Pope Francis expressed his support for migrants around the world
The leader of the Catholic Church denounced the difficult historical situation of Latin Americans. He did it during a ceremony for the Virgin of Guadalupe.
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In the middle of a religious celebration dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe in the Basilica of San Pedro at the beginning of the week, the Supreme Pontiff made an emphatic call in solidarity with the caravans that arrive daily at the United States border seeking “freedom and well-being.”
“This difficult moment is also a time of salvation, in which the Lord, through the Virgin Mary, continues to give us his Son, who calls us to fraternity, to put aside selfishness, indifference and antagonism, and to take care of each other,” said Pope Francis through his Twitter account.
An ongoing fight
The Pope has stood out during his stay in the Vatican for being a defender of migrants and refugees, so he could not let this important date for the Catholic community in Latin America, especially the Mexican one, pass by without referring to the difficult conditions experienced by many Latin Americans who have had to leave their homes in search of a better future.
Francis also took advantage of the celebration to warn against any ideological exploitation of the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, an issue that in recent days has aroused the interest of activists who criticize the role of the Catholic Church in the Spanish conquest and colonization of the Americas.
“While long a symbol of Mexican mestizaje, the blending of Indigenous and Spanish cultures, the Virgin of Guadalupe has recently been targeted for desmestizaje, as the pope said, by both the left and right,” Andrew Chestnut, professor of Catholic studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, told NBCNews.
En las dolorosas encrucijadas de nuestra historia actual, Dios sigue mandándonos a la Madre de su Hijo. La #VirgendeGuadalupe nos invita a confiar en “el verdadero Dios por quien se vive”, orientándonos, con alegría y confianza, a reafirmar nuestra pertenencia al Señor.— Papa Francisco (@Pontifex_es) December 12, 2022
About the Celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe
This religious celebration, which takes place every December 12, refers to the date on which one of the apparitions of the Virgin was reported in 1531, on that occasion witnessed by a Mexican native named Juan Diego.
Every year, millions of pilgrims flock to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, which has an image of the Virgin said to have been miraculously imprinted on the man's cloak.
During the mass, Francisco highlighted that Maria in the past accompanied the American people on "a difficult path of poverty, exploitation, and socioeconomic and cultural colonialism," and that now she does the same with Latin Americans.
“She’s there, in the middle of the caravans that, seeking freedom and well-being, head north,” stressed the Pope.