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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis: "Our Lady of Guadalupe is in the midst of the migrant caravans"

Pilgrims from all corners of Latin America gathered in St. Peter's Basilica on the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. As they waited for Pope Francis, they sang, "Our Lady of Latin America," to show their devotion to the Morenita.

In his homily, the Pope emphasized the unity that the Virgin inspired in Latin America and how, 500 years ago, she helped create something new out of the Spanish and pre-Columbian cultures.

The Lord wanted to transform the commotion caused by the encounter between two different worlds into a recovery of meaning and dignity, into openness to the Gospel, to transform it into an encounter. And he did so by sending Mary, his Mother.

Pope Francis said that we are living in "a bitter period," full of war, growing injustice, famine, poverty, suffering and hunger. And yet, he said, the Mother of God never leaves us.

She came to accompany the American people on this hard road of poverty, exploitation, socio-economic and cultural colonialism. She is in the midst of the caravans that, seeking freedom and happiness, walk north. She is in the midst of the American people whose identity is threatened by a savage and exploitative paganism, wounded by the active preaching of a practical and pragmatic atheism.

The Pope also read a handwritten text, different from what was planned, in which he harshly criticized ideological colonization and the political use of Our Lady. 

I am concerned about the different types of ideological-cultural proposals that want to hijack people's encounter with their mother, that want to discredit her, to cover her up. Please, let us not allow the message to be distorted into mundane and ideological guidelines. The message is simple; it is tender: "Am I not here? Am I not your mother?" And a mother is not to be ideologized.

This year is the first time a large Mass has been celebrated for Our Lady of Guadalupe since the coronavirus pandemic. In 2021, Pope Francis celebrated by greeting people from his balcony. In 2020, he celebrated a small Mass with a very limited number of people.