Pope honors the role women have played in Paraguay's history
Pope Francis prayed before the Patroness of Paraguay, Our Lady of Caacupé.
The Pope has a strong Marian devotion. He seemed to be so moved, that he actually took a few moments to regroup, before starting the Papal Mass.
The statue of Our Lady was made by a local indigenous man from the Guaraní tribe. It's made out of a trunk where he found refuge from an attack carried out by other tribes. In fact portions of the Mass were said in their native language.
In his homily, which was interrupted quite a bit with applause, the Pope highlighted the role of Our Lady.
"Our Lady has been present since the beginning, as this country turned into a nation. Always with a discreet and calm presence. Be it in the gaze of an image, a stamp or coin, or in the design of a rosary. We know we are not alone.â?
The Pope also thanked the women of Paraguay for the role their played as the country faced a war with Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. Many men died during the conflict and women were the ones who moved the nation forward.
"With great cost and sacrifice, women were able to lift up a defeated country, devastated and laid low by war. You are keepers of the memory, the lifeblood of those who rebuilt the life, faith and dignity of your people. God bless your perseverance, God bless and encourage your faith, God bless the women of Paraguay, the most glorious women of America."
The Pope then prayed Our Lord's prayer in the country's main indigenous language, Guaraní.
Even as the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis has always showed his strong Marian Devotion, especially Our Lady of Caacupé. Many Argentinians made the trip to Paraguay to attend the Mass.
Before departing, the Pope consecrated the country to Our Lady of Caacupé, leaving a rosary of gold at her feet.
Then local women, performed a traditional dance.