▶️ A huge crowd surrounded Mexico City’s Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Thursday, December 12, following days of pilgrimage from all over the country.
👉 By 7 a.m. officials estimated the crowd at 9.8 million in the area surrounding one of the Roman Catholic Church’s holiest shrines.
That number seemed almost impossible, however, as it would exceed the population of Mexico City itself.
The December 12 pilgrimage honors the Virgin of Guadalupe, Mexico’s patroness.
Many carry large statues or other images of the cerulean-shrouded, contemplative virgin as they stream en masse to the temple.
Some make the last stretch crawling emotionally — and painfully — on their knees.
According to church tradition, in 1531 the dark-skinned virgin appeared to the indigenous peasant Juan Diego and her image was imprinted on his cloak, which is on display inside the church. Juan Diego was made a saint in 2002 by Pope John Paul II, who himself was canonized a saint in 2014.
At the Vatican Pope Francis gave a special mass in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
“Mother Maria makes God a mestizo (person of mixed race),” said Pope Francis. “Her son is really God and really man.” (AP)
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Author: VOA News