Last week, Pope Francis embarked on a five-day trip throughout Mexico, focused on clarifying some politically sensitive issues and explaining his vision for the Church in Mexico.
Among his busy schedule, the Pope met with the Bishops of Mexico, performed a Holy Mass in the Basilica of Guadalupe, visited the Pediatric Hospital “Federico Gómez,” and much more. However, among his most monumental visits, the Pope travelled to a prison in the northern city of Ciudad Juarez on his last day in the country. Ciudad Juarez is one of the most violent cities in Mexico, however, when he was there, Pope Francis celebrated an open-air mass on the US border in front of thousands of people.
The Pope spoke to the inmates, saying to them, “the problem of security is not resolved only by incarcerating; rather, it calls us to intervene by confronting the structural and cultural causes of insecurity that impact the entire social framework.” His visit was seen as a chance to give hope to the city’s residents, who live in fear of the frequent murders and drug problems surrounding their homes.
Later that week, Pope Francis held a mass along the U.S and Mexico border in El Paso, where he offered a silent prayer for migrants. He also said a few words about his hopes for the migrant issue between Mexico and the US, where he urged people to have “open hearts” and recognize how people who flee from Central and South America are fleeing violence, crime, and extortion, to find a better life for their families.
Pope Francis’ visit to Mexico was truly monumental for not only the Catholic community, but for the entire country of Mexico, who today has new hope for its future.
By Margaret Joel ’16, World News Senior Editor