Benedict to Mexico: Return to Your Faith

Pope says Mass before 300,000, calls for peace

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 25, 2012 1:16 PM CDT

(Newser) – Under the shadow of the Christ the King monument in the Roman Catholic heart of Mexico, Pope Benedict XVI said Mass before hundreds of thousands today, urging the violence-plagued nation to "look deeply into the human heart, especially in times of trouble." The Mass was a second call for Mexicans to fall back on their faith in coping with the drug war that has killed more than 47,000 lives, notes the AP.

"We pray for him to help us, that there be no more violence in the country," said one woman. "We pray that he gives us peace." The pope first flew over the 72-foot monument, one of the cornerstones of Catholicism in Mexico, before riding through an adoring Bicentennial Park crowd in the Popemobile sporting a sombrero that someone had handed him. Meanwhile, the Christian Science Monitor reports that while Mexico may have welcomed Benedict with open arms, he's no "Juan Pablo." Benedict heads tomorrow to Cuba; Hugo Chavez will reportedly be there, following chemotherapy treatments.

Pope Benedict XVI waves from the popemobile wearing a Mexican sombrero as he arrives to give a Mass in Bicentennial Park near Silao, Mexico, Sunday March 25, 2012.
Pope Benedict XVI waves from the popemobile wearing a Mexican sombrero as he arrives to give a Mass in Bicentennial Park near Silao, Mexico, Sunday March 25, 2012.   (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
Pilgrims cheer and sing as they wait for the arrival of  Pope Benedict XVI for Sunday Mass at the Bicentennial Park near Silao, Mexico, Sunday, March 25, 2012.
Pilgrims cheer and sing as they wait for the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI for Sunday Mass at the Bicentennial Park near Silao, Mexico, Sunday, March 25, 2012.   (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
Pope Benedict XVI waves from the popemobile wearing a Mexican sombrero as he arrives to give a Mass in Bicentennial Park near Silao, Mexico, Sunday March 25, 2012.
Pope Benedict XVI waves from the popemobile wearing a Mexican sombrero as he arrives to give a Mass in Bicentennial Park near Silao, Mexico, Sunday March 25, 2012.   (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
Pope Benedict XVI, second left, gives a Mass in Bicentennial Park near Silao, Mexico, Sunday March 25, 2012.
Pope Benedict XVI, second left, gives a Mass in Bicentennial Park near Silao, Mexico, Sunday March 25, 2012.   (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
Pope Benedict XVI waves from the popemobile wearing a Mexican sombrero as he arrives to give a Mass in Bicentennial Park near Silao, Mexico, Sunday March 25, 2012.
Pope Benedict XVI waves from the popemobile wearing a Mexican sombrero as he arrives to give a Mass in Bicentennial Park near Silao, Mexico, Sunday March 25, 2012.   (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
Pope Benedict XVI waves from the popemobile wearing a sombrero as he arrives to give a Mass in Bicentennial Park near Silao, Mexico, Sunday, March 25, 2012.
Pope Benedict XVI waves from the popemobile wearing a sombrero as he arrives to give a Mass in Bicentennial Park near Silao, Mexico, Sunday, March 25, 2012.   (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
A pilgrim waves a flag at the site where Pope Benedict XVI will give a Mass in Bicentennial Park near Silao, Mexico, Sunday, March 25, 2012.
A pilgrim waves a flag at the site where Pope Benedict XVI will give a Mass in Bicentennial Park near Silao, Mexico, Sunday, March 25, 2012.   (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
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