John Paul II Relic Welcomed in Violence-Plagued Mexico

Crowds Remember Pontiff as Pilgrim of Peace

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TIJUANA, Mexico, NOV. 16, 2011 ( The relic of Blessed John Paul II was welcomed by thousands in the Archdiocese of Tijuana, on the border with the United States, where the national war on drugs has made the region a hotbed of violence.

The relic was received in three cities last weekend, before departing for Ciudad Juarez, Mexico’s most violent city, and recently, the deadliest city in the world not in a war zone.

«May the visit of Blessed John Paul II’s relic revive our Christian commitment, our apostolic commitment, and may we unite ourselves to the intention of the bishops of Mexico so that the Catholic Church, we, the baptized, will commit ourselves to promote justice and peace,» the vicar-general of the neighboring Diocese of Ensenada, Father Francisco Javier Jaime, said. «May there be peace and may we be the promoters committed to justice, truth and peace. And may the blessing of the Lord, through the mediation of Blessed John Paul II, reach all of us and encourage us and comfort us.»

In the Diocese of Nuevo Casas Grandes, hundreds of people went to venerate the relic of the Pope, Pilgrim of Peace, and to pray for his intercession so that peace will return to these lands so punished by violence.

School children left class to venerate the relic as its caravan passed by their campus. In Lagunitas, elderly people in wheelchairs waved little flags as the relic went by.

The chants that welcomed John Paul II to Mexico on his four visits to the country, such as, «Juan Pablo, hermano, ya eres Mexicano» (John Paul II, our brother, now you are Mexican), and «Juan Pablo Segundo, te quiere todo el mundo» (John Paul II, the whole world loves you), accompanied the relic tour.

«Open the doors to Christ, let us open wide the doors of our heart so that Jesus will always be in our lives and give us the necessary integrity to be elements of peace in our environments, that with Blessed John Paul II’s visit our soul may be in peace,» said the diocesan administrator of Nuevo Casas Grandes, Father Mario Hernández, on welcoming the relic in the Cathedral of the Miraculous Medal. "Who are we for God, in his infinite providence, to send us this pilgrim of peace in his relics?»

The priest exhorted those present to pray for peace, «which we so need in Mexico and in our communities, as well as inner peace.»

«Long live John Paul II! Long live the Church! Long live Benedict XVI! Long live Christ the King!,» the people cried while waving their flags and the images of Blessed John Paul II.

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