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"With Great Joy, I Announce December 12th As A Liturgical Holy Day"

---Pope John Paul II
Homily from the Solemn Mass
at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe

waveMEXICO CITY-- In his homily at the Solemn Mass from the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, Pope John Paul II urged an end to violence, terrorism, and abuse. "The Apostle Paul teaches us that we are no longer servants, but children of God. Therefore, the Church must proclaim the Gospel of Life and blame the culture of death. May it be the culture of life. Life for all! For all who have been conceived in the mother’s womb, refugees, the young, the old, for those who suffer, dear brothers and sister. The time has come of every attack against life--no more violence, terrorism, no more torture, or other forms of abuse. There must be an end to the death penalty---no more exploitation ---never again! The conscience is of the children of God. This will inspire them to live a better life. We must build up a New Springtime on the continents so it will go hand and hand."

A climax in the Holy Father’s homily concluded with the following words, "I wish to entrust and offer the future of this continent to Most Holy Mary, Mother of Christ and The Church. That is why, I have the great joy to announce today that I have declared this date December the 12th, as a Liturgical Holy Day for the whole continent."mass

"Oh Mother, you know the paths which the first missionaries of the New World followed, from the islands of Guanahani and Hispanola, to the Amazon jungles and the Andean summits, reaching to Tierra de Fuego in the South and the great lakes and mountains of the North. Accompany the Church which carries her mission through all the nations of America, so that She may be always an Evangelizer; and renew her Missionary Spirit. Inspire al those to dedicate their lives to the cause of Jesus and to the extension of His kingdom."

"Oh, Sweet Lady of Tepeyac, Mother of Guadalupe! We present to you this countless multitude of faithful who pray to God in America. You who have come into their hearts, visit and comfort all homes, parishes and dioceses of all the continent.

 "Oh, Lady and Mother of America, confirm our lay bretheren in the Faith so that they may act in all fields of social, cultural, professional and political life, in accordance with the Truth and new Law which Jesus has brought to mankind.

"Holy Virgin of Guadalupe, Queen of Peace, save the nations and peoples of this continent. May rulers and leaders learn to live in authentic freedom, acting in accordance with justice and respect for all human rights, so that we may find peace. For You. Oh Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of Jesus and our Mother, honor, glory and praise from your sons and daughters of The Americas!!!".

The Holy Father’s homily concluded with an overwhelming response from the congregation and cheers which stated, "Long Live the Holy Father, Long Live Our Lady of Guadalupe, Long Live the Queen".

 

COMMENTS FROM LOCAL PARTICIPANTS

Pope John Paul II drew cheers by urging churches throughout the Americas to honor the Virgin of Guadalupe on Dec. 12 as he stated in his homily on Saturday, January 23, 1999.

•``That is very good,'' said 22-year-old Francisco Cevallos Hernandez, one of the individuals watching the homily on television screens in Mexico City's main plaza. ``We needed a symbol of unity, brotherhood and relief for poor people. The Virgin of Guadalupe can be that symbol for the continent.'

``It's very cold, but we are happy,'' said Maria Jesus Rio Frio despite the 43-degree chill, dancing, singing, and chanting were coming from the crowds.

  • ``It's something beautiful. It's difficult to express, but I just feel it here,'' she said, touching her heart, stated Isabel Maria Hernandez a waitress who went to work early to make sure she didn’t miss any part of the Pope’s appearance, which she would watch on televisions which were set up at the local restaurants for patrons.
  • ``We hope for a blessing from the pope,'' said her friend Jania Torres Lopez, who sat at curbside in a chair she brought from her kitchen.
  • Patricia Sanchez, 26, brought her 6-month-old baby from the western city of Guadalajara for a glimpse of the pontiff as his Popemobile raced past throngs lined up on city streets.``It made me very happy,'' she said. ``He passed quickly, but I felt wonderful.''
  • ``I hope the pope's visit will inspire Mexicans to have a stronger will and character, like he does despite his state of health,'' said Sergio Lujan, watching from a wheelchair.
  • ``I came to see the pope,'' added Carlos Arreola - a blind man.