March 25, 2012.
) The Pope
celebrated his first Mass in Mexico
, at Guanajuato's Bicentennial Park. Along with Mexican bishops
, thousands of people gathered there to take part in the historic Mass.
During his Homily, Benedict XVI
called on people to pray and ask God for a “pure heart.”Benedict XVI“This exclamation shows us how profoundly we must prepare to celebrate next week the great mystery of the passion, death and resurrection of the Lord. It also helps us to look deeply into the human heart, especially in times of sorrow as well as hope, as are the present times for the people of Mexico and of Latin America.”
The Pope then talked about the country's rise in violence by referencing the “Christ the King”
monument, which stands just a short distance from where Mass was celebrated. Benedict XVI“His kingdom does not stand on the power of his armies subduing others through force or violence. It rests on a higher power than wins over hearts: the love of God that he brought into the world with his sacrifice and the truth to which he bore witness”John Paul II visited Mexico fives times
. It's said that he wanted to visit the Bajio area during his lifetime. Even though, he wasn't able to, Benedict XVI talked about the special connection between Mexicans and his predecessor. Benedict XVI“I am sure that in heaven he is happy that the Lord has granted me the grace to be here with you and that he has blessed the millions of Mexicans who have venerated his relics in every corner of the country.”
At the end of his Homily, the Pope called for a moment of silence
. He then gave Communion to the president of Mexico, Felipe Calderon and his family.
A group of children also received Communion from the Pope.
The altar where Mass was celebrated was quite simple. In its white background there was a Cross and also, an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Patroness of Mexico.