Pope gives message of hope to thousands

March 26, 2012 4:24:53 AM PDT
ABC7 Chicago was there as thousands of people in Mexico listened to a message of hope Sunday from Pope Benedict XVI.

He celebrated Mass with bishops and cardinals from across the Americas, in the shadow of the Christ the King monument.

Pope Benedict spoke to thousands, telling them to have hearts that are pure, humble, and sincere, even when facing adversity. He acknowledged the challenges they are facing, such as poverty and drug wars. Sunday, he inspired them and gave them hope and asked all of them to move forward with faith.

The day started early as thousands walked to Silao's Bicenntennial Park.

It was a spiritual journey and, at first, a challenging one, given the security and long walk that Mexicans and Chicagoans endured while on the way to the Mass.

"This is awesome," said Rocio Lopez. "The best part about it is ..I was expecting?it was crazy. We were like are we going to get in, are we going to get in."

They got in with hundreds of thousands of Roman Catholics.

The Pope flew to the mass and climbed into the Popemobile. At one point, he embraced the Mexican spirit, wearing a sombrero.

In this massive crowd, seeing the Pope up close was the Lopez Family of Chicago.

"We can see Pope Benedict...having him that close was close to your heart...coming here was all worth it," Tere Lopez said.

Once on the altar, the Mexican clergy gave the Pope a portrait of Christ the King. There was singing and a moment of silence and prayer.

With the mass underway, there were high expectations.

"If we can listen to the message that the Pope has for us, maybe we can change the way Mexico is living," Diana Lopez, of Leon, Mexico, said. "Maybe we can change the violence.

During the homily, the Pope encouraged the faithful to lean on Christ, and the Virgin of Guadalupe. There were pictures of her everywhere.

There was the sign of peace and communion.

It was a moving experience for thousands, including those who made this journey from Chicago.

"It's so amazing to me that in this country portrayed by violence, people were well behaved, there was complete silence at certain points of the Mass...It was just a very spiritual moment for me personally," Rocio Lopez said. "I had the best time ever."