On day two of his Papal visit in Mexico, Pope Francis described the country as a young nation, that can still renew and transform itself. This was the first message Pope Francis emphasized, as he met with president Enrique Peña Nieto and other local leaders.
Along with his wife, Mexico's president welcomed the Pope to the country's National Palace. Once gifts were exchanged, the Pope was given a tour of the premises, which includes a visual history of the nation, depicted by late Mexican painter, Diego Rivera.
In his welcoming speech, the president highlighted that in spite's of Mexico's strong separation of Church and state, it still promotes religious liberty. On behalf of the country, he officially welcomed the first Latin American Pope.
ENRIQUE PEÑA NIETO
"Without a doubt, your visit will leave an indelible mark in the people of Mexico. But I'm also convinced, that Mexico will leave a deep impression in your heart. Your Holiness, welcome to this land. Mexico embraces you. We welcome your words, blessings and your love for Mexico. We welcome your light. Thank you very much.”
In his speech, Pope Francis highlighted three key points. First he said, he visits Mexico as a messenger of mercy and peace, but above all else, as a son of Our Lady.
"I come as a son who wishes to pay homage to his mother, the Blessed Virgin of Guadalupe, and place himself under her watchful care.”
In his second point, the Pope addressed the country's youth. The fact that about half of Mexico's population is young, will allow the nation to look towards the future with hope.
"A young nation is a nation that can renew and transform itself. It sets an invitation to look towards the future, while also looking at the challenges of the present.”
Focusing on the present, and not just the future, he said, is based on the input of both the government and its citizens.
"This is not just a question of laws which need to be updated and improved, something always necessary, but rather a need for urgent formation of the personal responsibility of each individual, with full respect for others as men and women jointly responsible in promoting the advancement of the nation.”
At the end of his speech, a long heartfelt applause followed.
This marked the first time, a Pope has visited Mexico's National Palace. Once the visit ended, the Pope put on his coat, got in the popemobile, and made his way towards his next meeting with Mexican Bishops.