Mariachis and Exuberant Crowds Welcome Pope to Mexico

Francis visibly delighted to begin apostolic journey to home of Our Lady of Guadalupe

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Pope Francis touched down in Mexico City just before 7:30 p.m. tonight, and though his body is telling him it’s 2:30 in the morning, and though he did just take an intense step toward overcoming a millennium-long division in the Church, the Pope seems as happy to be in Mexico as Mexico is happy to have the Pope.
It was a given that this pope-loving country would have their characteristic exuberance in high gear to welcome the first Latin American pontiff.
The first scenes from the airport promise that the next six days are going to be joy-filled, even amidst the serious and solemn themes Francis is set to address.
The Holy Father spent long moments chatting with the four children in traditional garments who greeted him on the red carpet. And he chuckled with the president and the first lady, as the crowds in the stands swayed candles to a song sung by the choir.
As the children from the choir dashed to embrace him, it was hard to say who was enjoying it more: Francis or the youth.
He went on to laugh and bless his way through the crowds, as the onlookers continued their cheering for the 30-plus minutes it took for him to make his way out of the airport.
“Francisco, hermano, ya eres Mexicano,” the crowds assured. “Francis, brother, you are already Mexican.”
After a night that will undoubtedly feel too short for the 79-year-old Pontiff, the first official event of his trip is tomorrow morning at 9:30: a welcome ceremony in the National Palace.

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Kathleen Naab

United States

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