Guadalupe Feast Prompts Papal Plea for Evangelization

MEXICO CITY, DEC. 15, 2003 ( In a message on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, John Paul II urged those gathered for a Mass at the Marian basilica here to continue their work in the new evangelization.

Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragán, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers, concelebrated a Mass on Friday at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe with numerous bishops of the Americas and Europe.

Archbishop Giuseppe Bertello, apostolic nuncio in Mexico, read the papal message addressed to Cardinal Lozano Barragán. In it, the Pope said he was spiritually united to the pilgrims, “presenting to the maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary the joys and hopes, bliss and sorrows of all the American faithful.”

Cardinal Lozano Barragán and Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, archbishop primate of Mexico, greeted the pilgrims who came on foot, bicycles, motorcycles, trucks, cars and other means of transportation, to offer flowers in thanksgiving to the Patroness of the Americas, and to ask for her favors.

The papal message also encouraged those present “to continue with renewed enthusiasm, faithfully united to their pastors, in the tasks of the new evangelization, announcing Christ, proclaiming the message of salvation, and coming close to the sources of grace through the sacramental and charitable life of the Church.”