Just moments before declaring Junipero Serra a Saint, Pope Francis made his way through the streets of Washington D.C in the popemobile as crowds cheered him on.
Once the Pope arrived to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, he was welcomed by even more crowds and plenty of cameras.
Then, came the official ceremony: The Mass in which Pope Francis declared Junipero Serra, as a Saint of the Catholic Church.
Among the thousands of attendees was vice president, Joe Biden.
Reflecting on the missionary spirit of the Franciscan Friar, the Pope called on all Christians to evangelize to others even amid life's challenges.
"In faces of pain, hunger, sickness and sin. In faces of wounds, of thirst, of weariness, doubt and pity. Far from expecting a pretty life, smartly-dressed and neatly groomed, Jesus embraced life as He found it.”
The Pope recognized that with the struggles on every day life, one's heart can become numb. The Pope called on Christians to embrace the joy of the Gospel to deepen one's life.
"Jesus said: Go out and tell the good news to everyone. Go out and in my name embrace life as it is, and not as you think it should be. Go out to the highways and byways, go out to tell the good news fearlessly, without prejudice, without superiority, without condescension, to all those who have lost the joy of living.”
Life, he explained becomes stronger when it's offered to others. It becomes weak, when one becomes comfortable and enclosed in one's own ways. Just as the Gospel says, he explained that mistakes do not define one's life.
"Go out to proclaim the good news that error, deceitful illusions and falsehoods do not have the last word in a person’s life. Go out with the ointment which soothes wounds and heals hearts.”
The Pope concluded that Junipero Serra reflected a Church that goes out to meet others. A Church that goes to the peripheries and moves forward.