esteves
CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis said his reasons for going to Mexico are “easy
“I want to come as a missionary of mercy and
peace,” the pope said in a video message to the Mexican people released by
the Vatican Feb. 7. “I want to meet with you to profess our faith together
and share a fundamental truth in our lives: that God loves us very much, that
he loves us with an infinite love, beyond our merits.”
The pope said he was “very happy” for his
apostolic visit Feb. 12-17 and that he carries the people of Mexico in his
prayers and in his heart.
“I want to be as close as possible to you, but in a special
way to those who
suffer, to hug them and tell them that Jesus loves them very much, that he is
always at their side,” he said.
One of his “greatest desires” during the six-day
visit, he said, is to visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which houses
the image of Mary that was miraculously imprinted on the cloak of St. Juan
Diego. The pope said that to feel the “tenderness of her gracious
presence” would be a “beautiful” experience.
“There I will look in her eyes and plead that she never
stops looking upon us with mercy because she is our mother in heaven,” he
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