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Rector of Mexican College in Rome: many surprises await us during the Pope's visit

2016-02-11

119 priests from around Mexico complete their training in this center, the Pontifical Mexican College in Rome, a place with more than half a century history.

Although they will have to experience the papal journey at a distance, the truth is they’re just as excited as if they were back in their homeland of Mexico.

P. ARMANDO FLORES NAVARRO
Rector, Pontifical Mexican College in Rome
"I think it will be a special visit because the people of Mexico will hear the Pope speak their language, they will speak from the same culture, with gestures that are very familiar, with symbols that are easily understandable to anyone and, in that sense, there may be many surprises and a very deep message perhaps more with gestures than with big speeches."

Probably one of the most significant moments will be the Pope's visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a powerful symbol for Mexicans.

P. ARMANDO FLORES NAVARRO
Rector, Pontifical Mexican College in Rome
"The Pope will visit the Shrine like a child who wants to meet his Mother and for me that is very powerful symbolically. It is an extraordinary message for men and women who often feel like orphans, as Pope Benedict XVI once said."

His words will also be very important for migrants. That is why the Pope is going to the northern border and the southern and central regions which have suffered because of this reality for decades.

P. ARMANDO FLORES NAVARRO
Rector, Pontifical Mexican College in Rome
"Michoacan is a state marked by poverty and, somehow, this has led this flow of people to the United States to seek better working conditions and any resources to support their families."

Mexican priests present here in Rome are asking the Pope to offer people back home a message of hope despite the immense challenges facing Mexico.

P. EDGAR ESTRADA
Chihuahua priest in Rome
"Mexico is a country of many different realities, sometimes contradicting each other, so we need someone with a vision from the outside who can encourage us."

Pope Francis will be the third pope to visit Mexico. Benedict XVI traveled there in 2012 and Saint John Paul II visited five times. Indeed, his first international trip was to the Aztec country.


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