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Archbishop José H. Gomez: Statement on Pope Francis’ pilrimage to Mexico

Banner pope francis 2 on flight to mexico with journalists feb 12 2016 credit alan holdren cna

Pope Francis aboard the papal flight with journalists on his apostolic journey to Havana, Cuba and Mexico

My brothers and sisters, pray for our Holy Father’s pilgrimage to Mexico!

I had the blessing to talk to Pope Francis last week in Rome and he said he will be praying for all of us and that he is really looking forward to this journey.

Personally, I am moved that the pope is going to pray at the shrine of the Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Virgin of Guadlaupe is the Mother of all the Americas and all the peoples living here. She is the bright star who announced the coming of Jesus Christ to these lands long ago and she is the Mother of Mercy who continues to watch over our families with love.

I will be praying for the pope in our chapel here at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, where we have a precious relic from the tilma that bears the Virgin’s miraculous image. I will also be joining my brother bishops from Mexico and the United States in the Mass that the Holy Father will celebrate in Ciudad Juárez on Wednesday.

Our Lady of Guadalupe said to St. Juan Diego: “Why are you afraid? Am I not here who am your Mother?” So we trust in her!

I pray that Our Lady of Guadalupe will guide Pope Francis to be a messenger of mercy, peace and hope for all the peoples of the Americas and especially the Mexican people, wherever they are living.

I also pray that the pope’s pilgrimage will inspire a new moment of mercy and compassion in our country. May we all open our hearts to the love of God and build a world where we do not see “others” — only brothers and sisters. May we learn to love as Jesus loves and show mercy to others as he shows mercy to us.

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