Pope John Paul the Second -- on the second day of his visit to Mexico City (27 January -- was given an emotional welcome as he travelled in a motorcade to Mexico's most revered shrine, the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Pope John Paul the Second -- on the second day of his visit to Mexico City (27 January -- was given an emotional welcome as he travelled in a motorcade to Mexico's most revered shrine, the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. He was there to inaugurate the Third Conference of Latin American Bishops.
SYNOPSIS: The crowd, which some estimates put at six million, shouted "Viva El Papa" as the Pontiff drove through the city streets in an open bus. At times, the crowd was almost hysterical. One woman said, "This is the climax of our religious life, -- summing up the feelings of most of the vast gathering. The Pope's route through the capital was twenty kilometres (12 miles) long. Everywhere the faithful were pressed against the barriers, and thousands clung to the sides of buildings or clambered onto car roofs to get a better view. Whenever the motorcade stopped, there were constant calls for the Pope to bless those lucky enough to get near him. But, as the pope, clam and smiling, greeted all he could, there was a full scale security operation with more than forty-thousand agents lining the route.
Pope John Paul the Second spent the night in the Apostolic delegation in Mexico City. But even here, there were crowds waiting for his blessing.
And there were choirs, to awake him at the start of another day.
Before he returned to the official duties Pope John Paul the Second met members of Mexico's Polish community.
Most of the regions religious leaders -- including fifteen cardinals, forty-five archbishops and more than a hundred bishops -- had gathered in the Basilica, built on the spot where an illiterate indian convert had a vision of the Virgin Mary 448 years ago. Before the opening of the conference, the Pope celebrated mass, and gave his blessing to the assembled clergy.