Filled with gratitude to God, we, the people of Mexico, feel as though we have been blessed as a result of the Pope’s presence among us. There have been countless signs of God’s blessings as Pope Francis has traveled throughout our country, a country whose people have embraced and welcomed him, a people, who above all, love the Blessed Virgin of Guadalupe.
From the time that the Pope’s plane touched down on Mexican soil on February 12th, the signs of love on the part of the Mexican people have been endless … people continually asked for the Pope’s blessing. At the time of Francis’ arrival no discourse had been planned, only a welcoming from the Mexican government. But there would be surprises … as soon as the Pope began to walk along the red carpet he decided to move in the direction where people had gathered. The media stated that the Pope had broken with protocol when in fact Francis, like a good father, was reaching out to his children in order to bless them. The kind gestures with which the Pope reached out to children, the infirm, prisoners, etc. (the more vulnerable members of society) were intended to be signs of God’s mercy toward the poor and the “little ones”.
Teachings: Here we recall some of the words that the Pope spoke during his stay among us in Mexico … words from his various discourses and homilies
February 13th (Mexico City)
Meeting with Authorities, Representatives of Civil Society and the Diplomatic Corps:
- I come as a missionary of mercy and of peace … I wish to pay my respects to this people and to this land which is so rich in culture, history and diversity.
- I believe and I dare to say that Mexico’s principal richness today has a young face; yes, this richness is your young people.
- Each time we seek the path of privileges or benefits for a few to the detriment of the good of all … the life of society becomes fertile soil for corruption, the drug trade, exclusion of different cultures, violence and also human trafficking, kidnapping and death, bringing suffering and slowing down development.
- The government of Mexico can count on the cooperation of the Catholic Church … which renews its commitment and willingness to serve the great causes of humankind: the building of the civilization of love.
Meeting with the Bishops of Mexico in the Metropolitan Cathedral:
- La Virgen Morenita teaches us that the only power capable of conquering the hearts of men and women is the tenderness of God.
- Bow down then brothers, quietly and respectfully, towards the profound spirit of your people, go down with care and decipher its mysterious face.
- I ask you, therefore, to be bishops who have a pure vision, a transparent soul, and a joyful face … bishops who are capable of imitating the freedom of God who chooses the humble in order to reveal the majesty of his countenance.
- I invite you to give yourselves tirelessly and fearlessly to the task of evangelizing and deepening the faith
Holy Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe
- May is, and always will be known as the woman who says “yes”, a “yes” of surrender to God and, at the same time, a “yes” of surrender to her brothers and sisters … which prompted her to give the best of herself, going forth to meet the others.
- On the morning of December 1531 … on that morning, God roused the hope of the little ones, of the suffering, of those displaced or rejected, of all who feel they have no worthy place in these lands.
- God came close and still comes close to the suffering but resilient hearts of so many mothers, fathers, grandparents who have seen their children leaving, becoming lost or even being taken by criminals.
- Juancito was chosen to oversee, care for, protect and promote the building of this Shrine … the Virgin managed to awaken something he did not know how to express, a veritable banner of love and justice: no one could be left out in the building of that other shrine, the shrine of life, the shrine of our communities, our societies and our cultures … God’s shrine.
Mass in the area of the Study Center of Ecatepec:
- Lent is a time for reconsidering our feelings, for letting our eyes be opened to the frequent injustices which stand in direct opposition to the dream and the plan of God.
- Lent is a time to unmask three great temptations that wear down and fracture the image which God wanted to form us in. These three temptations are wealth, vanity and pride. Wealth: seizing hold of goods destined for all and using them only for “my own people”. Vanity: the pursuit of prestige based on continuous relentless exclusion of those who “are not like me”. Pride: putting oneself on a higher level than one truly is on.
- Our God has a name: mercy and his name is our wealth, his name is what makes us famous, his name is our power.
- The Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus and know therefore that with Christ and in Christ joy is constantly born anew.
Pediatric Hospital in Mexico City:
- Seeing your eyes, your smiles, your faces has filled me with a desire to give thanks for the kind way that you welcomed me.
- I ask God to bless you and to accompany you and your families and all those people who work in this home and try to ensure that your smiles grow day by day.
- This “kindness-therapy” is so important! So essential! Sometimes a caress can greatly help the process of healing. Those who provide “kindness-therapy” make the time spent here more enjoyable.
- We have Mary as our Mother, and so let us ask her to give us the gift of her son, Jesus.
February 15th (Chiapas)
Mass with the Indigenous Communities:
- The law of God is a symbol of freedom, joy, wisdom and peace.
- We can no longer remain silent before one of the greatest environmental crises in world history.
- Today’s world has been ravaged by a throwaway culture.
- Today’s world needs to learn anew the value of gratitude.
Meeting with Families:
- the Holy Spirit always wants to put a new heart into us, giving us reason to keep on taking risks for the good of the family, dreaming and building a life that has a sense of home, of family
- I prefer families with wrinkles, with wounds, and scars, but who carry on moving forwards; for these wounds, scars and wrinkles are the fruit of a faithful love which has had its share of difficulties.
- Love is not easy, it not easy, but the most beautiful thing is when a man and a woman can offer each other true love and offer it for life.
- Married life has to be renewed every day.
February 16th (Michoacán)
Eucharist with men and women religious, consecrated people and seminarians:
- Resignation paralyzes us and prevents us not only from walking, but also from making the journey.
- Father do not lead us into the temptation of resignation.
- Jesus knew how to live praying and to pray living: Our Father.
- Woe to us if we are not witnesses to what we have seen and heard.
Meeting with young people:
- You, young men and women, are the wealth of Mexico.
- Hand in hand with Jesus it is possible to life fully … by holding his hand it is possible to believe that life is worth the effort.
- You cannot live with hope unless you first recognize the fact that you yourself are valuable.
- The family is the first school of the nation.
February 17th (Ciudad Juárez)
Visit to the Penitentiary:
- God’s mercy embraces everyone.
- Mercy reminds us that reintegration does not begin here within these walls; rather it begins before, it begins “outside”, in the streets of the city.
- I want to be clear that there is always the possibility of writing a new story and then moving forward.
- Work hard to change the situations which create the most exclusion
Meeting with the world of labor:
- Forge the Mexico that its people and children deserve.
- Never tire of pursuing dialogue.
- The best investment is creating opportunities.
- Invest in people, in individual persons and in families.
There is always the possibility of change.
- No more death! No more exploitation!
- God’s mercy is our shield and our strength.
- Now is the time of conversion; now is the time of salvation.
Missionary! This is the manner in which Pope Francis presented himself in Mexico, that is, walking in the footprints of Christ, the Evangelizer … Francis presented himself as the missionary of mercy and of peace!
Translated: Charles T. Plock, CM