On Monday, Pope Francis went to the state of Chiapas, in southwestern Mexico, home to some of the country's largest indigenous communities.
The Pope presided over a Mass at San Cristobal de Las Casas. Traditional indigenous dresses and musical instruments were seen throughout the ceremony. Some readings and prayers were made in local languages.
Mexico's indigenous communities have been traditionally marginalized and excluded. Some pilgrims were overcome with emotion as they thanked the Pope for his visit and support.
"Holy Father, even though we suffer great injustices, we firmly believe in God. Our faith kept us going in our fight for the Kingdom of God. I will now pray in tzotzil to strengthen our hearts.”
During his homily, Pope Francis talked about looking after Mother Nature and the poor. He explained that both are victims of those who see themselves as masters of the world.
"We can no longer remain silent before one of the greatest environmental crises in world history. In this regard, you have a lot to teach us.”
The indigenous communities like the ones taking part in the ceremony, Pope Francis continued, give the world a precious example of peaceful coexistence with the environment. He regretted that the economic system consistently misunderstands their legacy and excludes them.
"How sad this is! How worthwhile it would be for each of us to examine our conscience and learn to ask for forgiveness. Today’s world, ravaged as it is by a throwaway culture, needs you! Exposed to a culture that seeks to suppress all cultural heritage and features in pursuit of a homogenized world, the youth of today need to cling to the wisdom of their elders!”
Pope Francis' third Mass in Mexico had a festive atmosphere. Thousands of pilgrims traveled from all the territory to San Cristobal de Las Casas. Among them, the musicians from Santa María Mixistlan who played during the ceremony.
San Cristobal de Las Casas is named after the 16th-century Spanish friar, Bartolome de Las Casas, who first stood for the rights of the indigenous people.