(Vatican Radio) One highlight of Pope Francis’ first full day in Mexico on Saturday was Holy Mass at the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City.
The shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe which is home to the Basilica is the most visited Catholic pilgrimage site in the world.
It is particularly important to the first Latin American Pope who had asked to pray in private before the image of “Our Lady of Guadalupe” in the “camarin”, a sort of a secret room right behind the altar of the Basilica.
Vatican Radio’s Veronica Scarisbrick had a word with Fr Federico Lombardi, Director of the Vatican Press Office, at the end of an eventful day.
Fr Lombardi agrees that the visit to the Shrine bore special significance for Pope Francis…
Listen to the report:
Fr Lombardi says that being at the Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe represented the most intense spiritual moment of Pope Francis’ first full day in Mexico.
“It was long-awaited because the Pope had said he was coming as a pilgrim to this Shrine to see and to be seen by the Virgin of Guadalupe” he says.
He explains that when we contemplate this image we receive from her a profound spiritual message of proximity, of encouragement “like – he says – that experienced by St. Juan Diego”.
Fr Lombardi points out that we too have the hope that the Virgin is looking to us and gives the profound sense of her love and proximity, of God’s love and of the coming of Jesus.
“In this sense there is a dialogue and during those 20 minutes in the Basilica we were able to participate with profound emotion in this dialogue between the Pope and the Virgin” he says.
The Pope, Fr Lombardi concludes, was praying not only for himself but in particular for the people of Mexico and for the entire humankind.