With the Vatican's Paul VI Hall full of pilgrims from all over the world, Pope Francis was welcomed to the sound of a classic Mexican folk song.
The Pope's weekly catechesis on evangelization was centered on Mexico. He stopped to talk about the Virgin of Guadalupe.
It is an ever-living fountain... Mexicans are happy.
The Pope emphasized the importance of this Marian invocation. He said that Guadalupe wears the clothes of the indigenous people and speaks their mother tongue. This, the Pope stressed, is what mothers do.
And to us, too, Our Lady speaks to us in our mother tongue. The one we understand well, right? The Gospel is passed on in our mother tongue. And I would like to say thank you to the many mothers and grandmothers who pass it on to their children and grandchildren: faith passes with life, that's why mothers and grandmothers are the first proclaimers. Let's applause the mothers and grandmothers.
Speaking of the difficulties that can exist with proclaiming the Gospel, Pope Francis expressed concern about places where Christians are persecuted for professing their faith, although he did not give details of the country he was referring to.
A Christian does good but endures evil. The two go together. Life is like that. Even today, in so many places, to inculturate the Gospel and evangelize cultures requires perseverance and patience. One must not fear conflict, do not lose heart. I am thinking of a country where Christians are persecuted because they are Christians. They cannot practice their religion properly in peace.
Today, religious persecution against Christians has increased in countries around the world. In Nicaragua, a group of Jesuits were recently expelled from their home in the capital and the Central American Catholic University has been seized by the government.
And in Pakistan, the minority Christian community has been the target of violent attacks.