The Pope in México, Remembers the Martyrs of Cristo Rey

Mar 26, 2012 | Andrés Solá, México

León, Guanajuato (México). On the 23rd to the 26th of March, Pope Benedict XVI has experienced in Mexico the first stage of the apostolic journey that has led him to Latin America and the Caribbean. For the second stage, the Pope will travel to Cuba as a “Pilgrim of charity”.

The visit to Mexico took place among the cities of Leon, Guanajuato (The Capital), and Silao, in the center of the country. The people, especially the young, gave him a warm and multitudinous reception. The crowning moment was during the Eucharist, celebrated in the “Parque del bicentennial” [Bicentennial Park], at the foot of the ‘Cerro del Cubilete’ [Hill of the Cup].

At the top of the mountain stands the Statue of Christ the King, loaded with strong symbolism for Mexican Catholicism, which, between the years of 1926 and 1929, suffered a bloody persecution. Also around this sanctuary is the chapel of “Nuestra Señora de Aguas Buenas” [Our Lady of Good Waters] which conserves the remains-relics of Fr. Andrés Solá, CMF and Fellow Martyrs of San Joaquin, murdered in 1927 for the cause of Christ the King.

Martiresanjoaquin_WThe Pope alluded to these Martyrs, especially at the Mass on Sunday, the 25th. Directing his words to all Christians and ecclesial communities of America, which during these years are celebrating bicentennials of the movements of political independence, he asked them to resist the temptation to a superficial and routine faith, at times fragmented and incoherent.

Here we need to overcome fatigue related to faith and rediscover “the joy of being Christians, of being sustained by the inner happiness of knowing Christ and belonging to his Church. From this joy spring the energies that are needed to serve Christ in distressing situations of human suffering, placing oneself at his disposition and not falling back on one’s own comfort”. This can be seen clearly in the saints who dedicated themselves fully to the cause of the Gospel with enthusiasm and joy without counting the cost, even of life itself. Their hearts were centered entirely on Christ from whom they had learned what it means to love until the end.

The celebration ended with the Angelus prayer. In a previous message he commended all the Latin American people to the Virgin of Guadalupe that they pass through times of suffering and uncertainty, and alluding to the Martyrs, he said: In times of trial and suffering, she has been invoked by many martyrs who, in shouting out “Viva Cristo Rey y María de Guadalupe” [Long Live Christ the King and Our Lady of Guadalupe], have given steadfast testimony of fidelity to the Gospel and dedication to the Church.

Papa_Sombrero_MexOn Sunday afternoon he exhorted the Bishops of Latin America, gathered for Vespers in the Cathedral of Léon, to be bearers of hope for their people hurt by criminality, violence, and injustice. He asked of them:
Stand beside those who are marginalized as the result of force, power or a prosperity which is blind to the poorest of the poor. The Church cannot separate the praise of God from service to others. The one God, our Father and Creator, has made us brothers and sisters: to be human is to be a brother and guardian to our neighbor.

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